This house is one of Pablo Neruda‘s three houses in Chile. The other two are in Santiago (the capital), and Isla Negra.
view of Valparaiso from the bedroom in the house:
This house is one of Pablo Neruda‘s three houses in Chile. The other two are in Santiago (the capital), and Isla Negra.
view of Valparaiso from the bedroom in the house:
I had the menu of the day, which cost around, 7,000 CLP.
it came with a pisco sour, an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert.
The interiors of the place was very nice, with a lot of vintage memorabilia.
Valparaiso, Chile, May 2014
My friend Stewart made this awesome garlic butter and shared it with us last night.
I was intending to use it with my frozen corn and peas, but M.T. smelled it when she saw it in the fridge this morning, and she said it’s so fragrant, we need to consume it this noon.
However, we were out of bread and it was a cold, gray, and damp Renaca day. Nobody wanted to walk to the bakery 3 minutes down the street.
Finally, I volunteered for the team.
And the verdict is….
Delicieux! We couldn’t get enough of it.
Thank you, Stewart.
1. Don Pancho (Rawson street, near P. Montt Avenue. near the interstate bus terminals)
charquican con huevo, a traditional Chilean dish (comida tipica chilena) of mashed potatoes, beef, an egg. It’s really delicious, not to mention cheap. 1,800 CLP.
the dip called pebre they serve with the bread is also delicious.
I liked it so much, I went back two weeks later, and tried the cazuela, another traditional Chilean dish. This one was yet another home run. It was also only 1,800 CLP and really yummy.
2. Hotel Fauna – (Paseo Dimalow on Cerro Concepcion)
went to this rooftop bar twice, great view. food is great, but on the pricey side. great atmosphere, with outdoor seating on the balcony, with a good view of Valparaiso.
3. El Desayunador (Almirante Montt, Cerro Concepcion)
I had the churrasco chacarero sandwich and causeo queso tomato (goat cheese with tomatoes).
4. Casa Cerveceria Altamira – very good locally made craft beer, right beside Ascensor Reina Victoria.
5. East on Placeros Street, Valparaiso- really cheap Japanese food.
6. Casa Hesperia- Valparaiso
decent food, a bit on the salty side. I had the cazuela.
I always take buses that traverse Errazuriz to go to Valpo (also the 6 series, but not 607), but the 607 plies Chacabuco instead of Errazuriz. Chacabuco is parallel to Errazuriz, and ends up almost in the same place, but I got a bit confused when we got off, as it’s the road less traveled for me, and I have a weak sense of direction. I only know how to get to the foot of Cerro Concepcion if I get off at Errazuriz.
We wandered around for half an hour before finally spotting the spire of the green Lutheran church and using that as a guide to get to Cerro Concepcion.
I didn’t mind being lost because we were able to see a lot during our thirty minutes of wandering, as that cerro we were on is a bit off the beaten path and it’s rare for travelers to stumble there by mistake.
We came across a graffiti workshop, then ten minutes later, bumped into my graffiti tour guide Elias, who is on his way to that very workshop!
We also saw Cemetery No. 2, which the guide to the walking tour we joined that afternoon said is the Protestant cemetery. We didn’t go back to this hill, he just pointed in its general direction and mentioned the name. Cemetery No. 1 is the Roman Catholic cemetery, and Cemetery No. 3 is the cemetery for all other religions.
Cemetery No. 2
We also passed a cultural park in what was formerly a prison.
We got to the foot of Cerro Concepcion twenty minutes after getting our bearings, and took the Ascensor Reina Victoria funicular up, then walked five minutes to El Desayunador, where we had planned the day before to go there to have brunch, which turned into a late lunch.
We were starving by the time we were seated. I had these:
churrasco chacarero sandwich
causeo queso tomate (goat cheese with tomatoes)
We walked down to Plaza Anibal Pinto to meet up with walking tour after lunch. He pointed to the Cinzano cafe across the square, which is supposedly the oldest cafe in Valparaiso.
