We took a lot of really great trips around the city and to the countryside. Two of my favorites were climbing Cerro San Cristobal and our trip out to Zapallo to see the penguins.
Zapallo is a small town south of Valparaiso that is famous for surfing. We were there for the Penguins. There’s an island right off the coast that is home to lots of penguins and pelicans. They are small birds off in the distance, so we walked out over the rocks to get a closer look. Even there we had to use Dad’s camera lens, but still it was great to finally see some wild penguins. We sat out on the rocks for a bit watching the tide come in. The water was so clear blue that we could see all the plant life and shell fish clearly. It looked inviting to swim in but one toe in could tell you that it was frigid cold, but I guess we should have known that because Penguins live there.
After our walk on the beach, we ate at a restaurant that was seaside and had the funniest waiter. He was calling Gram the Queen, but we already knew she was.
Our waiter with the King and Queen
When we visited Cerro San Cristobal, the teleferico that takes you up to the top was broken, so we hiked there instead. Mom and Gram and I (and our kiltro friend) chatted the whole way up. It was such a good conversation that I hardly noticed we were hiking, let alone how long it took.
At the top, there’s a huge statue of the Virgin Mary, a view of the entire city and a beautiful little chapel. Dad was calling the statue the Jesus/Mary on the hill – he sure learned a lot at all those years of Catholic school.