Back to Santiago, Valdivia and Valparaíso in the central parts of Chile for the last two weeks before the long way home from South America.
This article is part of a travelogue from of a five month journey in 1987-1988 to several countries in South America: Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile.
Tuesday 09.02.1988, Puerto Montt – Valdivia
The bus took much longer than expected, 4.5 hrs, but we did arrive in Valdivia and were met by some girls who took us to:
- Private house, Calle Beauchef 684. Very nice and alright, but with a long queue to the bathroom in the morning. 1600 including breakfast. Map.
We spent the rest of the day walking around in the city centre. It was nice down by the river. Warm. I forgot to mention that we in Angelmó this morning paid 3600 pesos each for sweaters (14.4 USD).
Wednesday 10.02.1988, Valdivia
We took a boat down the Valdivia River to Corral by the sea (200 p, 1.5 hrs each way). It was alright but the fine weather yesterday was not with us today and we had to let go of our swimming plans.
We bought tickets on a night bus to Santiago tomorrow night (2000 pesos, 8 USD).
This evening we had pizza and wine and more wine. It was great.
Thursday 11.02.1988, Valdivia
We were able to leave our bags in the hostel for the day and went out to explore the town. It is a pleasant place with an active plaza life – particularly in the evenings. It is really nice by the river, with a market and boats.
The museum on the other side was better than expected and the university was spread out on a large, green campus in several small one-storey bungalows. Dead.
Dino’s cafees in southern Chile has very good cakes.
The bus this evening left on time.
Friday 12.02.1988, Santiago
This was a day when everything went smoothly. We slept quite well on a good bus (Lit) with excellent service. We arrived after 11.5 hours and took the metro to
- Hotel Indiana again, and had a good double bed and shower for 1600.
We exchanged more money at the Amex office. At the post office there was a letter waiting for me and six letters for Bo. The Scandinavian Airlines office swiftly reconfirmed our booking, and we exchanged even more money on the street this evening.
Bo called the parents of a Chilean friend living in Europe and agreed to meet them on Sunday morning.
Saturday 13.02.1988, Santiago
We got up late and walked around in the shopping streets of the capital. We will rather do our shopping when we return next weekend after a week’s swimming holiday in Valparaíso.
I had a haircut for 700 pesos.
Sunday 14.02.1988, Santiago – Talagante
Today we had a nice day. The parents of Bo’s friend picked us up on the plaza and drove us the 40 km to their home in Talagante, a small town to the south-west. They were very hospitable and nice.
Together with a son and a couple of relatives we had both lunch and cena (afternoon meal) served by their two servants in a great villa with a large garden.
We swam in the swimming pool and had a good time. Our knowledge of Spanish is however not the best, but it went well. The discussion/conversation was mostly about differences between our two countries.
When we left, late in the evening, we were offered three bottles of wine and a bottle of pisco! Earlier they had given us a knitted hat, scarf and silver plated spoon from Chile.
Strangely we had to take a bus back to Santiago, but there was nothing wrong about that.
Monday 15.02.1988, Santiago – Valparaíso
On the move again – this time to sun, summer and bathing on the coast. We left some of our growing luggage at the Indiana and took a bus to Valparaíso (2 hrs, 800 pesos return). We had a shock: Cloudy and a little rain.
- Residencial Hotel Capric near the bus terminal at Chacabuco 1192. We paid 1800 for a double bed, private bath and toilet, down from 2500. Okey, ordinary.
We went for a little round of the central streets. There were several plazas and a couple of artesania places. We bought some stones, lapis lazuli, only to be found in Chile and Afghanistan.
Valparaíso is situated in a kind of pot at the coast with populated hillsides behind it. There are elevators leading up the hillsides and we saw several pleasant streets. There were fine view both towards Viña and impoverished areas. This must be the town in Chile with the most Chinese restaurants. That may be natural considering the size of the city’s harbour.
Tuesday 16.02.1988, Valparaíso
This is another cloudy day but we will have to make the best of it and we therefore took a bus north on the coast to Horcón (220 p; 1.5-2 hrs).
It was an interesting trip through several small towns and Viña del Mar. Horcón is a little place set inside a small bay, with fishermen, seagulls, pelicans and a lot of tourists. We had fish for lunch and collected some shells before lying down a little on the beach, without any sun.
Wednesday 17.02.1988, Valparaíso
Bathing vacation and a tan before we get home? Forget it. We jumped on one of the frequent buses toViña where everything is about the music festival coming up. The town has modern streets in the centre and a lot of people.
Back in Valparaíso we went to a cinema, a film about Woodstock. It was well made, but of poor quality.
Along Av. Argentina there was a huge fruit and vegetable market. Cheap and good stuff. Unfortunately we have no private house here to cook in.
Thursday 18.02.1988, Valparaíso
Another grey day. We walked the streets of Viña. On a market in Valparaíso we bought some more things to bring home.
Friday 19.02.1988, Valparaíso – Santiago
Without having experienced the expected swimming holiday we took a bus back to Santiago and found the sun as warm as ever. We checked in at the
- Hotel Indiana once more.
The afternoon was spent doing our last shopping and exchanging money for the last time. We had a celebration with parrillada and good wine in our room afterwards.
Saturday 20.02.1988, Santiago
Our last whole day in Chile with even more shopping.
We saw Full Metal Jacket by Kubrick on a morning cinema. Good. 300 pesos.
Sunday 21.02.1988 to Monday 22.02.1988, Santiago – Stavanger
Home. After having watched a quite impressive changing of the guards in front of La Moneda, we took a bus (220 p, 30 mins) to the airport, paid 12.5 USD in tax and entered the Varig plane to Rio, via Montevideo.
In Rio we changed to a SAS plane to Kastrup airport in Copenhagen. The food and drinks were good. Refueling in Lisbon we struck a strike and were so delayed to Copenhagen that we missed our plane to Stavanger. A further mess brought us to Oslo and Kristiansand until we finally landed on Sola airport outside Stavanger, 26 hours after the departure from Santiago and four hours behind schedule. We were met by my sister.
Even though we have been thinking of returning home for quite some time now, the actual home-coming was not the big thing.
But the bed was good and so was the milk.
The next chapter: Finally in this diary from Chile I will, as before, try to write down a few summarising views and impressions from what we experienced during our 43 days in Chile.
Click to read the introduction to this journey
Click to view a full screen map of the journey