Corrugated City

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Old House

On Saturday I had to go to Valparaiso for the day (
or rather, for about 3 hours), to show this property for sale. It's a bit of a hike from Colchagua but as I was invited to the Los Vascos Jazz Festival I had to get back by 6pm.

I had about 15 minutes in between meetings so went to take a look at my old house. The new owner completely re-renovated the house (you can see my own total rebuild process here and by clicking back through 'older posts') and has just had it freshly painted. The renovations he did weren't really necessary, but the changes he made inside look great anyway. Here are a few exterior shots. I really, really miss this house and wish I hadn't had to sell it...but without the money from the sale, I wouldn't be able to own the properties I have in Santiago and Colchagua. Trade-offs and all that.

Wednesday 19 October 2011

La Bolsa de Comercio

Valparaiso was home to South America's very first stock exchange. I blogged about it a while ago here.

From that first building, knocked down to reclaim more land for Plaza Sotomayor, it moved onto this one:

And then when this was knocked down to reclaim even more land, it moved to its current location on Calle Prat.

Friday 30 September 2011

Real Estate in Valparaiso, Chile

I've been working a little bit more in Valparaiso over the last couple of months and there are some great properties for sale- commercial and residential- if you're interested in investing in Valpo.

Have a look at Real Estate Valparaiso, Chile for a few of the options. There are a lot more out there, so please feel free to get in touch and let me know what you're looking for.

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Sunday 10 July 2011

Photos Of Valparaiso From Cerro Alegre

I really have been neglecting this blog of late. I've been meaning to update for a while now, but just never got around to it. Anyway, this is just a very quick post with a couple of photos of Valparaiso taken from the top floor of a house on Cerro Alegre, last week. I've been back 3 times to Valpo in the last month, looking at a project there with various investors and architects. I won't say any more right now, but if it comes off, I'll be spending a fair bit of time back in my old home city over the next 18 months.

I've certainly missed the views...

That's my old red house in the middle of the photo. I love the way the colour makes it stand out so much. The new owner, an architect I bumped into in the Peruvian restaurant in Santa Cruz, Colchagua Valley, is currently undoing all of the interior renovations I did to put his own stamp on'd think I'd be annoyed, but I don't get emotionally attached to the properties I own. Plus, he loves the house and is doing a really interesting job with it. I'm looking forward to the house-warming party.

Interested in real estate in Valparaiso? Chile Investments can help you find exactly what you're looking for. Feel free to get in touch.

Saturday 18 June 2011

Real Estate in Chile

If you are interested in investing in real estate in Chile then please visit Chile Investments.

You can also follow Chile Investments on Twitter.

Vineyards for sale, Chile. Real estate Chile. Farms for sale Chile Недвижимость в Чили
Viñedos en venta Chile. Campos en venta Chile. Viñas en venta Chile. Bienes raices Chile. Inversiones Chile.

Sunday 10 April 2011

Another Old Photo

Just to keep you interested in this exceptionally slow moving blog...

Looking up towards Cerros Alegre and Concepcion to the left and Cordillera to the right. The photo is from around 1875, I reckon.

Tuesday 1 March 2011

Valpo For A Day

On Saturday, I went for a very quick trip to Valpo for a friend's housewarming party. He bought a place on Cerro Mariposa, not an area I'd recommend for buying property in Valparaiso, to be honest. But his renovation job was awesome and the views of the port and the Pacific from the house are amazing.

Things seem to be changing in Valpo, but at the customary snail's pace...and it's almost all private investment that's happening. It's clear the Municipalidad isn't really doing anything at all to improve the city. I hope that'll change some day, but I really doubt it.

It was great to catch up with friends still in Valpo. Hopefully, I'll be there longer next time so I can see the friends I missed. Here are a few photos from the trip. Enjoy.

View from the top of Valparaiso after taking Camino La Polvora:

Views from a friend's house on Cerro Alegre:

That's my old house. The person who bought it decided to completely renovate the freshly renovated house, at great expense. He's currently completely ripping it apart...It's going to be lovely, I'm sure, but he's clearly crazy...

Looking up towards Lautaro Rosas:

View from Cerro Mariposa:

That's a giant fish...

Views from the deck, at night:

Thursday 24 February 2011

If You Like Football...

...then you should watch this one minute video on You Tube. And even if you don't, you should still watch it. It's hilarious. And it's embarrassing.

It's Chilean DIY.

Thursday 3 February 2011


Isn't Summer lovely? I just got back from Quito, in Ecuador, where the temperature rarely gets above 20C due to the altitude. Quito is the world’s second highest capital city at more than 2800m above sea level. Actually, it’s officially the highest; its contender for the title is La Paz, in Bolivia, at more than 3600m but La Paz is only the de-facto capital of Bolivia. The official capital is Sucre.

Anyway, I had a really fantastic little break with the lovely Carolina. I hadn’t been to Ecuador in 7 years (almost to the day) and it was interesting to see how much things have changed there. Or, rather, how much some things have changed.

