Saturday, January 08, 2011

Things are looking up for us

We have been in Chile for ten days now. I find it to be the most overpriced country compared to its level of development.
  • The exchange rate is 20% lower than when I was researching this summer.
  • Being the summer high season and New Year, we have had a hard time finding rooms. Hotels and guesthouses are either full, way overpriced, or have way too small rooms that seem more like caves. It is disheartening.
  • We bought first class bus tickets on the best bus company, Pullman. We had paid less for airplane ticket. When we showed up at the scheduled time, the bus turned out to be a phantom. As buses with other companies were full and we loathed to return to our not-so-friendly and haphazard guesthouse, we had to suffer the humiliation of taking another bus with the same company over two hours later, stuffed in the back of the bus. I want to cry.
  • Chile is a tremendously long country. We wanted to stop in on cities every now and then, otherwise the whole country would seem like one long bus ride. So far, none of them seem particularly remarkable.
Valparaiso (Valpo) finally seemed like a reasonable city, but of course, being UNESCO World Heritage, it is expected to be a highlight for any tour of Chile. Finding a good room with a view helps, though it costs almost twice as much as our mostly expensive rooms of this trip. BTW, the Central Bank decided this week to drive down the peso. Good news for us!

Sun-Ling works on the next blog entry in our room at The Yellow House in Valparaiso.
Our room at The Yellow House - Valparaiso, Chile

The sun sets and the city lights come on.
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Valparaiso claims to have the world's oldest electric trolleybus system.
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Valpo is also famous for its hills and funiculars.
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Street scene.
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Mercado - Valparaiso.
Mercado - Valparairso, Chile

The port.
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More of the port.
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Valpo has quite a few 20th century Art Deco and Art Moderne buildings.
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1 comment:

Susan in Florida said...

I wondered if you ever got frustrated enough to want to cry.

The view and the room look fabulous!