Next day, rented a car in Santiago, and drove out to Valparaiso. Renting a car in any country outside the US/Canada always takes way longer than we think it should :). Why do I always forget?
Anyhow, we got directions, and since I have free data from TMobile, my GPS on the phone worked great. Got out on the main highway to Valparaiso; which is about 120km+ from Santiago. The highway was a toll road (cost about ~3500 pesos; about $5), and was in very good condition, smooth; 2 lanes in each direction, divided highway. Wanted to stop at a winery on the way at the Casablanca valley, but missed it. So stopped at a small roadside eatery where the lady owner spoke very good English. Since they had a bakery in the back, making fresh breads and empanada’s; she gave us a tour of the bakery. Then had some delicious fresh baked empanadas on her patio, and the lady directed us a way back to a good winery for lunch. So after thanking this very nice lady, we headed back to Casablanca and ended up at Casa Del Bosque winery. Very nice farmhouse/offices that also had a nice upscale restaurant. Not something I like, as I am cheap, and prefer local food places, but had to try it. So we had some of their wines, and a nice lunch on the patio overlooking their vineyards.
Drove onto Valparaiso. Valparaiso is on the Pacific coast, and is a major port for Chile, together with a naval base, built on multiple steep hills that end in the Pacific ocean. So you always have great views of the city and the sea. It also is a very bohemian city, in that most of the old city houses are painted with murals, painting, and graffiti; which is very tasteful. Check out the great pictures.
Also, due to the steep hills, the city has Ascensers that are basically funiculars that take people up and down some of the steeper hills; these Ascensers were built many years ago, and are well kept, and in good working order. One-way fare is 100 pesos about 12 cents per person.
Checked into our B&B in the old city, and walked into the Bohemian area; which were all narrow gulley’s or roads, with cobblestones for pavement. Steep and hilly everywhere, but very pleasant place. Small local café’s and restaurants everywhere, with local artisans selling their handicrafts, art work etc. Most of the houses on in the old city were in good shape, and had corrugated iron sheets as their “siding”. Very interesting.
Spent some more time driving in the Valparaiso hills and the surrounding towns along the coast like Vina Del Mar, Con Con etc, Great seafood places along the coast. In Valparaiso, it was easy to simply wander from gully to gully and the Ascensers taking in the great views, and the great paintings on the walls. Very Bohemian. Great views. Wonderful cafes and fresh seafood. Also did a boat tour of the harbor.Chile, Santiago & Valparaiso Nov 2015, South America