Friday, January 27, 2017

More of Colorful Valparaiso.


After our sidewalk street lunch, we made our way towards the Artilleria ascensor station. Our walk took us along a familiar path as it was the same route that Aida had taken us on earlier this morning.


We passed by this huge work of street art on our bus ride up the hill and now, walking past it on  foot, I could stop to better admire it.  The piece, titled “Injusticia” (“Injustice”) is a collaborative piece by Pedro Uilli, Ha Crew, and CuellIimangui.  The piece was painted in 2012 as criticism of a the Hinzpeter Law (named after its author, Rodrigo Hinzpeter) which aimed to raise punishment, jail time and harsh treatment of protesters.  The law was ultimately rejected by the Chilean Congress in December 2013 but the mural remains as a reminder of the dissent of the people.


Bro had gotten a map of the city from the office at Tours4Tips so he was in charge of getting us to the Artilleria ascensor.  I had no idea what to look for exactly so we just followed the line of the tracks down to this little red building which turned out to be the station.

Following Jeffrey's advice, the plan was to take the 100 peso ride up and then walk back down via the steps.

Not much to see at Artilerria but it was fun riding up the old, crickety funicular.


Although there were only 4 of us inside the cabin, it strained to get us to the top. So old but a fun ride.


I moved about the car to take some photos as we made our way up the steep hill.





The big flywheel that pulls the car up the hill.

At the top of the hill was a nice overlook area where a few vendors had set up stalls to sell souvenirs and handicrafts to passers by.  The view of the water was basically of the working port so it really wasn't a pretty view.  For us Artilleria turned out to be a nice place for a quick rest.  In hindsight, we should have eaten our lunch here!






Sticking to our plan, we decided to walk down the hill.  First we had to find the steps and that had us walking around for a bit.


Of course, if we had paid more attention, we would have noticed the stairs as we entered the station below - they are literally right next to the track!


From Artilleria, we took the streets to cross over the hill to where the El Peral ascensor is located.  I enjoy walking the back streets and seeing the hood so I wasn't really in a rush to get to El Peral.



There were more wonderful works of street art to be admired.  I particularly liked this one. 


A work in progress.


Finding the El Peral station was even more of a challenge as we could not see the tracks from the street level.  Eventually we saw a sign and we entered what looked like any other building on a city street.  Inside the station had a very old timey feel to it despite the fact that El Peral is one of the newer funiculars.

The old turnstile at El Peral.

Unlike the crickety ascensor at Artilleria , the modern one at El Peral made it smoothly up the hill.  But.....I enjoyed the slow ride at Artilleria more.


At the top of El Peral is another overlook as well as the Museum of Fine Arts.  There was a entrance fee for the Museum.  We decided to not go as I think both of us much preferred to just walk the streets.  It was a warm day but not so hot that we could not enjoy being outdoors.

From El Peral, we had a view back over to Artilleria.  On top of Artilleria stands the Naval and Maritime Museum.




There was a vendor selling charming wood pieces that are obviously influenced by the buildings in Valparaiso.  I was so tempted to get one.

From El Peral, we attempted to follow a walking route that was described in the Rough Guides book that Bro had. I don't know that we did the route exactly but the stretch that we did take took us past some very colorful homes decorated with beautiful homes.  We also passed by this huge building which from an architectural design perspective, stood out like a sort thumb. Today, it's part of the Fine Arts Museum but originally, it was the residence of a Croatian businessman named Pascual Baburizza.  The mansion was built in 1916 by Italian architects and is described as an art nouveau chalet.




My eyes fell on this bird and I had to take the photo. Clumsy me though. The moment I finished taking the photo, I turned around to walk and must not have noticed the step. I took a tumble, cracking the lens hood for my camera as well as the UV filter. Thankfully, both the camera and lens were undamaged. I also tore a hole in my REI travel pants which are a pair that I absolutely love. I'm bummed about that but hopefully, REI still sells them and I can get a replacement pair when I get home. Other than the hole, the pants are still wearable so I will continue to wear them on this trip. Most important, I did not not sprain or break anything in the fall. For a brief second, I feared reinjuring my left ankle which I sprained in Bangkok in Feb 2016 and stressed so badly in Baku in April 2016 that it needed to be in a cast. Sheesh, what a klutz I am.


But I soldiered on, distracted by all the marvelous works of street art all around me.  If I ever come back to Valparaiso, I'm just going to spend the day wandering the neighborhoods to take photos of the art.


The Lonely Planet path led us down a very narrow alleyway where vibrant street art decorated every inch of wall space.  Unfortunately, the crack in my filter resulted in an unwanted streak of light in my photos.  I tried to rotate the filter as best I could to eliminate the streak.  Thankfully, I brought a spare filter with me.  But I would highly recommend taking the Lonely Planet route as it does take you through a really lovely neighborhood.




I don't know if we stayed on the Lonely Planet path the entire way down the hill but we eventually made it back down to the main street where we knew we could catch the bus back to Rodaviario Terminal.  Surprisingly, I had spent so much time focusing on the incredible street art in the city that I completely ignored the graffiti, that is until I saw this wall.  It's ugly yet interesting at the same time.  Personally,  I prefer street art though I've seen works that blur the line between the two genres. By the way, if you want to know what the difference is between graffiti and street art, this article provides some explanation.


We sat on some steps for a short rest our feet for a bit and while we were there, we had at least one local person walk by to either point to my camera (the thief magnate) or to tell us that where we were sitting was not safe.  My brother and I both commented that our security radars must not be working because throughout this entire day, neither of us have felt like we were in any sort of   danger.  But I was not about to take any chances with  my camera and since I was pretty much done with taking photos of the day, I put it back in my backpack.  I hate this feeling of insecurity and I hope it's not going to be like this for the remainder of our time in Chile.....that will truly suck!   

After we did our own walk around the city, we caught the local bus back to the Rodaviario Terminal to catch the Turbus bus back to Santiago. We had exactly the same modern bus to ride in. Super comfy. We were both tired so again, after a few minutes of chatting, we both took a nap.


I woke up somewhere on the outskirts of Santiago. We arrived back into Terminal Alameda around 6:30p, the height of rush hour. Uber was going to cost us somewhere around 4500 pesos. We decided to use the metro instead. For 740 pesos each, we took the train from the Universidad de Santiago station to the La Moneda station. It's a single price no matter how many stops you go. Even with that, I think the metro is expensive for many people as local bus costs a fraction of that. In Valparaiso, our ride cost just 280 pesos each. The metro station was clean and modern and although it was rush hour, it was busy but not really packed with people. The train itself was also very modern. From the La Moneda station, it was about a 20 minute walk back to the apartment.




We relaxed for a few minutes before heading back out for dinner. We returned to the same Peruvian restaurant, Los Tresores del Inca, that we ate at last night. Yes, for me Peruvian food is tastier than Chilean cuisine so while I can enjoy it, I will. I had the beef brochettes and Bro had the arroz con mariscos. Bro ate up all his meal but I had one skewer left which I will turn into breakfast for tomorrow.

My brochettes on the left, Bro's seafood rice on the right.

After dinner, we made a quick stop to the local supermarket to pick up some eggs, yogurt and bread for breakfast. Then it was time to take a shower and do a bit of laundry. It's been a long day and I am tired. Tomorrow, we are hanging around the city so we get to sleep in and then have a relaxing day.

Goodnight from Santiago!