Corrugated City

Saturday 29 August 2009

The Best Places To Eat In Valparaiso

So as I no longer live in Valpo, I was thinking about the places I'll miss when I'm hungry.

  1. Allegretto: Pilcomayo, just behind the Anglican Church, Cerro Concepcion. The best pizzas in town, friendly and welcoming staff and decor and open all the time. If you're ever hungry on a Sunday night, Allegretto is pretty much the only place open. It was always my go-to place whenever I was hungry and there was no food in the house.
  2. Pastis: On the corner of Subida Concepcion and Pilcomayo, Cerro Concepcion. Duck to die for, amazing quiches, cute decor. Probably one of the best restaurants in Chile.
  3. Mastodonte: Esmeralda, just down from Plaza Anibal Pinto. Best and cheapest lunches in town (2000 pesos for a well-presented and really good carne al jugo con arroz y ensalada chilena and a soft drink). Plus the decor is so unbelievably kitsch that you have to go check it out.
  4. Le Filou de Montpellier: Great value French food, entertaining owner. Corner of Almte Montt and Urriola. It's never let me down.
  5. Cafe Turri: Next to Ascensor Concepcion. Surprisingly good value and really pretty good food plus fantastic views.
I'll be back with more of my Valpo faves over the next few weeks. If you didn't know, I'm now living in Santa Cruz, Colchagua Valley, Chile, where I'm about to go to a two year old's birthday party after taking the dog for a long walk. Isn't life exciting?

Thursday 27 August 2009

How To Get From Valparaiso To Santa Cruz...

...because that's where you want to visit after spending a few days exploring Valpo...

The fastest way would be to simply click on Colchaguino for a virtual trip. The other ways would be:
  • By car: The long, more expensive (petrol and tolls) but infinitely easier way is to take Ruta 68 all the way to Santiago, connect onto the Costanera Norte and then take the exit to Ruta 5 Sur until you hit San Fernando. Exit in San Fernando following the signs to Santa Cruz Casino. From Valpo it'll take around 4 hours including a short pit-stop.
  • By car: The quicker, more complicated way- Exit Ruta 68 at Casablanca and follow signs to San Antonio. Follow the signs to Santo Domingo and Llolleo and you'll avoid having to drive through one of Chile's most revolting cities. Stay on that road for an hour or so, drive past Lago Rapel and then take a right at Cruce Las Aranas where the sign says 'Santa Cruz Casino'. Keep following those signs until you reach Santa Cruz. This way will take a around 3 hours if you don't get lost and it's a really pretty drive so worth the risk.
  • By bus: Take a bus to San Fernando, change to a local bus to Santa Cruz. This way will take you over 5 hours.
  • By bus and train: Bus to Santiago Estacion Central, train to San Fernando and then bus to Santa Cruz. A more pleasant way to travel.

Friday 14 August 2009


On Tuesday we're moving down to Santa Cruz, Colchagua Valley, Chile. The move is making me slightly crazed...I'm trying to fit a 200m2 house into a 100m2 house. I don't think it's going to work, to be quite honest.

Anyway, blogging has commenced over at Colchaguino, so please head on over and visit. And if anyone is ever down Santa Cruz way, please feel free to get in touch. I'm always happy to meet up with visitors.

Friday 7 August 2009

I'm Sure This Should Be Considered Offensive...

...a clothes shop for larger than average people called "Little Fatties".

I'm really not sure why, in the Spanish language, it's considered appropriate to be so rude about people's appearance...but it is...and it's the same in every Spanish speaking country I've been to.

Wednesday 5 August 2009

Valpo: Home

Wow, it's been a while since I blogged. I've become a little lazy over the past few months as my time has been more limited due to work and other commitments. I just got back from an entire month in the US on holiday which was pretty great but it's nice to be home again...even if it's just for a very short while before moving down to Santa Cruz, Colchagua Valley (where I can assist you in buying a vineyard in Chile if you wish).

So you already know I was in New York. We spent two weeks in total in the city, upstate and out in the Hamptons and had a fantastic time seeing family and friends. The only downer was getting bitten by a tick in the Hamptons, contracting Lyme Disease and then having my last two weeks of fun in Seattle and San Francisco a tiny bit ruined by the ensuing symptoms of crushing depression, extreme fatigue, headaches, body aches, memory loss, brain fog, confusion, panic, heart palpitations, mood swings and generally feeling all-round rubbish. These were all constants throughout the week in Seattle but were intermittent by the time we got to San Francisco which allowed me to enjoy at least some of my time there.

Actually, I really liked Seattle. The setting is beautiful and there's quite a lot to do. I'm looking forward to going back when I'm not wanting to crawl into a dark corner and cry.

And San Francisco is now one of my favourite cities in the world. So much fun, so much diversity, such a tiny, beautiful city. The food is amazing, the architecture fantastic, the natural setting awesome...I didn't want to leave.

We also spent two days in Sonoma, Napa Valley and stayed with a friend who is a vineyard appraiser. He gave us the scoop on values, who's bankrupt, who's fighting with whom and a fantastic tour of the best restaurants. We had such a good time. It was fascinating to see the Valley- it looks identical to the land around Santa Cruz and also Casablanca. The only difference is that it costs us$650,000 a hectare in Napa and an absolute maximum of us$100,000 a hectare for the best vineyard land in Santa Cruz (the Apalta Valley to be exact). Santa Cruz has a way to go yet...

So here are a lot of photos from the trip.

Cocktails on Sunset Beach, pre-tick bite, now I can't really drink as I'm on antibiotics for 3 months :(

Sunset on Vashon Island, Seattle

Mount Rainier in the background

More Seattle

Napa Valley...

Fancy Yountville dog treats

At the doctor's office proudly holding my (still alive and engorged) tick before it was sent off for analysis. I won't mention where I found it on my body...

One of the prettiest and best maintained vineyards I've ever seen, managed by a US friend from Valpo...

More Napa

But this is Chile...

San Francisco...Alcatraz first

Bay Area

Cool architecture


I'm really not sure I'll have any time in the next 2-3 weeks to blog...I've got so much on at the moment. Probably by the time I have a spare minute to write anything, I'll already be in Santa Cruz, Chile and writing on my new blog, Colchaguino. Corrugated City will be updated on occasion as well- I've got a whole load of old photos to post...