Two more days in Valparaiso and then it’s on to Valdivia in southern Chile. Today I accomplished the mundane tasks – bus ticket, banking, etc., and then rode a trolley car to explore new parts of the city. The conclusion was that the back streets and artsy areas – Concepcion, Alegre, Miraflores – are the most appealing. To me, Valdivia’s center district is not that interesting.
Since traveling in South America, I’ve had trouble finding the right food. I keep trying new places and am disappointed more often than not. Today I stopped for lunch at a restaurant near the financial hub – Prat Street – and shortly after ordering realized it was the wrong place for food and company.
La Rotonda reminded me of San Francisco’s old style seafood grills with wood paneling, antique bars, and secretive, private curtained back stalls. They were popular in the Financial District during the 70s and 80s – places where bankers and brokers met to mull over deals.
Except for one other woman who was with a group of male colleagues, I was the only female. No one was rude to me – they pretended I wasn’t there. The waiters were Carson types (Downton Abbey butler) and stood around with stern, stuffy looks on their faces. It was awkward at first and then amusing. When the waiter brought the tab, he reminded me that la cuenta (the bill) did not include a tip. I reciprocated by not including one either :o).
Later I found the accommodation on Trip Advisor and wished I’d checked it out in advance. Several others had come to the same conclusion – at least about the food.
The weather in Valparaiso is like San Francisco with early morning fog that usually clears before noon revealing flawless blue skies. The days are heavenly in the high 70s with gentle breezes.
My B&B has great views of the Bay and I’ve noticed 10 to 20 ships in the busy harbor at one time. Perched high above the rest of the city, just about every building in Miraflores has a great view.
The next stop in Chile is Valdivia. It’s nine miles from the Ocean, surrounded by the Cau-Cau and Calle-Calle Rivers. Valdivia is known as the city of rivers. It’s one of the most historic places in southern Chile and about 12 hours by bus from Valparaiso.