On a Sunday not too long ago, my boyfriend and I decided to take a day trip out of Valparaiso. There are plenty of towns around here that we haven’t visited yet, despite having lived here since March, so we  figured, HEY. COME ON. SERIOUSLY. Let’s go do some sightseeing.

I made coffee, as I normally do. (Editor’s note: while I have assumed some Argentinian customs such as mate, Jorge too has been adopting some North American customs, such as consumption of Mr. Smith’s Hazelnut Coffee.)

I went to the sink to wash out the french press, as I normally do.

I reached for Jorge’s typical red mug, as I normally do.

But inside of Jorge’s typical red mug was something that is normally never there.

I don’t know how this little guy got inside Jorge’s typical red mug, but he was trapped. I screamed. I called for Jorge. Reptile doesn’t make an appetizing creamer, I assumed, so Jorge helped transfer the new friend into a jar, where we spent the next 15 minutes looking at his awesome shiny colors and tiny feet.

Jorge eventually released him back into the wild (re: the stairway outside our front door) and then we continued with our day.

We ended up going to Olmue, which we accessed by taking the metro until the very last stop, transferring to a bus and riding for an additional 10 minutes. The metro was a lovely part of the trip because, contrary to most of Valparaiso, is it clean and orderly. There was a range of quality entertainment provided for us as well in the form of street musicians (or in this case, metro musicians), singers, theater, and snacks. The artists and purveyors roamed from car to car, and the entertainment respectfully limited the performances to one per car as we traveled. There was masked dramas a la Greek Tragedies, an up and coming 15 year old pop singer, a flute-and-percussion ensemble, and plenty of guitarists. Jorge and I tipped the crap out of these people. At one point, one of our seat mates was a man with a startling amount of body hair. If you’ve ever seen somebody with a startling amount of body hair (carpeted legs, I’m talking), you’ll know that it feels simultaneously unsettling and fascinating.

In Valpo, waiting for the metro to go to the end of the line

Olmue is more in the interior, toward the mountain range, so it doesn’t experience the heightened cooling effects of the sea like Valpo does. As soon as we got off the metro we almost melted. Valpo seems to sit at a perpetual 68 degrees, whereas Olmue was a sweltering 90. Once there, we didn’t do much. No really, we did startlingly little. We perused outdoor markets, bought mate, ate a delightful lunchdinner that included ceviche and some sort of wine spritzer, and then bought pants and dresses. 
And then we freaking went back to Valpo.

I like my sightseeing to be pleasurable, lazy, and mostly unproductive

And there’s your standard boring Sunday in South America. And by boring I mean not boring at all, because life is fascinating always, no matter where your Sunday is happening!