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A weekend of discoveries in Valparaiso

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Now back to work after a really lovely weekend. Nic and I went out with a guy from work, Mario, on Friday night, which was really good fun, and they all made a huge effort to include us 'gringas' in their conversations, however much we faltered. And having been out with them the week before, it was encouraging that they had actually invited us out for the second time, meaning our Spanish cannot be too painful to bear!

Saturday was a bit of a chance for us to have a mooch around. Yuki (the girl who knows all the gringos in Viña) invited us to some special day in Valparaiso, so we went there for some culture thing. We left pretty swiftly, after finding out that it was like something you had to go to at school, learning about different cultures that contributed to the Chilean culture. However, we firstly cleared up the food and lemoncello on the Italian stand, whilst downing a glass of typical Chilean wine (flavoured with crushed fruit), which was actually really good and ok because it was around 3 in the afternoon by then and, to me, that seems perfectly acceptable. Oh how things never change.

Anyway, after we fled from our first cultural experience, we headed down the main street and came across the best thing ever. The local chav's were having a car show. There were about 60 cars parked along the street, with enormous exhausts and music pumping out of the giant sound systems that occupied the majority of the cars. This is where we learnt that Chile also has its Chavs and that they are very fond a nice leather interior and neon light.

Highlight of our day was as we were walking out of the city, we came across a massive indoor market, which was authentically South American, which, to be honest, you don't get much of around here. We went inside and deicided that we fancied fish, so attempted to buy some. However, the poor chap selling it could tell that we had absolutely no idea how to cook it, after one of us asked whether you eat the head. Thus he directed us towards the upper level of the mall, which appeared to be a bit of a ghetto, but on closer inspection it was full of families and young people, so nothing to worry about there. And we ate at a really cute little restaurant, we got a fishy soup with mussels in for a starter and then finished it with hake (i think - merluza, look it up) and a tonne of salad. It only ended up costing us about 2 pounds each, because they gave us a 500 peso discount to make sure that we came back there another day! Bless...

After a rather big night out on Saturday with Yuki and her friends, we ended up sleeping until midday and spending the afternoon on the beach as the weather has suddenly perked up and we're getting about 25 degrees, which is rather nice!

In other news, I think I have now found myself a flat, just waiting to hear back from the girl. It's in a place called Chorrillos (in case you want to google map it), just a bit further inland that my office, but still only 15 minutes from the beach.

I'm hopefully going to attempt to get some photos this week/weekend and going go karting this weekend with the guys from the office, so wish me luck, I think we all know that when go karting is concerned, I may need it!


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My Year Abroad

Viña del Mar, Chile

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