We are leaving Valparaiso after 9 days. We have grown fond of this city in all it’s faded, crumbling glory. It has suffered from earthquakes and tremors, the salt air and lack of resources to keep the buildings in pristine condition. This has endeared Valpo, we’ve been here long enough to call it Valpo, to us.

We leave with memories of the street art, the terraces that appear unexpectedly, the stunning views the ocean, the sea mist, the coloured houses on the cerro’s or hills, the quaint funiculars, the cranes of the port and the sounds of the seagulls as they fly above as if on lookout duty.

Walking around is made easier by the funiculars that lift you up to the top of the closer hills. One of our favourites is Artilleria that takes you up to Cerro Artilleria where there are spectacular views out over the cranes working to load the container ships to the ocean and the dramatic north coast. Here is also the Maritime Museum with a very good collection on the history of the Chilean Amarda.

Even though Valparaiso is no longer the most important port in Chile, the naval ships and other merchant ships dominate the waterfront.

The winding alleyways and steep, steep staircases are everywhere and are a place for artists to paint their street art. Progress on a walk can be quite slow with so many amazing murals to see. At any time or out of the way place a mural by a well known artist can appear – on a door, a garage, a stairway or a street pole.

Of course Valparaiso is not the only wonderful city in Chile but we will miss the vibe and rhythm of the place.