Days 4 & 5 (February 11 & 12) We spent two days in Valparaiso (Valpo) visiting my friends Cecilia Araneda and David Naranjo. I have known them for many years. It was great to finally meet their lovely kids Pablo (12) and Gabriela (8). Ceci and David have a beautiful house with the most amazing view of the bay. On the first day of our visit Ceci, Adrián and I took a long walk through the old part of Valpo (declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003). The layout of the old city is absolutely crazy (see Neruda’s poem below for a feeling of Valpo). Houses are perched from the hills in the most remarkable places. Streets, wide and narrow, long and short, are tangled into a labyrinth full of surprises. Add to the mix a system of funicular elevators (highly-inclined cable cars called ascensores) to allow pedestrians navigate the sharp changes in elevation from on street to the next. Many walls of the city are covered by murals, some quite elaborate, painted by local and foreign artists. The lovely walk down from Ceci’s house turned into an extraneous hike back up always with wonderful views at every turn.
On the second day of our stay we had to ride to Santiago to get new tires for your bikes. With the help of Martyn—a Brit living in Santiago—from the ADVrider forum we knew to look for tires on Lira street. The few blocks around the intersection of Lira & 10 de Julio offer many, many stores that sale motorcycles parts and accessories. We purchased Bridgestone tires from two different stores and used the service of Gabriel at the Motomel shop to install the tires. Getting in and out of Santiago was a pain of the neck because of the heavy traffic but we had no option because, after making many phone calls, we were unable to find tires in either Valpo or Viña del Mar.
|ODA A VALPARAÍSO Pablo Neruda