The 2nd Leg
Trip Start Aug 22, 2006
23Trip End May 13, 2007
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Or should I say Beunos Dias Amigos!! I┤ve finally kicked off the 2nd leg of this trip by landing into Chile. However what a strange experience it was to have flown across the date line.
Somewhere in the Pacific zigzaging its way down the map is the date line which is like a time warp. I was stuck on a 15 hour plane journey out of Sydney with an charming old lady who was trying to bore the knees of me (I┤m sure). I tried all tactics including sighing, sneezing over myself and falling asleep when not even tired, and I still got prodded and woken up for more ┤chit-chat┤.
Well thank GOD for the date line, cause when I arrived in Santiago, rather than thinking I┤d wasted the best part of an entire day listening to her crack on, I managed to somehow (though I┤m not too sure how) get the whole day back again!
Ok so what┤s Chile like?? Well, on first impressions its full of Chileans. And, its no place for non spanish speaking gringo┤s like me. Honestly, if anyone┤s got any plans for coming over here with just the queens english - sour news matey, think again. I┤ve had to cram some hardcore no nonsense ┤Spanish for Begginers┤ into the last 3 days and now am competent in getting myself completely lost overseas, catching buses, trains, cabs, querying timetables and buying a new fleet of underpants (very handy you will agree).
Santiago is a charming city, as Chile┤s capital it boasts over 5 million people who love their Samba, Salsa, Easter Island fish and cervesa. The city is bulging with nightlife too has a surprisingly European feel to it. Its also nestled between the Andes to the East and smaller range of mountains to the west before Valparaiso, and the views are simply stunning. However one thing that Santiago doesn┤t do very well are tourist offices (la oficina de tourismo) and information points. I┤m personally staying in the party capital of the city in a town called Bellavista and it has stray dogs, stray old men and plenty of bars to choose on a warm night out in town.
So the last few days has definately been a struggle getting to grips with Espa˝ol however things are looking better. Tomorrow (miercoles - wednesday) I┤ll be hiking through mountains in the El Morado nature reserve plus on thursday I am now booked to travel through the Andes through to Mendoza (Argentina) and onto Buenos Aires by bus.
Hasta Luego Amigos. Will keep you posted.