Saturday, February 19, 2011

Giant Puya flowering in Valpo

Around the seashore cliffs along Av. España & Altamirano as well as in many slopes in the surrounding dry hills grows this big native plant Puya chilensis, who knows why, it grows tall yellow inflorecences reaching the higher tree dimension up to 8-10 meters.... I sight not to be missed while in Valpo this summer.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Valpo's downhill bike race

Edition number 9 of Valparaiso’s spectacular city mountain bike competition will kick off Sunday 20th of February at noon. National and international mountainbikers will race down 2 km of Valparaiso’s city hills at a breakneck speed to reach the finish on Plaza Anibal Pinto. Be there and watch the riders get the best out of their bikes in a unique coastal city landscape! Visit the Cerro Abajo homepage for more details.
see a downhill view with the bike
credits: (photo:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Whale paleo sites versus waste disposal

In the surroundings of Las Ventanas are located the thermoelectric companies that supply with energy to Valpo- Viña and a good portion of the region. The current problem starting to show up is where they could bury their burned waste coal.
Gener, one of the energy companies has bought some areas inland where they pretend to build a landfill for their waste.....
The problem, the area is covered with fossiliferous outcrops around crevasses containing fossil whale remains where they pretend to fill their waste.... so far they cann't do it because the chilean Consejo de monumentos nacionales has given a warning because fossil sites like this are protected by chilean law 17288.
Nevertheless, we don't know what is going to happen..... the legal fight is going to go on....
and these whales still unstudied in situ.... could be buried by coal waste, being lost for ever for our heritage history.Fossil whale sites are rather scarce worldwide.... the oldest are known in the paskistani Kashmir from where the earlier proto-whales are known..... On our side of the Pacific the fossil sites around Nasca are perhaps the better known. Even though chilean whale fossils are known from some sketchy XIX century Philippi's descriptions, just recently Chilean sites are being surveyed with extraordinary findings in massive outcrops around Caldera. In Viña, in the 80s a fossil whale was found in the surroundings of a brick factory in the today poshy Reñaca neighbourhood and it was partially rescued by Museo Fonck. Of course, the site was lost for urban development. This time, these unstudied fossil outcrops are larger, and the menace is industrial and environmental.....what is going to happen?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ex libris & book collecting

Old fashion reference works like encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks and the like are beginning to disappear from homes vis-a-vis newer multimedia and internet reference sources. Nevertheless, even with e-books at hand we have discovered that the ability to process new knowledge when is electronically delivered seems to be slower or lighter as compared with the paper. Therefore, the general out of fashion & outdated paper reference works start to be the gain of some people like us... bibliophiles who collect classic general reference items like Encyclopedia Britannica, Collier´s, Salvat, Larousse or Americana for a very low price tag.
Valparaíso, Santiago and B. Aires are good places to get hold of copies of Spanish language general encyclopedias like Monitor (1970s), Espasa-Calpe (1950s-90s), Salvat (1970s-2000s), Durvan (1970s-1980s), Hispanica (1990s-2000s), Oceano (1990s-2000s) and Sopena (1960-70s); English language references like Britannica (1911-1990s), Collier's (1960s), World book (1960s-80s), and less frequently French and German language like Brockhaus (1950s-70s) or Larousse (1960s-90s).
Oceano published in the 90s even a 4 volume Enciclopedia de Chile that often is found in used bookstores and flea markets.... the places to look for used books in Valpo: Feria La Merced in plaza O'higgins, sector Bellavista esq. Blanco; used bookstores at Cumming street, San Ignacio esq. P.Montt, P. Montt facing the congress building next to the Rodoviario bus station, and Av. Independencia esq. Gral. Cruz.
So if you like reading and you have space at home try classic reference works you might enjoy.... Otherwise, we always have some available copies for trading. Interested mainly in natural history, science, & earth if you have any questions contact us.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Rock on the hills (Rockodromo)

Just about to start with free open concerts in the cerros de Valparaiso.... piping too..... find it in the spot..... More info at