I’m sitting in our hotel in Valparaiso, and out my window I can see our ship, MS Roald Amundsen, sitting at the dock. In a few hours we board, and at 6 pm we head south towards Patagonia and Antarctica. Very exciting!
Because I’ll be aboard with spotty email at best, posts from me will probably be light or nonexistent, though Matthew has kindly agreed to keep the site going with Hili dialogues. I’ll post later today reminding readers to hold off with tips and emails until the beginning of December. In the meantime, I must rush to post this before it’s anchors aweigh.
The curfew in Valparaiso (and I believe Santiago) has been lifted, so things will slowly be returning to a less disrupted state, though protests will continue. One sign of the calm is that the revolutionary slogans are being painted over:
Store grates are being reinforced with steel bars:
But signs of the revolution remain:
In a plaza several days ago, protestors were dancing, playing instruments and chanting. Somebody please translate the sign held up below by one woman:
A friendly bar in the market. As far as I can see, beer is sold only by the liter; it costs a little less than three dollars.
I was told by Google that Cristal is a good Chilean beer, so we ordered it.
Our kindly neighbor demonstrates how to squeeze lemon into the beer. (He had several in his daypack, and asked the bartender to cut one up for us.) He was very sweet.
Citrus on sale “The best”. About one US dollar for a kilo.
The Chile dogs (get it?) are treated, as are all stray animals, very kindly. Here’s one gnawing on a bone from the butcher.
The edifice of the newspaper El Mercurio de Valparaíso: the world’s oldest continuously circulating periodical, published under the same name, in Spanish language. It was founded on September 12th, 1827. The building was apparently built in 1918, but looks older. This building was set on fire on October 19. Fortunately, damage was limited to the first floor.
The first issue of the newspaper:
Here’s a two-minute video of a ride up on of the eight or so funiculars operating in Valparaiso. They date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and look their age. There are about eight of them still operating, and they’ve been declared national monuments. First, though, a photo from the outside:
From the inside:
. . . and the ride. Be sure to see the winch and cable at the end:
And the lovely old turnstile (trip cost: 300 pesos, or about 41¢).
Another “acensor” dating from 1886:
Some of the many bottles of water and trays of food that the locals leave for the cats and dogs:
Two Chile dogs; this looks like a “perro viejo”:
Almost every stray or feral dog is in good shape, and well fed. As I mentioned the other day, two of them refused to eat a piece of a meat-filled empanada! WTF?
The port and city of Valparaiso:
A neighborhood on top of a hill, with the usual colorful buildings:
. . . and a mural:
Gatos de Valparaiso, most in good shape:
Here I am fondling a lovely female (the one above), who had one green eye and one blue one:
Local cats eating the food left for them:
A local held up his cat for us and told us she was named “Patty” (or “Paddy”)
Our last supper (or lunch, as there was a curfew) was at the wonderful restaurant Tres Peces.
The inside; not fancy but promising a surfeit of tasty fish dishes:
Bread and a salsa to start:
Ostiones de Tongoy a la Parmesana: five locally caught scallops served with cheese.
A complementary smoked fish appetizer, given to us for waiting patiently for a table:
Breca a la lata con papas, chorizo, y verduras. “Breca” refers to the common pandora (Pagellus erythrinus), described by Wikipedia as “a fish of the Sparidae family (sea bream)”. . . and “a popular food fish in Mediterranean countries, with delicate white flesh.” It was stewed with cream, tomatoes, potatoes, greens, and sausage, and was fantastic.
Merluza Austral frita con ensalada chilena y arroz; the species is Merluccius australis, or the Southern hake. It was a delicious fried fish, served with rice and “chilean salad”, which seems to be tomatoes and onions. All the fish was absolutely fresh, locally sourced, and scrumptious:
And finally, what must be numbered among the best (and biggest!) of desserts I’ve ever eaten, called simply “profiterol” (“creampuff”). It was big enough for two, and consisted of a pastry shell, covered with chocolate, and enclosing, from the top down, layers of whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, and raspberry puree. A spun-sugar crown tops it off. This was only about $6, and could match, in quality and taste, any dessert I’ve ever had in a restaurant in France.
And so we’re off in half an hour. See you whenever!