Thursday, January 3, 2013

Valparaiso, Chile

It is strange to be 32 degrees South of the Equator, going towards the  end of the road.  In some respects the countryside is becoming more and more like the hills and forests which I am familiar with in North America.   The trees are getting bigger, and definitely greener.  While riding towards Valparaiso this morning, there were two instances where the smell of lavender or sage was almost overwhelming, and again it reminded me of the Great Sage Desert of the United States, where I clearly remember seeing pronghorns and almost got hit by lightening in a powerful summer storm.

Although the landscape and the vegetation is impacted by the latitude and the influence of the Pacific, I sure don't recognize some of the fish being brought ashore by the local fishermen.


These guys had been net fishing for crabs, which is a different way of crabbing than what I am used to.  They had purple and regular looking crabs, albeit a touch small in my view...


They were pulling in what looked to be mostly bottom fish, and some cousins of the cod family no doubt...

Although these guys with the noses did not look at all familiar, and as far as I am concerned, can stay in the South Pacific...

These guys were either flounders or very young halibut...

And these looked like overgrown sardines...or maybe mackeral-like cousins...

These looked the most familiar, and were probably of the cod family...

The fishermen had to launch their long and narrow skiffs into the water by hand, and it was a communal effort to get these big and heavy skiffs into the water, and of course above the tide line at the end of the day...



We followed the coastal road south, and eventually came to Valparaiso.  It was pretty apparent that the wealthy Chileans have carved some pretty nice sea-viewing pads out for themselves...


 We arrived at the pre-arranged hostal,  and were greeted by two nice hounds.  It was a nice change from the Chilean street dogs, who seem to have a particular hate on for motos, and we are constantly swerving to avoid them.  I recommended that we get squirt guns and fill them with vinegar, an old paper-boy trick of my misspent youth....
 Theses guys were happy to see us, and curious about the new lodgers and the new bikes
 Which brought new smells and new possibilities for scratches and pets..
 This guy was the shy one, and it took about 15 minutes to convince him that I was a dog person, and not a cat guy...

 The Tiger is going on a ship to Germany tomorrow, so crating the bike was the order of the afternoon.
 First, the bike has to fit the crate....
 The owners of the hostal are in the business of painting their house, between bikers...
 A picture seen in downtown Valparaiso...

The Tigers' front wheel will come off in the final crating...
 The cleanest Tiger has been in a couple of months...

Finally, a sniff....
 Then a lick...
Not unlike some of my better dates in that aforesaid misspent youth...