Tomorrow we leave for our 30-hour bus trip to San Pedro de Atacama, so tonight it's time to upload some pictures (finally) to webshots as I'm not sure when we'll next have internet. Even so, if you have broadband, appreciate it! I'm sitting in the lobby of the Hotel Vegas. Pictures from the Falklands and from graffiti art in Valparaiso are now uploaded in Webshots (see link to the right), including a video of Gentoo penguins.
Outside, a gaggle of students marched past our hotel, shouting slogans. The hotel clerk and I stepped outside on the cobble-stoned street to see what the noise was about -- just in time to see a few riot police running past the hotel. It's quiet now. No one seems to fear the police here. The hotel doors stand open, and there are no sirens. I may never know why the students are marching, not even by reading tomorrow's paper. This is a beautiful city, the days are sun-filled, and 5 million people live in this urban valley surrounded by the Andes Mountains. The people we've met are warm and welcoming, but we are still seeing just the surface.
Both in Valparaiso and here in Santiago, graffiti art blossoms on building walls in some districts. Here are some highlights from Valparaiso: