We began our travels reliant upon strangers kindness to increase our comfort and help extend this journey as long as possible. We hoped that couch surfing would give us a way to explore and experience local people’s lives and culture. After 5 nights with our first host we moved to stay with Noli Provoste, two fashion photographers, for a few nights before moving on, 3 weeks later we finally left! They epitomised what we wanted to gain from travelling. They are open and free, letting us into their lives, sharing their friendships and everything else they own.
We have experienced two small earthquakes while we have been here…. we were asleep!
While in Santiago we started to miss the freedom and space that nature brings. The pollution, the noise, the busyness and the amount of people in a city is stifling. Chile has a population of 18 million people, a third of them, 6 million people, live in Santiago, and 90% in the middle region. Compared to London what makes Santiago nice is the amount street art and graffiti, adding some colour to the grey. Every other street has a piece of street art and most of a high level, yet this is nothing compared to Valparaiso.
During our time in Santiago we went to Sonar Sound to see the Chemical Brothers, this was the third time we have seen them but yet again they shocked us with the quality of their show. Every time we have seen them they offer a fantastic spectacle with amazingly detailed visuals that synch perfectly with their music. Over the span of 20 years they have managed to ride and move forward in what is now a very different dance music scene to the one they first entered. Their ability lays in their vast catalogue of big, yet underground inspired hits that appeals to multiple generations and is not just limited to the dance music genre. Even though it might be more difficult for an artist like Chemical Brothers to sell millions of records, they will continue to make millions of people move in unison.
After Santiago we moved to the historical port city of Valparaiso that has a long history of producing creative talent with its tangle of winding streets. It has the strangest pull, a mix between Venice, Brighton and any other good English beachside town, with something else thrown in. It’s dirtier and more worn than its surrounding cities. It is touted as a tourist must-do yet has limited tourist appeal, apart from a few nice hills with every building acting as a canvas. When we say buildings, the architecture ranges from ruins and tin shacks, to ornate European mansions, all of which has its own unique colour. The beauty and appeal of Valparaiso doesn’t lay in a quick stroll around a few neighbourhoods but taking the time to live, to understand the flow and forces that pull you around it’s strange streets and alleys. With the looming Pacific Ocean next door, you feel isolated in between a beautiful wall of the ocean and the surrounding colour of Valparaiso.