Plaza Anibal Pinto
The guide then introduced us to Emile Dubois, popularly known as the first serial killer of Valparaiso, who killed the rich to give to the poor. He used to live in this building across the square, and when the cops went after him, this is what happened- see caption below photo:
He’s buried in the Playa Ancha cemetery, and he’s now known as the “serial killer saint”, as he’s supposed to grant wishes. People go on privileges to his grave.
We then took the Ascensor Reina Victoria (my second time for the day) to go up Cerro Concepcion, and walked around. Somewhere in the middle of the tour, we took a second funicular, Ascensor El Peral, which led us to the top of Cerro Alegre. (click here to see my post on these two ascensors, plus another).
saw the famous Palacio Baburizza.
We also learned the story of two oldest non-Catholic churches in South America.
The Anglicans built a low key church, with no towers, no bells, in the hopes that the Catholics wouldn’t get pissed. the Catholics did, and according to the guide, their response to build a bigger church (with towers and bells) a few streets down. It was the first non-Catholic church in South America.
The Lutherans (German) were the first to build a structure that had all the traditional hallmarks of a Christian church- towers, bells, the works.
The guide took us to the oldest stock exchange in South America, El Mercurio Building (HQ of the longest continuously running Spanish newspaper in the world), and Little Ben, some English immigrant’s model of the Big Ben in London.
oldest stock exchange
El Mercurio building
We ended up at the pier across Plaza Sotomayor, and M and I headed back up Cerro Concepcion to Hotel Fauna for dinner. A German guy from the walking tour joined us. Capped off the night with a delicious sandwich and Shop Kross golden ale.
Click to see more of my snapshots about this day on Flickr.
These funiculars are over a hundred years old and still running, even if somewhat shakily. It’s around 100 CLP single-trip. Cheaper than the actual elevator of Cerro Cordillera.
I photographed these three funiculars on the same day, when I returned to Cerro Concepcion and Alegre for a third time to join a walking tour. I rode Reina Victoria and El Peral, and just dashed in to photograph Ascensor Concepcion.
Ascensor Reina Victoria (constructed 1902) – you’ll land on Paseo Dimalow, Cerro Concepcion
Ascensor El Peral- you’ll land on Paseo Yugoslavo, Cerro Alegre
Ascensor Concepcion (constructed 1883)- Cerro Concepcion
(oldest and fastest funicular in Valparaiso)
last update: May 21, 2014
The links on this page are arranged in reverse chronological order. (oldest at the top.)
runtime: 28 seconds
Renaca Beach at night, May 21, 2014
Vina del Mar at night, May 12, 2014
video diary of a day at the small fish market on Bustamante St., Valparaiso, Chile. April 24, 2014
runtime: 1 minute 36 seconds
This place has really great sandwiches and is in a bustling part of town. I really loved their food.
2. Cebicheria Constitucion- Peruvian food
3. Guili’s Burger- pretty good fast food, but very slow service. they gave us a free plate of fries for waiting though, so it’s all good.
the hip Constitucion street in the Bellavista district at night, Santiago, Chile
Our first stop wasn’t the hotel, but Cebicheria Constitucion, a restaurant in the Bellavista area near our hotel. We were famished. Constitucion street has a lot of bars and trendy restaurants. This restaurant serves Peruvian cuisine. I was surprised that fried rice is a thing in Peruvian cooking.
We stayed at the Hotel Don Santiago, a cozy little hotel that seems like a refurbished old house.
mounted police in the Central Market area
The next day, we walked half an hour from our hotel to the Central Market (Mercado Central),traversing a huge park. The Central Market is a big hub of seafood stalls and restaurants. I don’t think I’ve seen fish this huge in my life.
We headed to Cerro Sta. Lucia after, a park on a hill. We hiked up to the peak (entrance is at the structure labeled Castilo Hidalgo inside the park).
You could view the beautiful Santiago skyline from that vantage point.
Spotted these people in costume on our way down the hill.
Our other friends joined us while we were at the top of the hill, and our merry band had lunch at a really slow fast food joint, Guili’s Burger, we headed to Plaza Armas to join a free walking tour. There was only one guy in his 60s making food for the whole restaurant, and it closes at 2PM. they gave us an extra plate of fries for our long wait though, so it’s all good.
