Mainely Running
Join me as I train in Maine and race all over the world in pursuit of my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Chile Day 4: Valparaiso

Tuesday morning we were pretty tired from the marathon day of hiking, but we roused ourselves to go to Valparaiso. Valparaiso is a city on the ocean that is a Unesco world heritage site and we heard great things about it.

We navigated the metro much more smoothly than on Saturday and bought our bus tickets also without issue. We used Turbus, and I would highly recommend it. The tickets were only $6, the bus was very clean, we had assigned seats, and they even played a movie. 

Our good luck ended when we got to Valparaiso. It was cloudy and cold and we were dressed for a warm summer day. Our first mission was to find sweatshirts. Secondly, the area around the bus station was pretty sketchy. We followed the directions the guy at the tourism booth in the station gave us to "the tourist district," but it never got any nicer.

The streets were narrow, crowded, loud, and dirty. We didn't feel safe and we never found anything good to do. We couldn't get near the ocean, and we couldn't see the supposedly picturesque colorful houses up in the hills because of the fog.

The one picture I took in Valpo of the only pretty building

We wandered around for a couple hours and then decided to cut our loses and head back to Santiago. We stopped to grab a couple of epanadas for lunch, and I ordered the "Napolitano," which was supposed to be like a pizza. Instead it was filled with hot dogs. Fail. Maybe we weren't prepared enough and maybe Valparaiso is better with a tour guide and a car, but I won't be going back any time soon.

Back in Santiago we took a bit to recompose ourselves and then headed to the Bellavista district for dinner. We knew we wanted another delicious teremoto cocktail and after my hot dog empanada fail I also wanted an English menu. We wandered the district for awhile checking out menus, but we were like Goldilocks and impossible to please. One place was too fancy, another didn't  have an English menu, and another didn't have teremotos. We finally decided to go back to Viva la Vida, where we had lunch 2 days before. Great choice. We had the back patio all to ourselves. We ordered the pitcher of teremoto this time, and it was giant. Just what we needed to erase the crappy memory of Valparaiso. 
giant pitcher of teremoto, you were so good.
We shared a salad of spinach, romaine, peppers, goat cheese, and a fresh basil dressing. It was great- crisp and fresh. The goat cheese had the texture of a cheddar instead of being soft and crumbly like in the US, but was really good. 

I figured since I was in Chile, I should have Chilean sea bass at least once. Holy goodness. It was a huge, tender, flaky piece of fish on top of onions, peppers, potatoes, and carrots, and topped with a spinach cream sauce. I can't even describe how good it was and I ate until I was about to explode. 

Chilean Sea Bass Perfection

We took a leisurely walk home through the park wonderfully full of delicious food and drink. Valpo was a bust, but dinner redeemed the day.

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