Saying Goodbye to Chile Part 2: Valparaíso
To be clear and honest (obviously my career in politics is a shambles) part two happened before part one, but part one was easier to get up quickly. Anyway, on with the story.
Sunday, feeling somewhat better though still a bit leery of food, we decided it was time, lacking any other before we left, to say goodbye to Valparaíso. Again, by we I mean Joel & I, though all three of us took the trip. Cecile will have more opportunity to explore and hopefully she will take advantage. It was a beautiful, sunny and relatively warm day, and we wanted to get out and enjoy it while we could. So we hopped on the Metro and took it to end, the Port of Valparaíso.
The Mystery Ship
One thing I’m really going to miss is having a functioning port right next door. It’s been very cool watching the cargo ships of various sizes coming in and out, hanging out around Viña, and going to the port and being able to see these ships in action. And Sunday was no disappointment. There were a number of ships in and around port, and especially this large and oddly shaped one; it didn’t look like any of the other container ships we had seen, and we spent much of our time speculating on what it could be.
So after getting off the metro we first walked down to the port to look around and try and get a better view of this large, mysterious ship, but we couldn’t get a look at the part pointing out. I thought that was the front, but later realized that Cecile was, of course, correct and that had to be the back, even though it looked like it was straight across, which was weird for either the back or the front. We’ll tell you what we found, but you have to read to the end. I’m watching you so don’t think you can just scroll down, I’ll know.
The Last Ascensor
To try and get a better view of this ship, and to see a little more of Valpo on our last trip, we rode the nearby ascensor up to the Museé de Belles Artes one last time. Joel was hungry and neither Cecile nor I were nauseous at the time, so we decided to grab a bit at the museum cafe. In what has become a theme of our restaurant eating, the were out of the first thing I ordered … and the second. So I went with number three, a quiche, which I then got to exchange for Joel’s vegetarian sandwich (my second choice) when it turned out to be … vegetarian. OK, he expected palta, which was reasonable, but all it had were greens, hearts of palm and artichoke hearts. And admittedly weird vegetarian sandwich and one he was bound not to like, but he loved my quiche, so it all worked out.
We ate, walked around a little, and then Cecile wanted to look for a little store where she had bought some earrings before, so we headed up the hill. Sadly, we were apparently on a different twisty street from the one she had been on before, so the additional earrings went unbought. Joel had had enough and we were all a little tired, so we decided to head back down and look around the port some more.
The Gooching of the Pigeon
So Joel has been fascinated by all the pigeons around here, and has spent three months chasing them. I know, but what can you do, he’s starved for companionship. He finds many of them what he calls “goochy”, which involves some combination of being fat and fluffy and deserving of some sort of poking/scratching/rubbing known, to him, as gooching. (I have been the unwilling recipient of this, don’t ask.) While he also finds many of the street dogs goochy, his real goal has been to gooch a pigeon.
Lo and behold, opportunity rose up and smacked him in the face. Fortunately, not literally. There were people at the port with nuts and they were crumbling up nuts and peanut shells, putting them in their hands, and pigeons were landing right on their arms and hands and eating. We suggested to Joel that he pick up some shells, crumble them, and attract a pigeon, and eventually he did. Sadly I didn’t get a picture with the pigeon actually on his arm/hand, though Cecile did. On my side I got the better reaction shots, though.
But that danged ship was still there, confusing us. Eventually Cecile, as is her wont, went up to the little office that was right on the tourist part of the dock and asked the person working there what type of ship it was. Turns out it’s a car carrier, and they just drive the cars right on and off through the doors in the back, as you can see below.
Bye Valparaíso, I’ll Miss You
I really will; it’s a cool town and we didn’t get to spend enough time exploring it. I’ll be posting later on pros and cons of our time here, but I definitely wish we had been able to spend more time here and there are a couple of specific things I didn’t get to do that I wanted. Ah well, most people never get to visit and see what a cool city it is, the many of the people who live around here hate it and want nothing more than to be able to afford to live in Viña del Mar. As always, it seems it’s a matter of perspective.