Cerro Concepcion and the neighboring Cerro Alegre are probably the most popular cerros in Valparaiso. Walking tours always cover this area. I had already gone there once a few weeks back for my graffiti tour, and I liked it so much I went there a second time. (click to go to read and see photos from my graffiti tour.)
After, she wanted to check out Hotel Fauna and sit there and watch the sunset. A friend had recommended its roof deck bar overlooking Cerro Concepcion/ Alegre. We chilled and sat while debating what to do when our other friend H arrives. We had told H to meet us on a street near the hotel bar, but since M wanted to go sit much earlier, we now have the problem of not knowing how to contact him that we had changed our meeting place. His phone doesn’t have a data plan, and neither of us were particularly enthused with the idea of trekking downhill again.
We scanned the street every few minutes. Then M muttered, “oh God, the people on the table next to us are Brazilians. They’re everywhere.” M said they tend to want to chat you up once they know you’re also from Brazil, especially when you’re in a foreign country.
20 minutes passed, we see H walking with his distinctive gray jacket and Salesforce backpack. We needed to shout from the balcony but had to wait for a strategic moment, lest the Hotel Fauna staff kick us out for being foul. The moment came and I yelled, “H—-n!” He looked up, waved, then disappeared.
A few tense moments between M and I when we wondered where H could have gone, surely he didn’t just stand in the same spot waiting for us to go fetch him. M said, we gave him the “come up” wave, surely he understood that. And yet we don’t see him walking up the steps towards the entrance on Paseo Dimalow. Suddenly H popped up beside our table, turns out there was a hidden front door.
After they had beers and I had ice cream, we proceeded to Casa Cerveceria Altamira, a craft beer joint, for hipster beer and hamburgers. Both were very good.
Ah, we got a little lost heading downhill from Hotel Fauna to the beer place, and we circled the little park with a slide leading down from Hotel Fauna twice. Same park with the Un Color Distinto graffiti (insert link here). We eventually found the correct hllside stairs, and by then it was nightfall. Some locals were chilling on the steps, and we could smell the distinctive aroma of weed wafting up toward us.
We capped off the night with some dancing at Mascara Pub, which was neither a pub, nor a club, despite its claims. It was a two room night spot above a sandwich shop. The vibe was chill, the crowd skewed older, thank God, I didn’t feel like I was in a place where everyone is 22 and under. The music was wildly schizophrenic, swinging from metal to third-wave punk pop, to 80s new wave, to EDM. I hate EDM. I requested the DJ to play a little hip hop, but he shook his head.
A poster in front of the entrance fee cashier claimed that that night was Madonna Night, but not a single tune from The Queen of Pop materialized. Hopeful, M and I soldiered on through the EDM (H loved it though), alas, when it hit 2:00 AM and it seems like we won’t be hearing Papa Don’t Preach or Material Girl, we grabbed a cab and went back to sleepy Renaca.
The cab driver’s wife was in the front seat with us, and when I turned on my phone to blast some of my awesome tunes like Boyz II Men’s End of the Road, she sang along with us.