On Friday, Zack and I took a day trip to the coast. It is really cheap and easy to travel by bus in South America, and buses run to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar every 15 minutes from Santiago. We originally intended to explore Valpo and Viña on our own for the day, but when we arrived at the bus station we decided to take a tour. It ended up being a much easier way to see the highlights of both coastal towns, and as a bonus the tour took us to Reñaca (a beach town) for lunch. The weather was gorgeous - around 80 degrees and sunny - and we had a great time. Here is a pictorial account of our day:
One of three moai statues outside of Easter Island is in Viña (there is another one in Chile and one in London)
This house belonged to the founder of Viña...it was severely damaged in the 2010 earthquake and is still condemned
At a park...you can't tell by the picture, but at this point I was starving for lunch and slightly annoyed by some of our fellow tourists
At the beach in Reñaca
We ate lunch at a restaurant right on the beach
You can't really tell in the pictures, but the waves were huge
The water was FREEZING!
The water was also very blue, but the pictures don't really do it justice
The famous flower clock in Viña
Our guide called this the sea lion hotel
See the sea lion swimming?
Pablo Neruda's house in Valparaiso...shaped like a boat
The view from Pablo's place
This photo was taken by a Virginia Tech student...no hard feelings
Riding the "elevator" in Valparaiso...there are tons of "elevators" around the city since it is so hilly. Of the 15 "elevators," only 3 still work (they're really old). I feel lucky that we survived the three minute ascent.