We left San Alfonso Del Mar on Saturday morning and headed north to Valpraiso, also known as Valpo to locals. I had seen so many fun photographs of this colorful city and I was anxious to explore the brightly colored houses and artwork on the terraced neighborhoods. In my research, however, I came across some reviews that said that it was a dirty city, not that safe, and hectic to drive around. With that knowledge, my expectations changed and I’m glad we had a more realistic approach to our visit.
On the drive to Valpo, Brandon pulled off at this random empanada stand at the side of the road. Brandon loves food trucks and this one did not disappoint. He had the yummiest sandwiches with fresh chicken and beef, avacodo and tomatoes.
The reviews were right. We pulled into the city and it had a totally different feel than Algoborro. The city was dirty and crowded and run down. We felt differently anxious there. Stray dogs roamed the streets which means the sidewalks were covered in their presents.
Lesson learned: Keep travel plans flexible. I had almost booked a room here before we got to Chile, but had the feeling to decide once we got here. I’m so glad I waited. While most of the time it’s nice to know where we’ll be staying, it turned out so much better that we didn’t stay a night here.
Despite this, we enjoyed our short time there. Our experience was very cultural and memorable. We saw may colorful buildings and murals and even a rainbow painted staircase.