Valparaiso Travel Blog› entry 14 of 27 › view all entries
Arrived at about 6am in Valpraiso off our overnight bus from La Serena. It is a costal town around 2hours west of Santiago, with a large port and the city squashed between this and the hills behind.We found a hostal in one of the Cerros, which are neighbourhoods of colourfull jumbled houses up on the hills behind the town. After sleeping for a few hours we headed down to the port to explore....unfortunately the local "cerron" (=thief!) spotted us and proceeded to perform a scam on us. He put something like porridge on my back (claire) which i thought was birdpoo and when i took off my bag to clean it he snatched it and ran off! So our first few hours in Valpraiso were spent in the company of the local police, who for the record were very nice, spoke perfect english and were very efficient!! They told us that this scam is really common here.
Yesterday we spent the day exploring the city (feeling very wary and paronoid!), took a boat tour around the harbour to see the navy boats, amazing views of the city and lots of sealions! Because of the steep hills, dotted around the city there are ascensors (lifts) to save the city dwellers legs on the steps. We went to see one of the oldest ones called Ascensor Polanco, it was built in around 1913 and after walking along a 150m long tunnel you get into the lift which takes you up 80m to amazing views over the city and port.
(you will get lots more photos from now on as we are going to load them all up incase charlies camera gets stolen!!)