Hitting the streets of Valpo and Viño

by CameronM Wed, March 22 2006 23:23

Today was the 'work' day of the trip to Viño and after breakfast we headed to the beach in pairs, armed with tracts and information booklets (all in Spanish of course). I had read through a few of the story booklets and tried to understand the contents of them, with titles like 'Pepe is Bad' and 'The Contract', I wanted to make sure I wasn't handing out complete rubbish.

Down on the beach, I teamed up with Spanish speaking Yerko and was relieved when he asked me to simply speak in English when we approached the people, so that it would get there attention and he could then speak to them about their beliefs.

We had quite a long talk to an elderly lady and then handed out a few more tracts before heading to the meeting place. From there, we were able to see one man reading the information Yerko gave him and after a time, Yerko went to speak to him. He turned out to be a Christian struggling with some issues, so it was great Yerko could talk to him and encourage him.

For lunch we headed into Valparaiso for a typical Chilean meal, which consisted of a layer a fries, a layer of onion and topped with a layer of diced beef. You could feel your arteries clogging just looking at it. It was everything you shouldn't eat, but actually tasted pretty nice, although I would have liked some ketchup to give it more flavour.

Back on the street and wanting to burn off some of the meal, we hit the hills of Valpo. We were lucky to see two massive cruise ships in the harbour, one of them the massive Queen Mary 2. From the hills, you were almost at eye level with the top of the ship, which I guessed was taller than the 8-10 storey buildings around the port.

Late in the afternoon we boarded our bus back to Santiago and a well deserved rest. We were all tired and a little sunburnt, but I think we all had a great time.

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by CameronM Sat, March 11 2006 22:45

We left Santiago and headed towards to the coast, port city of Valparaíso (Valpo for short). The journey is only 1 hour 15 minutes and on very nice buses, so I caught up on a few z's that I had missed out on the night before.

The Chilean's were swearing in their first femail president at the Congress building located in Valpo, so we were expecting a huge turn out. The Chilean's aren't obviously as keen about politics as my American friends, as there were only a few thousand people lining the streets. This meant that at least we had a good view as both the old and new presidents drove past our vantage point.

Valpo is also famous for it's 23 hills which ring the city and are a maze of streets and houses built overlooking the bay. We walked around for what seemed like hours, no doubt because my feet and legs were still tired from the long walk the night before.

It was handy to have a Spanish teacher in our group, as Chile is not the place to come if you don't at least have some Spanish language skills. We managed well and were able to get across most of what we wanted/needed.

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