After crossing the Andes mountains and avoiding a 200 dollar fine for smuggling a banana into the country I found myself in the house of an old friend Ivan Antivilo Videla. The Videla family graciously invited me into their home where I have been staying for the last week or so. They also made the mistake of saying I could eat whatever I wanted in the kitchen. Actually I am not even sure that they said that, but regardless I have been eating a lot. And sleeping a lot. I did not realize how tired I had been from BA and from travelling Mendoza, during the first couple days in Chile, about half the time was spent in bed.
Viña del Mar is the fourth largest city in Chile with a population similar to Milwaukee. It is about two hours from Santiago de Chile and about 20 minutes from Valparaiso. The long stretches of beach attract many people, but at this time of the year it is not so populated. The water is bone chillingly cold. It could be refreshing if autumn was not already well settled in. It is also known as the Ciudad Jardin or Garden City for the many well tended parks and gardens.
Valparaiso, a short busride from Viña is a busy port city in a bay area. Hills encircle the bay lifting up up and away from sea level. The area of immediately surrounding the port is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On these large and numerous hills things get colorful. Literally. I have never seen a city as colorful as Valparaiso. Thousands of enormous street art works fill the walls. Houses and apartment walls fill all ends of the rainbow. That combined with miles of narrow stairwells and cobbled streets make it a good place to spend hours walking.
A change is once again coming. The journey north, to the final destination: Peru. The final goal: WWOOFing. My leisure days of school in BA are long past, as are the intense leisure of Chile. Friday I move from Santiago to Arica, which is still in Chile, but on the border. From there I will make it to Cusco, and from Cusco to the farm. By Monday I should be settled in. It is time to get the hands dirty, and remind myself what hard work is. It is time to clear the head even more, and live without some of the things I percieve as necesities (internet, electricity, hot showers).
I will update as often as I can, so be sure to tune in. Peace and love to all corners of this beautiful world. Thank you so much Videla family, it has been an amazing few weeks.