La Mariscal, or Gringolandia (as it’s where all the backpackers congregate), has completely changed. I lived in the barrio for more than 3 months and, although I had a great time, there weren’t very many bars or restaurants of any decent standard. Now, it’s been completely redeveloped and has loads of cool bars, restaurants and boutique hotels. It all looked really nice. If if weren't for the fact you constantly feel that someone is going to rob you with some kind of loud or pointy weapon, it'd be a really nice part of town.

And Quito’s UNESCO World Heritage Centro Historico is even more magnificent than before. It is truly an amazing place, renovated, cleaned-up and stunningly beautiful. Ecuador, compared to Chile, is under-developed, poor and horribly corrupt. But it has Chile completely beaten when it comes to historical preservation. Chile, and particularly Valparaiso, should be ashamed and embarrassed by its absolutely pathetic mismanagement of its architectural heritage. This country is painfully lacking a cultural conscience. It’s changing, but far too slowly and it’s going to be too late for much of Chile’s most beautiful architecture. It’s time the government stopped passing the buck to private investors (where no profit means no project) and got involved in safeguarding Chile’s heritage for future generations. If less well-off countries like Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia can do it, Chile should be able to. I doubt it’ll happen though- most people here just don’t care.

One of my favourite things in Quito when I lived there was climbing one of the Basilicas. In most other countries, you wouldn’t be allowed to get anywhere near where you can in this one…namely, to the very, very top of one of the bell towers. You start off at ground level and take a normal staircase for three levels. At each level there are panoramic views of the Centro Historico. At the third level, you then take a small spiral staircase to the clock tower. From the clock tower, you take a homemade metal ladder to the next level, another ladder to the next level and finally, another ladder up to the very highest point in the tower. The views are spectacular, obvio.

And then you go back down to the third level, cross a narrow and fairly unstable wooden bridge across the roof of the nave to the Basilica’s spire, where you take a couple of steep ladders/staircases to the viewing point. Awesome.

Basilica exterior:

Basilica Interior- nice fan vaulting:

The basilica is still unfinished...

Inside the clock tower:

Views of El Panecillo and the rooftops of the Centro Historico from the clock tower:

View of the spire from the high point of the clock tower- you can get up to just below the top of it...

Crossing to the spire- that's the fan vaulted roof of the nave you can see:

View of the clock towers from the spire- we climbed to pretty much the very top of the tower on the left, about where the photo gets cut off:

We were followed everywhere by a large group of Mormans, none of whom tried to convert us. Which was nice.

After this excitement, we headed down to the Plaza Independencia and Plaza San Francisco, went into a couple more churches (the Centro is full of them as it used to be pretty much one giant convent) and just wandered around, taking in the sights.

Plaza Independencia- if you click on the link further up the page, you'll see the same photo taken from a film-based camera more than 7 years ago:

The Centro Historico is gorgeous:

View from the hotel in Guapulo, Quito:

We went for dinner at Zazu, a fancy-pants Peruvian restaurant. It was very good, but over-priced at US$50 per person, without wine...They had the biggest roses I've ever seen in the entrance, 6 feet tall:

We also headed off to Banos for the weekend, a 3 hour drive from Quito. Banos itself is a pretty crappy little town, but it’s the countryside around that is the attraction. It’s kind of like the Elqui Valley, in that it feels as if the mountains are right on top of you, but, unlike Elqui, it’s pure green scenery with lots of small waterfalls. If you’re into adventure sports, it’s a great place to go to. I like that kind of thing, but we didn’t have all that much time, so we just ate and drank a lot and drove along the road out of town, taking in the views and hiking the short distance to El Pailon del Diablo, the largest falls in the area. It’s a beautiful part of the country.

I can't remember the name of this fruit, but it looks like a giant pea-pod. The fruit inside is like eating a slightly sweetened cotton swab. As nice as it sounds.

Hotel in Banos- the house was beautiful, the hotel part of it, not so much:

Around Banos:

Me, spoiling the view:

El Pailon del Diablo- it was tricky getting a decent photo of it, so here's one of me:

Other things I like about Ecuador would be the food and the people. Ecuadorian food is fantastic, a mix of tropical and Andean and so much of it is fried, which makes almost everything taste better. The beef is pretty awful, but the chicken and pork (and goat) are amazing. I ate too much. And I drank a lot of tomate de arbol juice, which was always my favourite flavour. I smuggled back some tomate de arbol seeds as well, so hopefully I’ll be producing my own in a couple of years.

Mmmm, seco de chivo (that's goat):

Also, Ecuadorian people are really friendly- everyone smiles when you walk into a shop and they’re almost always helpful and courteous in any situation. This is another thing Chile could learn from Ecuador.

