Valparaiso & Vina del Mar
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  Patagonia, Santiago & Easter Island

We travelled west to the Pacific Ocean to Valparaíso, the main port of the country. The route passes the agricultural valleys of Curacaví and Casablanca, the latter which is now growing the chardonnay grape.  Valparaíso is surrounded by 42 hills that seem to dive into the ocean. It was once a flourishing city and the most important maritime destination of the Pacific coast before the Strait of Panama was opened to navigation in 1914.

We visited La Sebastiana Museum, one of the houses lived in by the famous Chilean writer and nobel poet Pablo Neruda. He collected many memorabilia which are on display in the house, which has been restored to be as it was when he lived there. Then a walk in the old downtown district and then a trip in the funicular lift to see view the harbour. (There are 27 hills in Valparaiso with funicular lifts)

Vina del Mar

Travelling north along the coastline of the bay we reached the city of Viña del Mar, the most famous and visited seaside city of the area, with miles of sandy beach, its many parks of huge trees and palms that gave Viña del Mar the name of 'Garden City'. It is the fourth largest city in Chile. Lunch was in a restaurant overlooking the beach. Along the coast we saw the seals, pelicans, gulls and cormorants.