Day Thirty-Nine – Free Walking Tour of Valparaiso

The bright building is Hostel Po, the hostel I’m staying at.
The first flight of stairs, of which there are three in total, to reach the main reception/living area.


The whole place is covered with murals by different artists, its quite beautiful.


Apparently there is a phenomenon called “Free Walking Tours” down south. They are, of course, not free, the expected tip is anywhere from 10-20$CAD. Anyhow, I don’t bring that up for any particular reason, certainly that can be an expected tip after a tour which you paid for, in Canada. Simply that every time I leave my hostel I am on a free walking tour.. perhaps with slightly fewer amusing anecdotes about the buildings and area, which, can be more difficult to appreciate when they’re in Spanish anyway.

Today’s free walking tour, thus far, has taken me on my first ascensor ride, past a broken/under construction ascensor, to a number of miradors (lookouts), past two museums (closed Mondays), and back onto the roof of my hostel for a delicious lunch and a small siesta. My next free walking tour will be departing shortly, and will, conveniently, include a stop at the bus station to reserve my seat to Santiago on Wednesday. Check.

View from the top of Ascensor Artilleria across the bay.
View from the other side… funny how different the apparent affluence. You can see a non-functional ascensor, and the flowers! The city is covered in them. All colours, although yellow and orange seem to have a decided majority. And the fragrance! The whole city smells like flowers, and occasionally piss. But think how much piss I’m missing because of the flowers!
There are a lot of navy ships here, I suppose because the head of the navy is here. (Its the big blue building from yesterday) Anyhow, I took a photograph because they look just like the game Battleship!


I chose to tackle the stairs beside Ascensor Cordillera.. a choice I would later regret, since the next two ascensors were missing and under construction, respectively.
I took this picture because it shows the corrugated metal siding that is ubiquitous on the sides and tops of buildings here. I guess clapboard isn’t an ideal solution where trees are more scarce.
Don’t move guys!
The inside of the Sacred Heart Cathedral.
The El Mercurio building – I thought it had something to do with the Navy, but nope! Its the town newspaper, AND its owned by a private family. Crazy eh? Such a grand building, owned by regular people.

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