Valparaiso, Chile

The hillsides are extremely steep in Valparaiso, so the houses seem to cling to the hillsides rather than being built on a level foundation. Some are brightly colored, others are rusty corrugated metal. A maze of twisty little stairways connects them all. Just two days ago they had an earthquake here, it’s a miracle that it didn’t all end up in a big pile at the bottom! San Francisco is essentially flat in comparison.

We spent most of the day exploring the hills to the north, and climbed some ridiculously steep streets to reach the top. Even the stairs that often replace the sidewalks are dangerously steep in some places. But the views are amazing, and the hillsides are wonderfully tranquil and free of traffic.

The town is full of dogs sleeping on the pavement, and cats in search of anyone willing to stroke them. I don’t know how we would have found our way back without GPS and OSM maps…