Santiago & Valparaiso, Chile.

Santiago & Valparaiso, Chile.
Our next destination after Mendoza was Chilean capital Santiago: which meant we would be crossing the border once again.  The bus journey shouldn’t have taken more than a few hours, however when we arrived at the border on the Argentinian side there was standstill traffic. It appeared that the border was shut so we had no choice but to wait for a couple hours for it to open again before continuing on into Chile.

We didn’t do a lot during our two night stay in Santiago as our hostel, Pinos Azules, was out of the centre of town and away from bars and shops. The hostel was a converted house and it was really cosy (we had a nice private room and there was a good kitchen and living room) and it was a great place to stay for a few days to chill.

We spent our two days in Santiago wandering around the main plaza, checking out the shopping malls (as this was the first time we’d seen proper shops for months!) and we went also for an amazing burger at Uncle Fletch in the Ñuñoa area (one of the best burgers we’ve had on the whole trip!)

After Santiago it was a short (1h 30min) bus ride to Valparaíso on the coast.
Valparaíso is a port city on Chile’s coast. It’s known for its steep funiculars and colorful, clifftop homes and amazing murals and street art everywhere.
I really liked Valparaiso as it was a  pretty place to just wander around looking at all of the amazing street art in the surrounding maze of colourful streets where we were staying.
Our hostel was called Hostal Voyage, a colourful and lively place with a good garden out the back with a fire pit.
Unfortunately upon arrival I soon discovered a bed bug in the dorm so we moved rooms but luckily it was a one off and the rest of our stay there was fine. They even threw the mattress away instantly and had the place fumigated a few days later!
We did the alternative free walking tour here but it wasn’t worth our time as they took us to a few rubbish places in town not covered on the main tour such as the run down port area where they tell you not to walk on your own as a tourist as its dodgy.
We did have some amazing sushi here from a little place tucked away at the top of the hill called Megami Sushi. It was prepared fresh and was really tasty! We also walked up to La Sebastiana, the quirky former residence of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, which is now a museum with far-reaching Pacific views. We didn’t go in the museum as it was too expensive so we just enjoyed the views for a bit.
On one of the days, we also took the bus to Vina Del Mar, a beach resort popular in summer, 20mins from Valpo by bus. We had a bright, sunny day but unfortunately it was just a little bit too cold sit on the beach because of the wind and so I dragged Andy to the cinema with me to watch Bridget Jones’ Baby instead.
3* (film), 4* (Valparaiso).
Ashleigh
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