In the middle of the photo above you can see a large boat. This is the USS George Washington, a monster aircraft carrier carrying about 3400 troops and en-route for Japan. For the last few days, she's been sitting just offshore and it's been interesting to watch the small flotilla of boats going back and forth, ferrying men ashore and back again.
I've been rather stuck at home the last few days so I haven't been out to see what kind of havoc the sailors might have caused. As I haven't read or heard any reports of any mischief, it would appear they've behaved quite well. This is certainly different to my last experience of US sailors on shore leave from an aircraft carrier back in 2002 in Perth, when all they did was fight, destroy and cause various other problems. It was surprisingly entertaining to watch. From a distance.
3 years ago, another, even larger US aircraft carrier docked in Valparaiso-it carried over 6000 people. I was living in Buenos Aires at the time and I remember reading newspaper reports of upset punters, unable to get a prostitute in any of the major Argentine cities. They had all left to hit pay dirt for a few days in Valparaiso. This doesn't seem to have happened this time.
What I have noticed is that I've had quite a few more hits on this blog through google searches along the lines of 'Valparaiso brothel' and 'Valparaiso whorehouse' over the last few days. I guess these visitors left my blog a little disappointed when they didn't find the addresses they hoped for.
The USS George Washington leaves Valpo today.
EMOL has a special with lots of info about the carrier. There are also lots of photos here.