Valparaiso

The track. You’ll notice I took a couple of wrong turns. Santiago must have put me to sleep
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Before the Panama Canal was opened in 1914 Valparaiso was the major shipping port on the west coast of South America. Then it went bust.

I saw on the Business Insider site recently that Valparaiso is one of the 25 most serious partying towns in the world. Here’s part of what they said
” The views are gorgeous and the homes and bars extremely colorful. Plus, they drink in a very particular way: “A mixed drink here is five to twelve ounces of liquor poured into a glass and served with a bottle of soda. Mix as you like.”

But guess what, Whistler also made the top 25 list. Here’s what they said, exactly
“With the right snow conditions, Whistler is all time during the day, and then at night turns into a fucking hot mess of beautiful people with goggle tans and Volcom V-necks.” 

Other than partying Valparaiso is famous for graffiti. Here’s a tour of Valparaiso’s four main graffiti’d hills, Cerros Bellavista, Alegre, Conception and Cordillera. The hills are steep
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There’s a network of ascendors, some like this
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Some super-steep like this
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A quick tour
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… yup a moose…
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Very colorful. But isn’t graffiti a flag of discontent? Not here – it was completely free of social or political content.  Not exactly Bogota, where the graffiti was extreme.

Then there’s the waterfront
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I’ll save you guys the trouble of importing the last pic to iPhoto and cropping – here you go
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It’s a beautiful coastline
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It’s about half industrial
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Right above, the town mostly looks like this
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And in between
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There’s a big difference between flip-flopping and changing one’s mind, depending on who’s doing it. So despite generalizations I made about Santiago, Valparaiso is nowhere the same safe place – it has an edge, like most big ports. Just not the graffiti.

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