Winebox Valparaíso

There is a new hotel-bar in Valparaíso, and I have been sooooo keen to go. As you can see by the pictures, the owners had the idea to use 25 retired 40’ shipping containers to create a funky, hip, fun place to drink wine, dance and stay a few days. They are New Zealanders who got the idea to put shipping containers together in a useful way after an earthquake in Christchurch several years ago. If you’re interested, the complete background in a 6-minute video here.

They had been advertising summer events each Sunday evening in January and February, and it just looked like so much fun. I brought the idea up to Marta, and she suggested that ask some of our friends if they’d like to go. So we got a good group together and met up in Viña. We took the micro (the bus) up the hill to Valpo, where it dropped us right outside.

We did this primarily to ease the logistics of getting there. Valpo is dramatically different from Viña in a variety of ways, one of which is layout. While Viña’s streets generally cross at right angles and are numbered appropriately, the streets in Valpo twist and turn, stopping abruptly and changing names so often that I feel like I’m back in Boston and can’t find my way around.

Winebox sits on top of a hill, offering breathtaking views of the greater Valparaíso región (which encompasses Valpo, Viña, Reñaca and ConCon). We ordered espumante and wine, and settled ourselves into a corner of the bar. I loved how the owners had reused items throughout the bar-hotel. Even the tables and chairs were made out of recycled shipping materials. The whole place had a really unique feel. All the staff also spoke English – bonus!

It was a lovely relaxing evening with friends, a beautiful summer day to be grateful to be in Chile. But the fun didn’t really begin until we departed.

Our group left in smaller segments of the larger whole. Marta and I, along with two friends (Gerard and Antonella) were the last ones to leave. We decided not to take the bus home, but to descend the hill and take the metro. This entailed traversing some fairly precarious stairs (see awesome picture of the 3 ladies below). This proved not a problem, despite the fact that we had imbibed a lovely amount of alcohol throughout the evening.

I led the way, being the leader I am, encouraging everyone to take care several times along the way. 😉 At the very end, when we were at the bottom and in the flat area, I tripped. I have no idea how it happened. The streets hold trip hazards just about anywhere – between the earthquakes and I’m sure various other factors – there are interminable opportunities to misstep.

Regardless of how, I recognized immediately what had happened because of the intense pain radiating from my ankle through my body and causing the blood to rush from my head. Just as I was thinking I should lean against the building for support, I fainted.

Yes, I fainted in the middle of the sidewalk.

The next thing I know, Marta is holding my feet in the air. Gerard is holding my head and asking if I’m ok. I’m still light-headed and cannot stand. The street is empty except for us. A lovely gentleman from across the street appears and asks if I’d like water. He returns with a glass of water and a chair for me. I find myself surrounded by four very concerned people, and I still do not feel like moving. I feel foolish, embarrassed and concerned simultaneously. I know that the pain stemmed the previous surgery on that foot (3 years ago now). I’m feeling foolish for getting all the way down the precarious stairs and then tripping in the street. I’m concerned because I don’t know if I’ve done real damage or not.

My friends get me home, supporting me as I walk (stumble) and getting my foot wrapped and iced before putting me to bed. The next day, I do not move much. I am able to walk, though with a limp. The picture below is from Day 2. I spend most of the week not walking much, or not walking far. I’m still nervous, especially with a PFT coming up (!) but am trying to be smart instead of worry. Marta takes me to buy a brace for my ankle.

It was such a fun evening, and I’m so sorry it ended like this, but it definitely provided quite the story! Two more friends brought me a bottle of wine the next day, as they obviously know me well. 😉 This is the best medicine. Gerard came by to check on me and visit with Marta and me for a while. I received many encouraging notes for good healing. I feel surrounded by love and support. As much as I worry for my ankle, I feel so grateful and happy to realize I’ve built such a wonderful support network here in Chile.

As of this writing, I’m still not sure if I have done permanent damage or not. I don’t think so. It seems to be healing well, just taking a long time to do so. I will have to wait another week or two to see about running (and I will keep you all updated, promise!). If you are interested, take a look at the picture below of Marta and Antonella walking down the street. See that dark spot in front of them on the sidewalk? The one that just looks like a crack in the sidewalk? Yes, that’s it. They told me later that that was the scene of the crime. I really don’t know how it happened.

Regardless, it was a lovely summer evening out. I discovered how much I am cared for already. And I am reminded again I need to take extra good care of myself. Hugs until next time,


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