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  • Day11

    Day 8 - Coast and Inland

    January 6, 2019 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    The day dawned overcast but our host said it would clear up after noon. A continental breakfast and directions saw us on the way to find a camera. We dropped Gail's camera flying up to the Atacama and she found a Canon dealer in the sister city of Vina del Mar on the other side of the harbor. This turned out to be closed on Saturday but asking got me directions to a large mall. The mall was several floors of gleaming, modern shops and we found a slightly newer model of the same camera and bought it (at a slightly cheaper price than what we'd paid for the old one).

    We drove up the coast to see the beaches. Getting out of Vina del Mar involved lots of turns to get past the rivers that flow into the harbor and the road was busy with locals heading the same way. We were disappointed as we discovered the road stayed somewhat inland behind huge dunes (70 to 100 feet high) by the shore. The two-lane road lead through highly industrialized suburbs with oil refineries, metal fabrication factories and processing plants. Traffic moved well after a delay for some construction but it was a good hour before we left the industrial area and neared the coast. Like the weather, the road reminded us of coastal northern California as it wound up and down curving roads following the stream valleys in and out. There are several large beach communities and many Chileans have or rent summer cottages along here, including some exclusive gated developments. We parked at the square of the northernmost town, Papudo, and strolled around the square and down to the beach. The strand was crowded with weekend visitors camped on the beach under umbrellas and walking the cement boardwalks. Along the boardwalks small shops sold beachwear and toys while pushcart vendors sold peanuts, candy and more toys. In one place, a group of Caribbeans (?) played music and danced with enthusiasm to celebrate the weekend. We stopped at a beachside restaurant to share a delicious ceviche as we people watched.

    Rather than return the same way, we drove inland and took a freeway south. The weather had cleared up and a hazy sun accompanied us back. The freeway passed through mildly farmed valleys until we turned back to the coast at La Calera. The broad valley between there and the coast was heavily farmed with fields of vegetables and fruit trees spread across the valley and climbed the hillsides. We made our way through the maze of Valparaiso cobblestone streets back to our hotel.

    In the early evening (around 8:00, early for the locals), we strolled around the blocks near the hotel looking at the street art and small shops. In the area are numerous small hotels and hostels and foreign and Chilean tourists were doing the strolling. We liked the bistro from last night (Vinilo) so much that we went back again. Over an hour and a half we sipped a huge beer and shared some dishes from the menu while a lone guitarist play a couple acoustic numbers and then the night's main band set up. The wait staff remembered us from last night and chatted with us as they served others. We asked for recommendations on Chilean dishes to sample. We had a Pauela de Choclo that we'd seen last night. This is a baked casserole served bubbling hot from the oven consisting of the large-kernnel, white corn (choclo) with olives, onions, green peppers, egg and cheese - great! Then a Churasca, which turned out to be a thin crust pizza but with local cheese and meat. We topped it off with a brownie with ice cream as the jazz trio began to play. Back at the hotel, we let the meal settle and bedded.

    Tomorrow to the cruise ship.
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  • Day19

    Valparaiso, Chile

    January 22, 2018 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 68 °F

    Wow. This was a handful. Valparaiso was a plethora of color, mouth-watering food smells, graffiti, noise, litter (no, garbage), the most beautiful fruits and vegetables I’ve ever seen, cold mornings, hot afternoons, dogs (everywhere) and a feeling of a place that has multiple layers of life.
    It has been the home of many artists, poets and writers. It is clearly a place that promotes free expression. There is graffiti everywhere that intermittently transitions to beautiful, colorful murals. There are mosaics imbedded in the thousands of stairs that climb from the waterfront up into the neighborhoods that are filled with candy-colored houses. Walking along, you find many artistic expressions that are totally made of recycled or found objects.
    It is a city that has had it’s share of problems. It is in the earthquake zone, which is evident in some of the older, very elegant buildings that now sport crumbling facades. They also suffered some difficult economic times when the Panama Canal opened and they no longer enjoyed the commerce that being a major port for ships coming around Cape Horn brought.
    Valparaiso is also quite near the Casablanca Valley which is one of Chile’s main wine-producing regions.
    We had the opportunity to visit a couple of wineries and do some wine-tasting. One of the wineries said they produced 1,000,000 bottles a year, yet they are considered a boutique winery. The climate here is somewhere between that of California and France which makes it an ideal place for growing grapes.
    Jeff and I also sampled some very typical Chilean foods. Empanadas with shrimp and cheese, a pie that had beef, chicken, black olives, raisins and a cornbread topping, and something called a “completo”. A completo is a hot dog (?) on a bun that has fresh tomatoes, sauerkraut, mayonnaise and avocado. McDonalds came to Valparaiso, but only lasted a year before moving out. Turns out the people liked both the taste and the price of their completo better.
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  • Day60

