After Santiago, I took the bus direction the famous city of Valparaiso. This town is just a few hours drive from Santiago but has almost nothing to do with it. While Santiago is a modern city, clean, with modern buildings or old but renovated buildings, mostly grey or white... Valparaiso is more like the bohemian capital of Chile, holding some kind of old grandeur, with nice buildings from the beginning of the 20th century but partially abandonned or at least in bad condition, full of colours... and with mostly old infrastructure (outside from a newly built metro). Additionally, Santiago is mostly a flat city in a valley of the Andes, while Valparaiso is a harbour, located partially on the mountains, with some kind of elevators to walk around. I arrived in Valparaiso by bus, and immediately the differences with Santiago are striking... the bus station in Valparaiso is just a big mess, not clean, not organized. Finding a hostal did not prove so difficult as one hostal was doing some advertisement in the bus station, and finally did not prove such a bad choice. The location is OK (even if I was a little bit frightenned by the surroundings at the beginning - old buildings in bad condition and kind of bohemian/poor people around), and the services are quite good... the main drawback being the peas, which I discovered after a few days staying here. And taking the breakfast with a great with over Valparaiso is definitely really nice! In Valparaiso, I mostly walked around, enjoying their "ascensores" to avoid painful climbs, took a harbour trip, visited Pablo Neruda's house... I had a nice time, but did not love the city as some people do. I liked it, but no more. And finally I started to work on the follow-up of my trip, Punta Arenas. I'm leaving today in bus to Santiago, will spend the night on a bench within the airport before taking an early flight to Punta Arenas via Puerto Montt. Then... I dunno. Everything will depend on the weather. I would like to see the Straits of Magellan, and go to La Tierra del Fuego, but if it rains I'll probably head directly to Patagonia, Puerto Natales & the National Park of Torres del Paine.
By the way, if you want to chat with me, I'm usually reachable on Skype with ID cedric.lefebvre