Day 62 - Following the Sun, the longest day ever!

Trip Start Sep 30, 2012
Trip End Jan 09, 2013

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Flag of Chile  , Santiago Metropolitan Region,
Saturday, December 1, 2012

Today was a travel day but a rather interesting one. Aunty Linda fetched us from our backpackers and kindly took us to the airport. She has been wonderful and it was a tearful goodbye. We then checked in to fly to Santiago, Chile, via Auckland, New Zealand. We took off from Sydney at 9:30. We arrived after two or so hours of flying at Auckland where the local time was 14:45. We had to get off and back onto the plane and we took off just after 16:00. We then flew for 11 hours arriving in Santiago at 11:30 in the morning, the same morning!
So bizaar! We crossed the international date line so started at the beginning of Saturday again. Making our day a whopping 36 hoursish. We were pretty exhausted after the flight and although they closed the blinds and made a fake night for the passengers we both didn't sleep too well.
Anyway we disembarked and had a moment of fear when our bags didn't come through. We thought they had been lost so stood at the LAN counter to report them. It was a frustrating exercise waiting as one rather slow lady tried to sort our baggage drops for people with missing bags. Then all of a sudden out popped our two bags on the belt. So weird but we were so grateful to just get them through.

We headed out of the airport and, following the instructions from our hostel, climbed onto a bus headed for the city. At the last stop, Los Heroes, we went underground and caught the metro. We met two other Argentinian travellers and they decided to walk with us to our hostel. Our hostel was about a 15 minute walk from the metro station and the outside is painted with some wild artwork. It is an Eco Hostel so its aim is to alert its guests to Eco issues. The hostel is in one of the original houses in Santiago and has wooden floors and shutters on the windows. Really quite interesting.
Our first impression of Santiago is a lot of graffiti, some litter and a real mixture of beautiful historic buildings and some rundown more modern ones. The people living here are also very interesting and there is not very much English spoken at all. We think its going to be one of the tougher countries to travel in in terms of the language barrier.
Anyway we had a long afternoon sleep and got up to find a nice dinner spot. The lovely lady at the hostels reception directed us to an area with some relaxed restaurants. We took a walk and found the area very easily. It's a lovely street lined with fancy and trendy type restaurants and cafes. We enjoyed a quiet stroll and looked at a few menues. Most travel guides say that there isn't much to do in Santiago but most recommend trying the many restaurants on offer. We found one we fancied and sat down at an outside table and had a lovely dining out experience. It was more of an expensive restaurant but we treated ourselves after the many hours of flying and airplane food to a delicious dinner. Anton even sampled the local cocktail, Pisco Sour, which was very lemony and strong.
We then took a gentle evening stroll back to the hostel. While it is safe to walk on the streets here we have seen quite a few homeless people around and it definitely doesn't have the same safe feeling as most of the other countries we've visited have had.
Anyway we plan to walk around the city and see more of it before we jet off to Easter Island on Wednesday. So looking forward to that adventure.
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