    Drunk Beach Day

    May 15 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    The weather changed from bitter cold to sweet sunshine all day with a beautiful blue sky.
    So we decided to go to the beach 🏖️

    Mariel and Bugra went first and bought some beers, the rest caught up later with lunch.
    On our way, we bought a tequila bottle and took some cans of soda water with us.

    First we eat our chicken and vegetables at the beach, afterwards the girls went for a quick jump into the (still ass cold) ocean 🌊🌊🌊

    We drank the tequila, watched the sunset and even saw a japanese space station 🤔🙄 (not a 100% sure tho)

    At one moment I was so tipsy that I attacked Mariel. Definetly a bad decision, since she grew up with 2 brothers and knows how to defend herself 😵😂😂😂

    My bad - the beach fight was fun tho 🧡
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  • Day59

    BBQ with dance party

    May 14 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    I like our BBQs outside on the terrace, especially when the weather is nice & the mood is right! 🥳

    Tonight we had delicious meat, prepared by Bugra on the grill and afterwards stayed a little bit on the terrace to talk, dance and drink.

    The cats Luna and Hermano are always around ... these little cuddle balls 😸😸
    Well, Hermano got a wet ass lately, so we kinda keep him on distance 🙄

    It's so cute how in particular Luna tries to sit on our laps, when we sit outside playing Blackjack, Cards Against Humanity or just chat about life in general. 😋
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  • Day63

    Good Bye, Alex

    May 18 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    After more than 2 month together, Alex made the decision to travel back home to Switzerland. 😢

    We all knew that he had to go home ONE DAY, but then just a few days ago at the breakfast table, he announced that it would be today, the 18th of May ... 😵

    The embassy chartered a flight from Santiago to Europe. The next days he planned everything together with the embassy. He asked for busses to go to Santiago and bought a ticket for the bus at 2.15 pm.

    We all had the chance to write or draw something in his travel book/diary. 🧡
    And as a final Good Bye, we gave him a little glass filled with the sand from the beach of VALPARAISO 🏖️

    Around 2 pm, he said Good Bye to everybody and left for his bus to Santiago with the final destination to Switzerland. Btw, his family has no idea that he is coming back already! 😂

    Good Bye Alex and many thanks for the wonderful days together, the laughs, the drinks, the games and your delicious desserts! 😘
    We are gonna miss you here ...
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  • Day109

    Au Revoir, David

    July 3 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    The next of the Muffineros Survivors is leaving: David is flying back to France! 😢

    He will stay one night in the capital Santiago with a friend and then take the plane the next day. First to Sao Paolo in Brazil, then Frankfurt in Germany and afterwards to Paris in France. 🛬
    What a trip! 😳 But I guess that is traveling during Corona 🙄

    As a last good bye, I made a no-bake cake with a strawberry and cookie filling and used chocolate and almonds for the decoration around. 🍪🍫
    Actually I wanted to write something on top, but the chocolate letters didn't get hard enough to remove them from the paper. 🤔
    So I IMPROVISED ☝️ and used some left over Pomegranate seeds to form the word "BYE" instead. Sofia helped me to arrange the seeds with chopsticks. 🥢😁

    After eating the cake, we gathered at the door, where David hold a last speech, gave everyone a big hug (I saw some tears here 😭) and left the hostel with Bugra to go to the bus terminal. 🚌

    We all followed his last steps in Valparaiso from the windows of the MUFFIN Hostel and saw how Bugra said his final goodbye to David. 👋

    It's been some days now, David arrived in France all safe & sound and is probably already planning his next trip 🧭😉👍

    Thank you for the last month together, for the good and bad moments, the help when I messed up a dessert, letting me watch TopChef in french with you and Tristan, the Caramel, the hot chocolate, the delicious dinners, the french class on the terrace, the songs you played on the guitar and much more. 😂😂😂

    Tout le meilleur & prenez soin de vous, David! 😘
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  • Day115

    Au Revoir, Tristan

    July 9 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    The next one of the Frenchis is leaving! 💔
    This morning before 10 am, Tristan left the MUFFIN to travel back to France. 😢

    He left us a note on the board, said goodbye to everone (especially to Sofia 😍) and then started his long travel back (over Frankfurt in Germany).

