January 11, 2019

It’s Friday, a good day for a long bus ride. I walked the streets of Valparaiso late into the night and needed the sleep that I got on the bus. Jet lag was kicking my rear for the first two nights but I got my mojo back yesterday and experienced ‘Valpo’s’ secret: dusk and nightfall on a warm summer night, the days heat radiating up from the cobblestones, siestas completed, cafes and galleries reopen, bottles of Carmenere open (probably one of the best Chilean wines anywhere) and moods heighten. There is a special magic in the air. So I walk the narrow streets and forget about time. Very romantic for couples. I try not to stare at their amorous behavior in the shadows. Cats on still-hot tin roofs, dogs follow anyone with a scrap of food, sliver of silver moon in the violet sky, music drifts, laughter lifts. Who wouldn’t want to walk through this scene deep into the night? But all things come to an end, my friend, both good and bad, and the scales of time finally begin to balance in favor of sleep and I find my way back to La Nona’s and and drift into dreamland.

Up early to catch the number 612 bus to the main bus station. It’s about a 20 minute ride, 380 pesos worth (about 40 cents), that winds through old neighborhoods, up and down the cobbled streets picking up people on their way to work. An old man sits down next to me and pulls out a wrinkled old paperback, I think I saw ‘Dostoyevsky’ in the title. Would have loved to talk to him. The bus station is the usual packed merry go round and I climb to the top floor of my bus and flop into my seat and doze, waking occasionally to gorgeous seacoast and dry rolling hills passing by. I arrive in La Serena at 5 pm. It’s pretty blasé after Valpo but we will see what tomorrow brings.

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