Plaza Armas itself was under repairs, so we didn’t get to see it. We did get to check out the Metropolitan Cathedral across it. Afterwards, we went to check out the Presidential Palace, and other different buildings. There’s a lot of classical French style architecture in Santiago.
One highlight is when the guide introduced us to the concept of “coffee with legs” in the financial district of Santiago. We did our tour on a Saturday so offices are closed, but he said during weekdays, these coffee shops attract customers by having scantily dressed baristas serve coffee. He said,even if the coffee culture in Chile was undeveloped, these “coffee with legs” chains are doing quite well. There’s also such a thing as a “happy minute”, when they close the doors of the coffee shops and the baristas lift up their tops for the mostly male clientele (from the offices nearby) to ogle at.
(photo in slideshow below. please click dots to navigate slideshow.)
We also passed by a small restaurant called La Pica de Clinton (a.k.a. Clinton’s Dick).
We stopped at a coffee shop called Mulato for a little pick me up.
We ended the tour outside Pablo Neruda’s house, then my friend and I went to have dinner again in the Bellavista area, at Ciudad Vieja Sangucheria, a famed sandwich shop the guide recommended.
We left the Santiago bus terminal for Vina del Mar around 9 PM, making our stay almost exactly 24 hours.
Saturday night bottles, Bellavista, Santiago, Chile
Other snapshots from this trip on Flickr.
Went with the other Exo participants to Valparaiso with a somewhat harebrained scheme to hone our capitalistic entrepreneurial hustling skills by selling cookies to socialists. then, we had lunch after. I had “typical”* Chilean dish of cazuela at Cafe Hesperia, which was a broth with potatoes, beef, and corn.
*they call traditional food “typical” food here.
I’m living in Renaca, a small beach side neighborhood of Vina del Mar, during my stay in Chile. It’s got a beach that has a sign telling you NOT to go swimming, and it’s the only beach I’ve ever been to where people are fully clothed, with jackets on, because of the cold weather. I’m here during fall (off season).
It’s a small and pleasant enough place, with a lot of hamburger and sushi places around.
I accompanied my friend B to check out a small fish market near Plaza Sotomayor, Valparaiso. I wandered around while she was there, and reached the Ascensor Cordillera entrance by accident.
The elevator was inagurated in 1886 according to Wikipedia, and believe me, the shaky car felt like it.
When I went out of the little shack that served as the exit gate of Ascensor Cordillera, I was greeted with this little poster, in English to boot, on the history of Cerro Cordillera. As the poster states, this hill has the second oldest elevator (cable car) in Valparaiso, and it’s an important hill in its history.
I didn’t get far, only five minutes away from the exit, when a cop accosted me and warned me that it’s really dangerous, and wouldn’t let me get past him. I walked down the stairs back to “flat land Valpo”.
Other snapshots from Cerro Cordillera on Flickr.
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.
Please CLICK HERE to see other photos from this day.
Cerro Polanco, whose entrance is off of Av. Argentina, is a unique hill. While most steep Valparaiso cerros (hills) are accessible via ascensors (what they call cable cars/ funiculars), what makes Cerro Polanco unique is that it’s the only hill with a true vertical ascensor, in the form of an actual elevator that rises 60m vertically. It was built in 1913. (read more on Wikipedia.)
There’s a little viewing deck when you reach the top, and a walkway that leads you to the Cerro Polanco neighborhood. There’s a lot of great graffiti and street art in this area despite not being the most popular cerro for tourists. Some kids sold me homemade cupcakes. Pretty good stuff.
More of my Cerro Polanco photos on Flickr.
Velas Latinoamerica was a touring exhibition of big ships from different South American countries. They stopped in the port of Valparaiso one fine April weekend. Here are my photos from that day.
I went up the Argentinian ship, but didn’t want to queue up to check out the other ships anymore. Amusingly, the Brazilian ship was the only one that didn’t have a line letting people up the ship, because they weren’t letting people up until nighttime. And they told my guy companions that they prefer women guests, so if they wanted to go up, they should bring two women for every guy.
I could also see from where I was standing that the Brazilian ship was the only one that had an actual bar, and was blaring party music.
