Valparaiso Travel Blog› entry 80 of 92 › view all entries
Let's not hold my sort-of-mugging against Valparaiso, overall it was a charming town and different from anywhere I had visited previously on my trip.
But, having said that, I would advise people not to make the mistake of becoming complacent and thinking that because they have survived poorer more dangerous countries they will be lucky enough to have a totally trouble free trip! Because just around the corner there will always be somebody motivated by greed rather than need, who knows they can make a quick buck if they steal your camera. Or in my case, 3 opportunistic youths (not hooded, its far too mild) who thought they could steal my camera but ended up with a cheapo rucksack filled mostly with dirty washing! It was bye bye to my guidebook though, but we were developing a love-hate relationship and it was probably time for me to move on without her and become more independent.
What's good about Valparaiso is the bohemian, artisty neighbourhoods that perch on the hills overlooking the more central area along the sea front. These districts are full of colour, independent art galleries, cafes and murals and allow an escape from the more built-up working port below. Sadly when I was there some of the larger galleries were closed, but I did visit the house of a famous Chilean political cartoonist (though most of his work went a little over my head given my lack of knowledge of either the language or cultural history!).
The second good thing about Valparaiso is the excellent train that goes regularly to Vina del Mar just a short way up the coast, a much wealthier town where the Atlantic Ocean and beautiful beach can actually be enjoyed (see next entry).