Friday, May 27, 2016

More Patagonia Photos

We've been back from Chile for a few weeks now. I've been silent on the blog front because I've been crazy-busy tackling a seemingly endless list of to-dos. Not only have I been catching up on being away from "home" for the last four months, but I've also been busy preparing to be away from home again for the next five months. I only have a small window of time to do all of this catching up and preparation. One thing on my to-do list has been to get a copy of Brian's photos from his camera. I now have Brian's photos, and I've chosen my favorites to share with you.

All of the photos I've posted on my blog thus far from our Patagonia trip have been from my camera. Aside from a few exceptions when I handed my camera to someone else and requested that they take a photo of me, most all of my photos have been of El Mecánico or of scenery. As I am in many of Brian's photos, this post proves that I, too, was in Patagonia.

Take this one, for example:

Me, strumming some tunes.

As you may recall from my To the End of the World post, we had a 22-hour layover in Buenos Aires at the beginning of the trip. We spent many of these hours sitting outside the airport entrance, basking in the sun, reading books, and strumming the guitalele (a cross between a guitar and a ukulele). El Mecánico took a photo of me playing his guitalele. Based on the position of my fingers, I was playing Mumford & Son's "After the Storm." (In case you are interested, there is an awesome set of tabs for this song located here.)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Valparaíso: One, Two, & Four-Legged Creatures

While the murals, doors and windows, and produce markets all make Valparaíso a great city, the two, three, and four-legged creatures really add to Valparaíso's charm.

Four-Legged Creatures

There is a long stretch of parkway between the north and southbound lanes of Avenida Argentina in Valpo. On certain days of the week, vendors set up produce booths along the parkway (see Valparaíso: The Markets). Sandwiching these produce vendors are hawkers of all sorts of wares. Old housewares, cellophane-wrapped books, and shoelace-less shoes are all laid out on the ground. Imagine blocks upon blocks of garage-sales-on-picnic-blankets.

One of these vendors sells parakeets. Although parakeets count as charming two-legged creatures, what I found more interesting was the four-legged creature who was intently studying the birds. Surprisingly, the doggie was exhibiting no lip-licking; he was merely observing the caged two-legged creatures' every movement.

This four-legged creature intently studies the two-legged creatures.

Around the block from our rental on Cerro Alegre is a mural of a man watching two dogs shag. I found it funny that a street dog decided to nap on the steps below the mural, as the dog's position made him look as though he was dreaming of doggie fornication.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Valparaíso: The Markets

There is something magical about produce markets -- the colors, the smells, the hubbub. And while the farmer's market in my Seattle neighborhood has received national recognition, let's be honest -- it's so damn expensive! We do nothing in the United States to encourage healthy eating; McBurgers are cheaper than produce! That's why I love shopping at produce markets in other countries.

A vendor at the Valparaíso market on Avenida Argentina. Tomatoes cost 600 pesos per kilo (less than $0.45/lb), five squash cost 1000 pesos ($0.30/ea), and one kilo of avocados costs 2000 pesos (less than $1.50/lb).

On a recent trip to the market in Valparaíso, El Mecánico and I filled both of our backpacks with an array of fresh goodies. While our bodies were weighed down by nearly 30 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables, our pockets were lightened by less than $18.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Valparaíso: Doors, Windows & More

I've taken hundreds of photos as I've wandered the streets of Valparaíso. As I've browsed through the photos, I've notice recurring themes -- doors, windows, signs, laundry, skies. Below are a few of my favorite photos from each of these categories.


Many businesses close for the afternoon siesta. Though siestas can start anytime after one o'clock and last as late as four o'clock in the afternoon, hours of operation vary drastically during this window of time. Accustomed to the 9-to-5 mentality common in the Unites Stated, the siesta hours sure do complicate shopping. I like the casual hours posted on the door of a jewelry workshop in Valpo. The sign reads: "Hours of Attention: From When I Open to When I Close." This is so Chilean -- in so many ways.

This door is surrounded by an elaborate border of capped columns. I like the contrast of the two columns; one is in decent shape, whereas the other is falling apart.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Valparaíso: Murals #2

Valparaíso: Murals #1 shared my favorite wall-sized murals. This post shares my favorite smaller-scale murals.

While I love the comic-style and vivid colors of this man in a boat, what I love even more is how the paint has peeled, leaving him with only one eye.

Likewise, while I love the simplicity and open-armedness of the girl below, I love even more how she has lost her poor little nose.