There is an English proverb that says “after a storm comes a calm.” The day after the tsunami warning was no different – a beautiful day with not a cloud in the sky. Perfectly fitted for the weather, I went to an “asado,” or barbecue, with a bunch of students from my program as well as some other international students. We all hit the grocery store on the way to the Jardín Botánico Nacional, a public garden and park that is also equipped with charcoal grills to host asados. What ensued was some delicious grilled food, frisbee, mini dance parties, hiking, sing-a-longs, and lots of nature.
Jumping ahead from Saturday to today (not that the days in between aren’t noteworthy… I am just itching to put up the pictures that I took today!), this morning Maya and I went on a little adventure in Valparaíso with the only aims being a) to find good coffee and b) to explore Cerro Concepción, in that order timeline-wise and priority-wise. I am happy to say we succeeded at both! After riding up Acensor Concepción, we found a little coffee shop/art gallery called Vinilo, a converted butcher shop that sells (organic Colombian!!) coffee and food by day, and apparently converts into a pretty happening bar by night. After our coffee fix we proceeded to wander the streets of Cerro Concepción, which, as Maya put it, is the “heart of Valparaíso.” And since life in Chile doesn’t really get going until noon, we mostly had the streets to ourselves (perfect for taking pictures). We wandered into shops and took pictures of the street art and murals. Eventually, we heard some salsa music echoing through the streets and followed it, landing in a plaza in Valparaíso where there are a bunch of cafes and stores. In the center of the plaza three men were playing salsa music. They drew quite a crowd, even prompting some of the more enthusiastic onlookers to do an impromptu salsa performance.
Maya and I had such a great time today that we have decided to, once a week, make a point to get coffee at a new cafe and simply explore! Perhaps said excursions will eventually become weekly blog features; here in Valpo the possibilities are endless!