Valparaiso (3)

Tuesday 10/04

By Ludivine:

The day starts off by a great breakfast full of fruit and cereals then we get ready and head out to the fish market which we went to by a local bus. The fish market was closed but we went on a beach nearby where some fishermen were feeding the sea lions and we got close to them and it was incredible! When dad got too close to one of them to take a picture he started chasing him for a few meters 😂. On the beach there were also a lot of seagulls and brown pelicans. After that we walked on the “corniche” and at the end we saw a broken bridge or something in the sea with more sea lions on it and we saw them struggle to get up on it and some even pushing others off it. Then, we went to the fruit and vegetables market where we bought fruits and vegetables for our salad so right after we went back to the apartment with the same local bus we took to go there. At the apartment we made our salad then worked just 20 minutes the time to do a spelling test and some French grammar then mom, dad, and I, went on an “anti-tour” around Valparaiso which didn’t turn out too great but wasn’t too bad you know what I mean? The guy was often on his phone but it was a good local experience where we saw many nice things that aren’t in the guidebooks. Jules and Florence stayed at the apartment and poor Florence was sick. By the time we finished it was 7:30pm and dad went to get some pizza while mom and I went back to the apartment. Then 10 minutes later he came back with good pizzas that we all enjoyed. Finally after dinner we took our showers and got ready for bed then read a little and lastly, slept. Thanks for reading today’s summary by me!


By me:

We wake up at 8am. Florence feels sick this morning.

After a good breakfast, we go and visit the town; we want to enjoy the good weather.

We take the small bus in front of our apartment, to Caleta Portales. I’m always impressed how Isabelle manages to find the right bus to go exactly where we want to go. The place is at the outskirts of the city, on the way to Viña del Mar. It is apparently the place of the fish market but we can’t see much fish today (we don’t understand exactly why but it’s apparently linked to the weather; the fishermen didn’t go fishing today). But we see sea lions in the water. We go on the beach to see them from closer. There are at least 15 of them, waiting for fish from the fishermen. A few of these impressive sea lions come onshore, on the beach, to ask the fishermen for some fish. The 2-3 fishermen cleaning the fish (squid or octopus) give them some parts. I try to get closer to them for a picture in the sun but the dominant male doesn’t really agree… He’s quite impressive.

We walk along the beach and then along the ‘corniche’, back to Valparaiso. We see another spot full of sea lions.

We go to the Mercado Cardonal, where we buy some fruits and vegetables for lunch. We take a minibus to go back home where we prepare a good salad. It’s already nearly 3pm when we finish.

Kids work a bit with Isabelle.

At 4:15pm, Isabelle, Ludivine and I go to our appointment with Gonzalo, our local “guide” for an “antitour”. We saw an ad for this “antitour” while eating at Café Vinilo. I booked it after an exchange of messages on FB Messenger with Gonzalo (who is a chef). We are a bit surprised at the beginning because we do the tour in his car (I thought it was a walking tour) and he mostly speaks in Spanish… But it is nice to see the different hills of Valparaíso in a short time; it would take very long to do it on foot or by bus. It is also good to see places that we normally wouldn’t see, such as restoration sites, spectacular views, quiet neighborhoods…

His passion for his city is infectious, and we feel privileged to be given a deep appreciation of a unique city. The tour is authentic, individual, not touristic at all. This tour helped us to know Valparaiso in a way that would not be possible on our own (Isabelle would not have agreed to rent a car in this city of narrow, steep and windy roads anyway…). Gonzalo navigates the canyons and hills expertly and shows us neighbourhoods that we could not have explored on foot. We make various stops and get out of his car so he can point out special things (mainly murals). Gonzalo is passionate about renovating and reusing old buildings, so he shows us various examples of what he considers good new architecture and not good, and we talk about the societal implications of the less-good development. During the 19th century, an influx of European immigrants left their mark on the city’s architecture. At the end of the tour, we stopped at a very old shop to eat the “best empanadas of Chile” (with meat, onions, eggs…). Another advantage to be with someone who knows the place very well is that he knows how to find alternate roads when stuck in traffic jams…

We came back at Café Vinilo around 7:30pm. Gonzalo recommends me a good place nearby for pizzas. I go there while Ludivine and Isabelle go back home. I take away 3 margherita pizzas, which I bring home. Jules and Florence are hungry.

I work till 1:30am.

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