Valparaiso – Beauty With the Beasts

Valparaiso – Beauty With the Beasts

IMG_2001 IMG_2066 IMG_2099 IMG_2084There have seen so many amazing things on this Chilean adventure, I don’t know where to begin.  We arrived in Santiago, on December 2, after a long, and quite bumpy plane ride. This was my first time flying in business class – what a wonderful way to travel! The city instantly welcomed us into its daily swells. We stayed in the lovely Matilda Hotel in barrio Lastarria. A definite find in a wonderful setting. My only regret is that we didn’t stay here longer.

We then ventured outside the city in our own rented car for several days. Valparaiso, along the coast, was both incredibly inspiring and deeply moving to witness.  Beautiful murals adorn the many steep and windy streets. We found lovely pathways and staircases amidst narrow alleyways to discover small treasure lands.  Sadly stray dogs lie about like lost souls often times sleeping between fast-paced pedestrian highways and suicidal taxi tracks, swerving in the streets yet incredibly capable of survival despite the serious hazards.  These creatures bore all kinds of diseases and grime – quite sad indeed.  Some nights when I lay down, I am haunted by these forlorn faces, the unlucky animals, the forgotten ones of the city.

The Valparaiso streets left many impressions on me. A luxurious Western style restaurant, residing high up on the hill, overlooking the ships on the Pacific Ocean, offered a peaceful respite from the many sensorial assaults along the streets. Meanwhile, locals dined in the dilapidated shacks beneath us, a harsh reality to keep in mind.

We witnessed a neighborhood fire, where teen males quickly emptied out a woman’s tiny house onto the street…everything including her refrigerator. Meanwhile, people stood by watching the billowing smoke envelope the entire barrio. After four days in the Puerto Natura hotel, I was ready to push on.





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