Valdiva is a much bigger town than we thought and its reluctant claim to fame is that it has had the biggest earthquake ever registered (9.5) which occurred in 1960 which all but wiped it out! So why are we here? Erm, we didn´t know much about the place before we came, erm there´s sea lions at the local fish market we thought would be fun to see, erm there´s an art gallery here…oh, and it´s a bit further north so we thought it might be warmer…
When we finally got a move on and got out the hostel today, it was pretty misty outside so we didn´t rush, we decided to walk down to the local fish market again, take it in while the market was actually on. The sea lions are really necky, it looks in the photos like they´re in cages, they´re not, the cage/fence is there to stop them getting to the fish stalls! They´re on the lake side of the fence…
That said one of the guys in the hostel, Chris possibly, said he´d seen one get around the fence. Must have come ashore much further down and walked/waddled (whatever they do) along the promenade to the market to try and get to the fish!! Doh!
We also ventured over the river to the art gallery where there was an exhibition of Chilean and Argentinean artists on display, we were lucky as it returns to Santiago on Sunday. The space was great, an old brewery with long vaulted rooms. After lunch we took a walk through the Uni to the botanical gardens, which was short and sweet as the weather was closing in and rain was on its way.
As we crossed back over the river the congregation of fishing boats all rafted together was growing. We´d seen a few as we left the gallery earlier and a local guy said they were holding a protest because the larger commercial vessels were still allowed to fish anchovies but they were now banned! That doesn´t seem fair! It made for some really colourful photos.
Stopping in at the shopping mall on the way back to the hostel might have been pushing our luck as it was raining pretty hard when we emerged, luckily we were only just around the corner, and we had our waterproofs with us, although that didn´t stop us getting funny looks from the locals as flip flops didn´t quite cut it.
They rest of the day was pretty much rained off and we settled into photo uploading and such like, Bernice tried unsuccessfully to have a sleep. A guy we recognised arrived at the hostel, Dan, he was a fellow passenger on the Navimag.