First taste of Chile not a kidney bean in sight
Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
371Trip End Feb 26, 2011
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We climbed the steps of Cerro Santa Lucia which was beautiful and a refuge from the city sprawl and afforded us great views of the city, Erica at this point still wasn’t feeling too well and we had to stop for regular breaks. I think it must have been either the temperature or the strong cerveza (beer) we were drinking last night. We had looked at a forecast but both with long trousers on in 29 degrees of pure sunshine it was a bit warmer than we expected. The smog although not even in the same league as China was a bit of a pain as the view of the Andes was not as clear as we would have liked but you still got the impression you are in a big city trapped between the mountains and the sea in such a narrow country.
We continued the walking tour through the city and went into one of the famous art galleries, Palacio de Bellas Artes. They appeared to be in the middle of getting ready for an exhibition but it was free so worth a visit anyway. Some of the art work was well.... a bit random to be fair with things appearing from various orifices of human beings. We then headed back through the city and past all the cafes and restaurants plying the very busy lunch time trade. It was noticeably cheaper to eat out than in Australia and New Zealand however the lady didn’t want anything to eat. The Chileans prefer to have big lunches and small dinners so it was great to look at the menus trying to decipher what you would get for £5
The next stop was the law courts and government buildings before going into the celebrated pre- Columbian museum. At 3000 peso each it was a little steep, or it sounded a lot 3k for a museum but on doing the maths we realised it was £4. The museum detailed numerous ancient South American artefacts from the Maya kingdoms of Central America to Southern Chilean and Argentinean. Lots of the exhibits were dated BC and of particular note were the Mummies that actually predate those found in Egypt. They were not as impressive as I imagined as they were essentially dolls made out of sticks into human shapes which the ashes were then buried in, I imagined life size human figures wrapped in bandages but there you go I am a little fantastical.
I followed the Lonely Planet’s advice and went into a cafe next door to try one of the empanada’s again I had no idea what to get but I ordered one of seven or eight on offer and despite being translated as a turnover filled with meat, cheese, olives or something else what I got was essentially a meat pasty with half a boiled egg and some olives in it. When mixed with a green salsa it was beautiful and having eaten out for about 80p South America was starting to grow on me
We then headed off to the palace were General Pinochet was overthrown with lots of Chilean flags some of which were huge. We wandered off again through the financial district and past the stock exchange and a few other sights. I think we have seen more men in suits today than all our time in Australia and New Zealand put together, not sure if that’s a good thing but we are both amazed at how safe the place feels (in other words I’m not as paranoid as I could be). Walk finished we headed back to the metro and got a metro out to the bus station to try and get a bus to Mendoza in Argentina the following day. Getting on the metro we got a warning from a woman saying just how dangerous the bus station and metro stop there can be (Erica edit: Prompt extreme paranoia I knew it couldn’t last).
When we got to the bus station we found a terminal selling international bus tickets and managed to book a bus for 08:40 the following morning
We popped out and got an avocado sandwich with a bit of a burger on top (that is how much avocado they are using here). At about £1 each the total food bill for the day was about £2.90 so that is pretty good. We got back and after a quick chat with the other guys in the hostel and a shower headed off to bed before anyone else in the dorm. It must have been about 20:30 by this stage. It was red hot though and despite being so tired neither of us got to sleep very easily after an initial sleep I was awake until the sun started to rise and therefore got about 3 hours sleep, the Lady did a bit better but not much.