Valparaíso is a place i’d wanted to come back to since i was here in 2013. I didn’t have enough time or the good weather to truly appreciate the beauty of the city. My mistakes last time were that I wandered around the port district on a Sunday in bad weather. Sure i did stay on top of one of the prettiest hills Cerro Concepción, but a lack of research on my part meant i didn’t get to fullt appreciate the city.
So this time, I took the almost proven to be useful free walking tour. I’ve done these in many cities and they’ve all yielded lots of good info and this walking tour of Valparaíso was no different. It was our guide Nicoles first time doing a Cerro47 Free walking tour, but her knowledge of the city was excellent, her concern for her lack of english was very humble, but her english was way better than my spanish!
We explored an artistic gallery that was really a memorial to the victims of the 2019 riots, where police shot people in the eyes. Given it is so recent it also takes a greater prominence in young chileans minds who never lived under Pinochets regime. Hopefully some good will come, but we know what politicians are like and they are very similar all over the world.
Our guide also took us up Cerro Cordillera, a hill that is not touristy and the locals kept warning us to put the camera away and be safe. It was very much a different experience to the more touristy hills, yet still had the brightly coloured houses and street art that Valparaiso is famous for. I also explored the more popular hills of Cerro Concepción and Cerro Alegre, but the information from our guide on the city was invaluable and her insights on Chilean politics was greatly appreciated. She had no qualms about sharing her view of the issue Chileans face.
Of course a few days of wandering the streets of Valparaíso is a great way to spend time, but nothing is more exciting than to see my antarctica expedition ship pull into the harbour this morning. The weather has gone from sunshine to overcast, yet through the mist the MS Roald Amundsen is here a nd everyone is excited, the entré was great but we came for the mains.
A view of Cerro Concepción from Cerro Alegre