A Travellerspoint blog

Santiago - Day 54

Goodbye South America!!

27 °C

Our last day in South America! Where has the last 8 weeks gone? It's been more amazing than I expected and I am more than a little sad to be leaving. But we have another few countries to go yet so we're excited too.

We were supposed to be leaving our apartment at 12 noon today but thankfully they let us keep it until we needed to leave for the airport later this evening. We made the most of the good weather and spent the afternoon by the pool.

We went to use the Internet to check our emails before we left but the cafe wasn't open - actually nothing much was open on a Sunday in Santiago - so we went to McDonalds and bought a drink so we could sit and use their wifi. We met an old couple from Gloucestershire in there who just arrived in Santiago and must have thought McDonalds was a safe bet. I bet they don't go to McDonalds much in England though! They were going on a cruise of Chile and Argentina from Valparaiso and after just coming in from a long flight (maybe around 16 hours?) they told us we were definitely doing the right thing travelling while we're young, while the we can bounce back from the jet lag and move around easily. I definitely feel we've done the right thing, we've seen and done some incredible things here, and hopefully like them, we'll be lucky enough to do more right through to our 70s!

We said goodbye to them and went for our lunch at a restaurant across the road. I can't remember the name of the place, maybe red bar, but we had some awesome hot sandwiches - I had pork, avocado, tomato and cheese and Andrew had steak and cheese - and fries with a hot pepper relish, all washed down with a beer to toast our two months in South America.
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We had just enough money after that to get the tube and a bus to the airport - we had about 500 pesos (70p) left! The flight was a little delayed, but nothing major given it was a 13 hour flight anyway, then after dinner and seeing Skyfall for the first time, I fell asleep around 2am Santiago time.

Posted by staceywaugh 01:14 Archived in Chile Tagged food Comments (0)

Santiago - Day 52 & 53

And relax...

27 °C

We've been having a relaxing time here in Santiago. Yesterday we explored the city a little, taking us to a beautiful cathedral where a ceremony was taking place. It sounds so much more interesting in Spanish!
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A lot of the major buildings we went to see, following the map we had picked up from tourist information, had works being done so we didn't get to see too much. On the way round, we walked straight into a protest or riot! People we're being held off the street and there were so many police and fierce looking riot vans, it was actually a bit scary.
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We spent the afternoon up on the roof, sunbathing and swimming, which was just what we needed. The view from up there was fantastic too. We even came back up later that evening to see the sunset, which was lovely too.
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Shame about the crane in this one!!
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Today we found an Irish pub to watch the England v Wales rugby match in the six nations. I was missing a sunny day for it, but Andrew really wanted to see it so we went. Andrew got us there an hour too early for kick off, but 'coincidentally' Aston Villa were playing at that very time too - good for Andrew, not so much for me! Just before the rugby started the pub got a lot busier, but we were outnumbered massively by Wales fans. As you will all know by now, England lost, the Welsh men and women in the pub were shocked but deliriously happy. We left the pub. Good job Aston Villa had won (minor miracle?) beforehand...

We made the most of the lovely day by exploring a bit more of Santiago, in particular a place called Cerro Santa Lucia, which is a pretty viewpoint out to the city. This must be the place to go if you're courting (as Andrew's Dad would say!), as everyone was cuddling and kissing. So now you know what's going to happen if your Chilean boyfriend takes you to Cerro Santa Lucia in Santiago!
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It was Saturday late afternoon and all the shops in the main area seemed to be almost empty. We wandered down to the main square again and that's where everyone was - it was packed with people watching street artists, musicians, dancers. There was a whole group of people playing chess in a pavilion. It would be so nice (if not slightly damaging to the economy) if more places in English towns and cities were like this!
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Posted by staceywaugh 05:06 Archived in Chile Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises churches buildings skylines landmarks Comments (0)

Valparaiso to Santiago - Day 51

Preparation...

27 °C

We arrived at our final destination in South America today, Santiago. A two hour bus journey and a short ride on the underground - which is a very nice underground! - we were in the city and only a few streets away from the apartment we had rented. We decided to book an apartment rather than stay in a hostel to have a few days to relax before the big flight in a few days.

After a bit of confusion at the front desk, we got into the apartment. It was tiny but had everything we needed, except internet access, but the pool on the roof made up for it though! The size of the place and the lack of wifi is getting us prepared for New Zealand, where we'll be staying in a tiny camper in the middle of a forest or on a beach.

Posted by staceywaugh 05:05 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

Valparaiso - Day 50

Pablo Neruda's house, Art & Sea Wolves!

25 °C

It was so hot today! And typically we started the day with a walk uphill! We went to see where the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda lived when he stayed in Valparaiso. Nice house with a great view!
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His house was just up the road from our hostel and on the way back down we saw lots morel art. It really is on every corner here.
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We walked down to the harbour and had dinner at a seafood place tha was recommended. We had the set lunch menu, which was an empanada and then you could choose from three seafood dishes that sounded almost the same - language barrier again. We went for a seafood 'paila', which is a fish soup, and I expected it to have some tomatoes in there like a fish stew, but no. It was pretty much a ton of mussels, few prawns and pieces of squid, couple of pieces of fish and then a load of unrecognisable bits of seafood that was stringy and undesirable all served in salty hot water. Definitely not the best meal of the trip!
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This afternoon we went on a boat trip in the harbour, which took us out on the water to see Valparaiso from a different angle, see the big ships up close and also have the chance to see some sea lions. This was on the recommendation of our eccentric hostel owner Patricia, who called the sea lions 'sea wolves'. Good job we knew what she meant, as sea wolves would be quite scary!

Anyway, we did see the 'sea wolves'! They were on a platform in the sea and also sat on the front of the boats too. We also saw some great views of Valparaiso and the navy ships in the dock too.
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Posted by staceywaugh 05:54 Archived in Chile Tagged art birds boats sea_lions cargo_ships Comments (0)

Valparaiso - Day 49

More stunning street art

20 °C

I knew it would be a good day as Andrew made pancakes for breakfast and they were delicious! It was quite a cold day so we headed out for some more sightseeing. Today we went to an area called Polanco, which held a street exhibition earlier in the year, I believe, where people painted the houses in the area and the art has been left there. We were told not to go there late as it's not the best area, as you may tell from some of the pictures below, but we were fine there in the day and there were other tourists around taking pictures. We had to go up a vertical ascensor to get the top though, which had a see through floor once we were up there - not a fan! I think the view would have been fantastic had we have had a clear day.
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We were here to see the art work though and I thought some of it was amazing
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We then took the tram down to the port and walked to the ascensor there. It was so rickety! There were some little stalls up there and the view was good too. Andrew was mesmerised watching the containers being moved around?!
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We finished the day, in one of the pubs near the port that sailors used to visit, with a cold Valparaiso-made beer
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Posted by staceywaugh 05:57 Archived in Chile Tagged art boats beer views ports street_art Comments (0)

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