    He arrived safe and sound at his home and already sent us a picture together with his family, outside in the Garden.

    I hope to see you again one day Tristan, it was a pleasure to meet you, many thanks for all the fun moments together, the good food, also the french classes, the talks and of course our kitchen towel fights!! 😂😂😂
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  • Day116

    Adiós, Sofia!

    July 10 in Chile ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    And today, it was time to say Goodbye and Adiós to Sofia! 😢
    Even tho I know that saying goodbye is always a sad thing, I hope to see Sofia again one day in Mexico! 💃

    Girl, thank you soo much for the wonderful time together at the MUFFIN hostel, the laughs, the tears we shared, the amazing food - Arepas, Gnocchis, Shakshuka, just to name a few! 🤤

    Sofia will first fly to Miami, the same flight that Mariel and I will take next week on our way to the Dominican Republic.
    Then she wants to see her sisters, family and later move to Mexico.
    And since my plan is to go to Mexico too, the chances are really high that we will meet again! ❤️

    Take good care, Amiga 😘
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  • Day114

    Kaits Bday

    July 8 in Chile ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

    Today is Kaits birthday!! 🥳🎂

    First, we all had an American Breakfast together. It was so delicious, with orange juice, different kind of cooked potatoes, bacon and more 🤤

    Later, we all walked to their friends terrace together. We had to walk in small groups though, because Valparaiso still has a lock down. 🤫

    Don't make me mention the stairs ... Omg 😂
    They were uneven, partly broken and I don't know how many steps I had to make to reach their house and terrace! 🥵

    But it was definetly worth it! ❤️ The view over Valparaiso from up there is so amazing. You can not even put it in words. Too bad we didn't went there before. 🙈

    We brought drinks, some snacks and later that night had a fire, the party lastet a looong time, until we had to return to the hostel. 🥳

    There is a lock down, but you can still leave the house during the day to get like food or medicine. However, after 10 is a No Go and we did not wanted to get caught by the police or military!!

    Kait enjoyed that day and so did we!! Thank you for this special moment and everything we have been through together here!! 😘❤️
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  • Day97

    Roof Top Party

    June 21 in Chile ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    We started the Sunday Funday at 4.30 pm already with a nice afternoon cocktail! 🥃

    Later that day, we could convince Bugra to go on the roof! 🤓
    It is not so safe, but we promised to be really careful and keep our drinks on the terrace!
    And it's Southamerica ... what is safe here anyways?! 🤷🏼‍♀️

    One person was holding the ladder and then the another person could climb up.

    I was the last and took Tristans phone and a speaker with me. So the party could continue on THE ROOF!! 🥳🥳🥳

    Afterwards, we ordered chicken at KFC, because Schmariel Mariel was too lazy to prepare the Pumpkin Soup and this kind of food fits better to being drunk anyways ... 😍😋🍗
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Valparaíso, Valparaiso, Валпараисо, ቫልፓራይሶ, فالبارايسو, ܒܐܠܦܐܪܐܝܣܘ, वालपाराईसो, Горад Вальпараіса, ভালপারাইসো, བལྤ་རཨིསོ, Wǎěr pà lái suǒ, Dakbayan sa Valparaíso, ڤالپارایسۆ, ވަލޕަރައިސޮ, Βαλπαραΐσο, والپارایزو, 瓦尔帕莱索, વાલ્પારાઇસો, ולפראיסו, Վալպարաիսո, ᕙᓪᐸᕃᓱ, バルパライソ, ვალპარაისო, 발파라이소, Вальпараисо, Vallis Paradisi, Valparaisas, 瓦爾帕萊索, വൽപറാസിയോ, बाल्परेझो, Balparaiso, ဗလၲပရမိစော, والپرایزو, Valparais, वालपारैसो, ବଲ୍ପରଇ େସା, ਬਾਲਪਰਾਈਸੋ, والپرائیسو, Valparaėsos, වල්පරයිසෝ, வல்பெய்ரசோவ், వల్పరైజో, บัลปาราอีโซ, Вальпараїсо, بآلپارایسو, Valparayso, וואלפאראיסא

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