Sunday, December 7, 2008

Vaparaiso and Reflections

For the last few days I've been in a port town on the Pacific called Valparaiso. Its about 2 hours from Santiago by bus, and boasts steep, steep hillsides filled with brightly colored houses, winding roads, and a bit of mystery. I've been staying at a Hospadeja (Guest house), which is pretty much a combination of a bed and breakfast mixed with a hostel. A woman and her son ran the place, and although it was a little musty, it served as a nice home base for a few days.

Valpo is really a sight to be seen. The steep and winding cobblestone, dirt, and paved streets, rival those of San Francisco, without the sophisticated nature. The hillsides are so steep in fact that they have something called Acensonars, which are basically box car shaped trams that are hauled up by steel cables. These things didn't really inspire safety, and frankly looking was good enough for me.

However this means to see the more remarkable areas, I had to hoof it up some super steep terrain. But it was worth it. The neighborhoods were confusing to navigate with no grid system what-so-ever. But they beamed with a bohemian style and flavor. The colors of the houses were so fantastic and bright I could have wandered aimlessly forever. Which I started to do, when a older fellow told me to go back the way I came from, because if I kept going in that direction, I would probably get robbed. Not a problem, I turned right around and stuck to the places in my guide book.

One highlight of Valpo was the house of famous poet / nobel prize winner Pablo Nureda. This house was so high up it had an almost 360 degree view of the bay. It would have been a very inspiring local to live. The house was furnished with furniture, art, and antiquities from around the globe, giving it a very eclectic smart style.

I'm not sure if it has been the extended time alone, or the underlying energy of this place, but my time in Valpo has been very reflective. Its funny what one's mind cling's to when it has time to breathe. In my case its been things that I have had a hard time dealing with, and coming to terms with. I'm not sure what it was about Pablo Nureda's house that made me really reflect on my life's last tribulations, but it did.

And since I've been reading so much this past week, I've come to feel that life resembles a book in many ways. As days go on, so do pages turn. And although you may re-read the pages, like re-living memories, you already know the outcome. I think one needs to look forward to the next chapter, for every word is a new experience, and every chapter a new aspect of life. I think we should look forward always, for its the only thing that's uncertian, and the only place where endless possibilities exist.


Mike Gerenda said...


God you are Talented. I’m absolutely stunned by your writing skills. It pleasures me to know end reading your exploits. I wish I had your commend of the written word so I could tell you how proud I am to know you. Each time I read your exploits I feel like I’m there with you. Can’t wait to read your next instalment.

Uncle Mike

Barry said...

Your writing is pretty damn good. Although I haven't heard much about the most important thing.... FOOD!!! Well I hope you get some traditional cuisine and tell us all about it! Enjoy yourself!