la sebastiana & valpo no. 2

I think I live in a fairy tale.

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I can’t seem to get used to the magic of this country.  Even when the weather changes on me and I get lost in the hills of Valparaiso in the cold rain, the colors from the houses, the blue of the Pacific and the street art make it a worthwhile adventure.

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This weekend, despite my ongoing battle with a devilish cold that has plagued nearly our entire group, I set off to Valpo to check out La Sebastiana, Pablo Neruda’s home.

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Getting lost on my way to the museum/house was a blessing into disguise when this sweet puppy decided to escort me for at least 30 minutes.  The street dogs here are like members of the community.  When it’s cold out, some Chileans dress them in coats and scarves and there is always food and water on the street.

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I hid from the rain in Pablo Neruda’s towering, magical house.  Pablo Neruda, the Pulitzer Prize winning Chilean author and bon vivant called Valparaiso home in the later years of his life.

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Here he entertained and wrote, spending hours over looking the city, the bay and the surrounding ocean from his bedroom, living room or study (all featuring amazing windows!).

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I took a pleasant walk along the scenic Calle Alemenia, a rare wide and horizontal street that zig-zags across the cerros.

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For lunch, I tested out La Coco, a specialty sandwich cafe boasting a wide-selection of vegetarian treats, deliciously roasted potatoes and fresh squeezed juices!  I devoured a grilled veggie, mozzarella and pesto sandwich and kiwi juice that were amazing!  I definitely will return!

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Other treats from the day were a store called La Putamadre (which my hispanohablantes will understand 🙂 ) that sold anarchist books, locally made art and clothing, and a small bookstore with a large cozy chair and an owner who put books on hold for me to come back and read whenever I want!

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