4 things I liked about Chile: the Andes, Valparaiso, metropolitan Santiago, and Pablo Neruda’s houses. 1 thing I didn’t like about Chile (at least in Santiago): Cafes that were not really cafes. Let me explain. Those who know me knows that I love taking coffee breaks in coffee shops throughout the day. So a friend and I were walking around Santiago looking for a cafe, and we went into one with a “Cafe” sign and a picture of a coffee cup on its window. Right away we knew something was wrong: the room was very smoky, the clientele was composed mainly of men in business suits, and the few women who were in the room were all wearing the same skimpy, sequined, tight, blue dress. Everyone in the room turned their heads toward us. We walked out confused. We went into 2 more “cafes” before it finally dawned on us that these “cafes” were like a gentleman’s club!! Apparently they are commonly called “Cafe with Legs.” Lonely Planet failed to inform me of this.
Valparaiso was my heaven on earth. I fell in love with it as soon as I laid eyes on it. Even under pouring rain. I loved the bohemian look, the streets adorned with graffiti, and I could even tolerate all the dog poop on the sidewalks….that was how much I loved it.
Here is Valparaiso, in photographs: