Valparaiso. Known by most as the place of bohemia, Pablo Neruda and street art, but in reality so much more.
I arrived here straight from the Atacama desert, like most, looking to make it my home for the forseeable future. Until I manage to find an actual job, I successfully managed to get a hostel to accept me as a volunteer, and currently am just..simply enjoying life.
Valpo has this special ambience in the way everything flows here. Sunshine or rain, it brings out the best in everyone and everything. Even the most mundaine activities somehow become magical. Sitting at the local mirador drinking mate and observing the cotton candy coloured clouds blend into the sunset and eventually get swallowed by the darkness of the night. Drinking hot chocolate on the curb and blowing bubbles because you crave that child-like carefree feeling and for a blissful moment life seems beautifully perfect. Even the most horribly made street food tastes amazing when you are returning from a club with your friends at 4am. Wandering the tiny twisty cobbled passages, only to randomly stumble upon an alley full of paintings, meeting the artist, finding out he was inspired by a Lithuanian artist, and ending the evening at his house drinking tea and discussing art and life.
The streets pulsate with liveliness and energy, and curiousity lures out the artists, painters, musicians, businessmen, lawyers, teachers, travelers, dreamers, realists, Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters; all kinds of people looking to fulfill whatever desires and dreams they may have. You hear music, laughter and human life echo through the bars and cafes into the night.
But the intense presence of humanity does tire you sometimes. My favourite moment so far from all my adventures in Valparaiso happened one random Thursday night. I remember me and my friend were walking, and the streets had nothing but blissfull peacefulness. There was not another single soul out, and the shining full moon kept us company, illuminating the colourful streets with its silvery glow. We stopped for a moment.
“Un gran dibujo…”