Back in 2008, i went to Sanzhi and shot the pod houses there. those have been demolished since.
in October 2013, i went back to Taiwan and went to Wanli, a different town north of Taipei that had another set of these crazy pod houses.
this place was even more abandoned than Sanzhi, and it’s right beside an emptpy beach.
Gurney Hawker Centre
Hot, sticky, and named after a chewable seed that gives you a mild high, what’s not to love about Penang?
Modern Penang was founded by the British in the eighteenth century. Its name derives from the Chinese word for betel nut. It’s not normally on the must-go lists of SE Asian spots of people from the Philippines (where I’m from), but I’ve been fascinated by it since I read about its food, history, street art, and architecture.
I went there October 2013, and it was hotter and muggier than Manila, despite it not being summer. I normally avoid places even hotter than my homeland so the last few Southeast Asian places I went to before Penang had climates cooler than my hometown- like Chiang Mai and Bali, and I definitely did not go during summer.
Georgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage site, lived up to my expectations and more. I spent three days going back there to take photos of its street art and installations. A free shuttle bus takes you around Georgetown proper, and you can also rent cheap bikes to go around, which definitely helped with the scorching heat.
I loved how Penang architecture, named after a style called Straits Eclectic, was well preserved and still in active use today by existing businesses like dry goods shops, auto shops, and hardware stores, just like they were decades and decades ago. They weren’t just repainted and made to stand static as a tourist attraction.
The Penang Botanic Gardens had monkeys that were more territorial and photo-averse than the monkeys in Bali‘s Uluwatu Temple and Ubud Monkey Forest. I couldn’t get too near without them snapping and lunging at me.
stayed at the 1926 Heritage Hotel (yes, built in 1926, originally housed mid-level staff the British government sent over)
and of course, Penang food: (Please click on the thumbnails to view gallery in lightbox.)
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I sprinted uphill to catch up, and made it, panting the whole time. The graffiti tour covers the hills of Cerro Concepcion and Alegre, and we were on our way.
One of the highlights was encountering the works of Un Kolor Distinto, a pair of artists with a distinctive style of bold colors and the characters they draw all have long noses.
On this wall (first photo in slideshow), UKD drew some archetypal Chilean characters based on a children’s story by Renzo Pecchenino called El Livro del Reino Bestial. There’s un choro, un gallo pulpo (long tentacles- representing those out for your money), un mosca, un patudo (representing a freeloader), and so on.
He also introduced us to recognizing basic graffiti design elements like wildstyle (a lot of the letters end in arrows), throw-ups, power lines, bomba, and brillos (finishing touches usually depicted as gleaming paint spots).
He also showed us how to distinguish between the works of different artists. LRM is known for his psychedelic works, INTI for indigenuous depictions, and Charky makes frequent use of a hummingbird motif. Telli from Brigada Negotrópica Crew does these great works with fat marker and acrylic. Stencils are relatively rare in Valparaiso (as of the time I visited), and one of the few doing that was Stinkfish from Colombia.
We ended the tour at a spot close to this “art installation”. This place is close to the night spot area of Valpo, where backpacking tourists and locals gather to get drunk at night. Inevitably when they stagger out of the clubs, they will be searching for places to pee, and this unfortunate home always seems to be the most convenient peeing place due to its location. The homeowner was a good natured one though, and he put up a little toilet bowl on that spot labeled “Monument to the Water Closet (WC)”.
Other snapshots from this trip on Flickr.
Concon’s sand dunes are a ten minute bus ride from where I live in Renaca. It was a scary climb for me to the top, because the sand was so soft. It was worth it though.
Be prepared for sand to get in every crevice of your face, bag, camera, anything with an opening.
vendor renting out boards for sand boarding
Universidad del Mar was a university whose headquarters are a ten minute walk from where I live in Renaca, Vina del Mar. It shut down due to student protests over financial and accreditation anomalies (read more here).
Chairs were stacked high on stairs, creating a makeshift barricade. Some areas had nothing to barricade but still had a bunch of chairs stacked and tied up together like a failed contemporary art installation.
It looked surprisingly bright and cheery inside as I went during daytime. Someone has since made a temporary fence around the compound.
Other photos from this album. (Flickr link)