03 November, 2012

Day 117, 420km: To Valparaiso

There aren't many cities I knew of in Chile before I arrived here. I think I could probably name two only. Santiago and Valparaiso. Why Valparaiso? Well I have no idea. Wikipedia puts it best.

 [Valparaiso] is an increasingly important cultural center in the Southwest Pacific hemisphere[citation needed]
Citation needed indeed. I have no idea why but this description is precisely what I had in mind regarding Valparaiso. I kind of recall watching an episode of the French TV documentary Thalassa on Valparaiso. (Thalassa is awesome) A search on Google, Thalassa and INA.fr has left me wondering even more where I heard about Valparaiso.

So anyway that was my destination for the day.

The day started on a boring, windy highway
Did you know that GDF Suez does wind energy too?
Impressive scale of the parque eolico!
The coast's highway was luckily offering pretty cool views of the shore.

Cool rest area
After a couple hours of boredom, there was finally a side road that would take me to Valparaiso via the countryside, then along the shore.

Great to be back on small roads
 That was a very welcome change. Since I entered Chile in Arica (northernmost city) ten days ago there wasn't many cities, which meant there wasn't many roads, which meant mostly highways. Being into the countryside again, with its succession of small towns and mesh of cute little roads like the one above was very refreshing.

Beautiful coastal towns
 The coast from Papuda to Valparaiso is incredibly beautiful. It reminded me of northern California or France's brittany.
Beautiful houses along the way
And these houses get a pretty nice view, too
After an hour of this beautiful coast road, I arrived in Valparaiso. There's a city before that called Vina del Mar. Both of them are pretty big towns and I have to say that being on the 4 lane highway entering the town alongside the railway I wished I had stopped earlier.

Valparaiso's old town
 Well hopefully Valparaiso turned out to be beautiful!

Mirador de something
Hotel bar restaurant!
There was a great view from this place. I was in a good mood, excited when I realized that I had almost made it all the way down to Santiago, Chile from Vancouver, Canada.
So I decided to celebrate, and spent the evening enjoying the view. Joined a Chilean couple to have dinner with them (you know the obnoxious guy that ruins your evening? - I'm kidding, we had fun!) and went to bed  without any difficulty...!

Cheers,
Guillaume

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