On the flip side, Chile has Ecuador beaten in quite a few other, important ways. Ecuador has a serious crime problem with lots of gun and knife crime. La Mariscal is a den of thieves and the Centro Historico is really bad after nightfall. You do have to be careful as a tourist and, to live in Quito, you have to make some major changes to the way you live your life. The roads are a mess with pot holes everywhere, dangerous sign-posting and some of the world’s worst drivers. Corruption at every level is rife. It’s for these reasons why I think Chile is such a great place to live. You don’t have to change your way of life in Chile. A few small adjustments here and there, maybe, but not major concessions and compromises. Chile is a really livable country and Ecuador, for me, just isn’t. It can sometimes be easy to forget the advantages Chile has. A few days in one of the other South American countries tends to remind you.

So, I’m now back in Colchagua and enjoying the Summer again. It seems to have cooled off a little after 3 weeks of serious heat. I’ve got a busy couple of weeks coming up with clients and other projects so it’d be nice to have some cooler (but still sunny) weather for a while. Tomorrow, I’m hiking up what would be considered a mountain in England with clients to visit this amazing property in Colchagua Valley. The clients will be on horses, but my back problems mean I can’t ride. I prefer the exercise anyway and after a week at altitude, it should be an easy stroll. Maybe.

Friday 21 January 2011

What Vinamarinos and Portenos Think Of Each Other

Here's a link to an interesting article in the Santiago Times, that cites a study into what people from Vina think of people from Valpo, and vice-versa. There are no real surprises- Portenos are uneducated malcontents, Vinamarinos are cuico snobs, Valpo smells bad and Vina has too many traffic jams. Although they do say some positive things about each other as well...

Thursday 20 January 2011

Valparaiso Earthquake 1906: Some More Images

Calle Maipu down on the Plan:

And a panoramic view of the devastation taken from probably around Cerro Bellavista, judging by the curvature of the bay.

Click here to see more posts (below this one).

Friday 14 January 2011

Christmas, New Year and Summer

It's been a while (again) since I last posted. So here's another quick summary of what I've been up to for the last few weeks.

Well, I swapped Summer for Winter in mid-December, when I headed home to England (I also call Chile 'home'). And what a Winter it of the coldest on record, a whole heap of snow and the country shutting down due to the total lack of preparation from the utterly, utterly useless government.

But anyway, I started off in London, staying with my brother and family. My other, Paris-based, brother was there as well. Plus, a plague hit my family in early 2010...a plague of babies. Both my brothers and two cousins had little'uns between January and March (and also one of my best friends a couple of months ago). Not being a huge baby fan, I was expecting the worst, but they were all surprisingly well-behaved. Not that you could get a word of sense out of the parents between 6am and 9pm, when all conversation revolved around babies, vomit and poonamis but everyone seemed very content (and tired) and that's the most important thing. I'm happy my family is happy. And I'm looking forward to them all getting older and being able to interact a bit more (the babies as well, ha).

So London was nice. And cold. I met up with some great friends, had a curry down on Brick Lane and large amounts of lovely London Pride.

London snow...

And then after two days, it was time to head up to Knowle, near Birmingham for Christmas number 1, with my Dad and his wife, Pat. We headed out on Saturday morning with severe weather warnings ringing in our ears. I had slept less than 3 hours, due to sleeping on the sofa and had woken up with a pinched nerve in my shoulder, leading to rather savage pain all down my right side. And a hangover. So when we got stuck in traffic caused by the freezing conditions and snow about 10 miles outside of London, I knew we were in for a long day...

We made it a total of 30 6 hours before deciding to postpone the trip and pull into a hotel in a little village off the M40. Many people got stuck in their cars overnight, so we were lucky.

English travel chaos...

Anyway, we made it up the next day and had a nice time, despite it being cut short by a day.

A huge Chilean Araucaria in Knowle...

The bros. And a huge barbequed turkey (barbequed in minus 10C...)

Christmas number 2 (the real one) was spent down in with my cousins in the New Forest and was as fun as ever, watching the cricket (that was a hell of a beating you took there, Australia), drinking nice wine and eating so much food. The traditional Boxing Day walk was definitely needed.

The cold weather didn't really bother me all that much. It was a lot nicer than the usual mild, damp, drizzly weather I usually experience when I go back to England. Freezing cold, snow and blue skies are so pretty. It warmed up after Christmas and it wasn't as much fun. Christmas should be cold, anyway. But a Summer new year is a lot more fun that a Winter one. But I still had a good time, hanging out with friends and playing with indoor fireworks (which I hadn't seen since I was about 6 years old).

There was even the one that looks like something a baby produces several times a day...

After new year, there was time for some fairly serious sales shopping in London and also for a trip to Fulham's Craven Cottage to watch my beloved West Brom get beaten 3 nil. And, as I was sitting with the Fulham fans, I had to 'celebrate' all of their goals. Oh well.

And now I'm back in Chile, walking the dogs and enjoying the Summer.

The flight was ok, despite the lack of legroom...

And look who were waiting for me at home, in Santa Cruz, Colchagua Valley...

Summer dog walking. Nice.

I'm also really busy. Work has picked up massively already this year (lots more people interested in real estate in Chile) and I have two, possibly three projects of my own to do. I'm feeling very optimistic about 2011. Here's hoping for a good year for everyone.

And I'll leave you with my favourite book section in WHSmith's ever: