Viña del Mar and Valparaiso

Before more time passes, I want to write about the trip we took last week to Viña del Mar and Valparaiso, about an hour and a half away from Santiago by bus. We left on Thursday after one performance at a school in Santiago.

I dozed for much of the trip to Viña. The third week of a four and a half week tour may be the toughest. Sofi (my tour manager and friend) and I arrived in late afternoon at the high-rise building where we were staying. At first, we were doubtful about the place. It wasn't just that it felt far from everything, but that there was a constant sound of dogs barking down in the vacant lots near the building. Yes, constant, and somewhat eerie in the middle of the night. In the morning, everything looked different, and better. 

We left early for St. Margaret's School, a lovely girls' school north of the city, where I had three performances for enthusiastic listeners. Very fun! Afterwards, the school van driver took us back in to Viña, showing us the seaside on the way.

We decided to spend the afternoon at the beach, where it wasn't warm enough to swim but was fine for reading and beachcombing.

We also watched the sunset from the beach.

The next day, we made our way a few miles away to the lovely city of Valparaiso, where the brightly painted houses stack one over the other on the hills. We had the great good fortune to meet up with Diletta Panero, a storyteller from Italy who lives in Ireland but who is doing her PhD dissertation research in Chile. We were connected up with her by storyteller Liz Weir, from Ireland, who is a dear friend of my friend Liz Warren. This is the way the storytelling community in the world works! Here's a picture of the two of us.

Sofi, my excellent tour manager and friend, was also with us.

Here are some pictures of Valparaiso. I'll get back to posts about storytelling soon.

Yes, that's how electric wires are in Chile, like a spiderweb.

We wandered the streets, stopping in to shops and galleries, and having a stunning meal at a little restaurant, for most of the day. Then we went back to Viña to collect our stuff before taking the bus back to Santiago. Here's a last look at Viña.