Pictures of Valparaiso, Chile

I’ve finally worked up the geeky courage to test my technical mettle by following instructions properly on a WordPress support page. And it seems I’ve mastered how to post galleries of images. It’s only taken 10 months of WordPress gear-crashing to get to this stage. I am now officially a blog P-plater.

So, my first cyber-slide night is inspired by the fact that today I have a feature in the Travel & Indulgence section of The Weekend Australian, about Palacio Astoreca, a lovely hotel set gaudily on a hillside in Cerro Alegre, one of the more salubrious districts of this wacky, higgledy-piggledy city.

My friend, Robert, likes to go travelling via Google Street View and has traipsed much of the world in this way. And when he’s not Google-walking, he’s exploring the streets of Sydney in real time, on real feet, in tireless pursuit of the latest civic project. I tried out Street View on Valparaiso (Robert had been there months before and had thoroughly enjoyed himself, albeit on a Mac) but I kept getting Google-lost along dingy side streets. At least I was only cyber-scared.

So, while the time I had recently to explore this calf-muscle-and-lung-defying city (in person, in sensible shoes, with a camera) was all too brief, I was very taken by its crazy-beautiful garishness. Valparaiso appears to have had every surface daubed with random, vivid abandon – whether born of necessity, creativity, political fervour or spite.

Had I had more than a nanosecond to fossick around the city, I think that Valparaiso and I could have become good friends; the sort of friends that wouldn’t mind looking through hundreds of each other’s holiday snaps.

We must try to get together again some time.