December 28, 2005 - Part 3!
Or, what Chileans nickname this seaside city of Valparaiso -- thanks to the suggestion of Horatio, Alejandra's step-dad, May and I ventured out on our own and stayed over in this beach town after Andres showed us up and down the coast (all of course after spending a fabulous evening at Casa de Rosarita y Horatio en sleepy, dreamy, heavenly Santo Domingo!).
I am in love with Valpo (as well as with Baltazar, or "Balta" as Andres' 7.5-month old baby is affectionately called, but that is another story). It cries of integration and contrasts everywhere: of natural with manmade, of residential with commercial (which is not imposing in the least sense), of humans with animals, of colors and grays. Every angle and street and corner you turn provides a new delight to the eye. And despite the fact that it looks run down, it is incredibly safe (and thus freeing to walk about, as with most of Chile that I have experienced, regardless of economic status and quite unlike BA). Any given street will look like it is in tatters and yet boast of a beautiful gate or wrought-iron sculpture or bright-colored flower garden right in its midst.
Stunning... so get there before the current renovations are completed and the authentic feel starts to fade.