My walk home

My daily loaf of bread and the cheese and shrimp empanadas are catching up to me. It seems I’m getting a nice little tummy. However, my legs have never been stronger. This is because I am lucky enough to live in Cerro (hill) Yungay, one of Valparaíso’s 42 cerros. It’s generally quiet, covered in art, and has a great view of that big blue thing over there we call the Pacific Ocean. Cerro Yungay is run by groups of friendly multi-colored cats and overweight happy pups who come and go from house to house as they please. For this post I want to show the short, but oh so steep climb from the base of my street to my house. I will do so with photos…

Ah yes the first leg. Though the scene may be calm in this photo, after sunset the stairs are full of youngsters celebrating life. Many friends are made here. The stairs are completely covered in mosaic which takes your attention away from your soon to be
Ah yes the first leg. Though the scene may be calm in this photo, after sunset the stairs are full of youngsters celebrating life. Many friends are made here. The stairs are completely covered in mosaic which takes your attention away from your soon to be very sore calves.

Stretch your legs and make friends with the hill. That’s my strategy. Here you see the plaza below Calle Mackenna. Down there you might find an 80-year-old man hurling an entire cow carcass into the butcher shop. You might find groups of “punking” (pronou
Stretch your legs and make friends with the hill. That’s my strategy. Here you see the plaza below Calle Mackenna. Down there you might find an 80-year-old man hurling an entire cow carcass into the butcher shop. You might find groups of “punking” (pronounced punk-ING), younger adults who wear all black leather outfits, have amazing green and purple Mohawks, and listen to strictly Iggy Pop. You will certainly find street carts selling everything from sushi, to pound cake, to a glorious selection of fried delicacies.

Challenge: spot the kitty in each of these 2 photos!
Challenge: spot the kitty in each of these 2 photos!

This is the steepest and strangest part of the climb, the S hook. Here you feel as if the silly graffiti characters are watching you, and the ever so suave street cats are literally watching you.
This is the steepest and strangest part of the climb, the S hook. Here you feel as if the silly graffiti characters are watching you, and the ever so suave street cats are literally watching you.

Getting closer…
Getting closer…

The final stretch. By now your quads are burning and the sun is beating down on you but you are so happy because you are surrounded by amazing colors and you know there are Super Ochos (Chile’s national chocolate bar) waiting for you at home.

The final stretch. By now your quads are burning and the sun is beating down on you but you are so happy because you are surrounded by amazing colors and you know there are Super Ochos (Chile’s national chocolate bar) waiting for you at home. Behind that dark blue fence to the left... 

Behind that dark blue fence to the left lives a mammoth like Burmese mountain dog named Tupac. I try to pet him every time I pass by for good luck and good karma.

...lives a mammoth like Burmese mountain dog named Tupac. I try to pet him every time I pass by for good luck and good karma.

This is the amazing graffiti across from my home. Also, notice the little orange car on top of the roof. My next-door neighbor, a retired lawyer and self-proclaimed artist, put his vintage car on top of his house. My host mom tells me that sometimes durin
This is the amazing graffiti across from my home. Also, notice the little orange car on top of the roof. My next-door neighbor, a retired lawyer and self-proclaimed artist, put his vintage car on top of his house. My host mom tells me that sometimes during a big storm or during a sunset she sees him sitting alone in the car with the headlights on. I love this place.

home sweet home

 

Home sweet home

I make this walk at least twice a day, sometimes 3 or 4 times. Two months in I feel like I could climb the Matterhorn on one leg. The truth of the matter is that this is only the beginning of my walk to school or the beginning of my walk to the ocean. The entire city is covered with color and magnificent, diverse architecture. I am so lucky to live on this street.

Jacob Levy

Jacob Levy is a Spanish major at the University of Iowa. Jacob will be spending his semester in Chile on the CIEE Valparaíso Liberal Arts Program. 

Student blog entries posted to this International Accents page may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UI Study Abroad and International Programs.  The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

 

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