Saturday, 12 February 2011

¿Dora speaks Spanish?

The view from our apartment...

...where electricity is within easy reach.

As part of the children’s Spanish education we let them watch the kid’s channel on TV.  Today Dora the Explorer was on and Spanish is her native tongue.  The kids have watched it in Oz where Dora throws in the odd Spanish word here and there for education reasons. 

Indiana and Truce were watching Dora when we heard, “Spanish Spanish Spanish slow Spanish Spanish slow."  I felt like we had stepped through the looking glass.  Dora teaching English – this gets curiouser and curiouser.

Time to play tourist.  We chuffed off to the harbour via trolley bus.  The girls love it for two reasons.  One: they don’t have to walk and two: there’s no walking involved.  I didn’t realise how much we depended on a car in Australia.

Many boats waiting to go on a three hour cruise, a three hour cruise...

Every other tourist in Valpo had decided to go to the harbour where there are many boats waiting to take said tourists out for a tour of the harbour.  I tired to ask if we were in the tourist line or the ferry line but we were ushered along at such pace (time is money) that I didn’t get a chance to practice my phrase for a return ticket.

It’s vital for the captain of the boat to get you on as quickly as possible, more passengers equals more fares.  Everyone is given a life jacket and the number of people on board seems to correlate to the number of seats.  The tour is pleasant enough but it's not a necessary part of a trip to Valpo.  It does help give perspective to the size and layout of the city and I imagine that everyone tries to find where they live.

Strange short haired, air breathing fish.
Indiana thinks they smell funny.

Half way through the tour the boat idles and a deckhand comes round to collect the fares, CH$2,000 per person.  This is when I realised we had CH$3,000 in the wallet.  I tired to explain to the deckhand that we were hurried on board and we thought we’d have to pay before we got on.  Would we be made to walk the plank?  Would they through fish heads overboard and let sharks circle around?  Would we be rescued by a passing pod of dolphins?  The resolution to this adventure is rather dull - we had a spare US$20 in the back of my wallet and all was forgiven.

Afterwards we rode up the Ascencor Concepcion for CH$300 per adult.  A very small ascensor that holds about nine people and makes a near vertical climb up Cerro Concepcion.  I don’t know if the photos do it justice but I can assure you it is steep.

There followed a leisurely stroll around the streets of Concepcion where there is a mix of classy hand made art pieces and mass produced souvenirs. 

Yes there was a quake in Chile and it was felt in Valpo but we think we were in a taxi when it happened and didn’t know anything about it.  A taxi ride measures higher on the Richter scale than an earthquake.

We have to move out of this apartment on Monday into another one, which the owner does know about and has let us stay there for a month at a very reduced rate.  Our agent poured out our story and they’ve dropped their price by CH$100,000 to match what we would have paid for this one.  We will only be staying there for a month while we find something at the right price in the right location. 

On the trolley bus

Trolley bus babe.

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