Colour leaks out of the streets as bits of gardens dribble down the paint-streaked walls. A city full of rainbows and emotions. It bursts with confusion, clutter, poetry, and jumbled up streets that climb the hills next to the Pacific. Valparaiso – warmly referred to as ‘Valpo’ by many Chileans, is my final destination in South America.
It’s a stark contrast to my beloved and wild Tierra del Fuego, but it still has its charms, and oh so many quirks! It presents a different sort of wild. Not the wilderness, open air, middle of nowhere sort that I (predictably) love. More of a “keep an eye on your bags, this place is a tad rough”, sort of wild. Putting This aside, Valparaiso is art.
It’s made of art.
A huge mishmash of art.
All jumbled together, through its architecture, location, hills, old ascendors (those things are somewhat terrifying, and at the same time, very endearing), street art, colourful buildings and painted staircases, it’s no wonder poets like Pablo Neruda found inspiration here. It seems more and more artists are attracted to this place every day. New murals mixed with old murals, on rooftops, walls, doors, gutters, staircases, large and small, words and symbols, some I don’t get, and some which are simply beautiful, the place is literally leaking paint.
Due to the many warnings received about street muggings, I didn’t take nearly as many photos as I wanted, and mostly with my phone – though I think some of the beauty in the street art lies in the fact that it isn’t permanent – maybe capturing it in a photo takes away a bit of the magic.