Santiago - pre earthquake!

Trip Start Nov 06, 2009
Trip End Mar 26, 2010

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Flag of Chile  ,
Monday, February 22, 2010

 So, after the most uncomfortable 12 hour flight ever, we made it to Santiago, Chile, 4 hours before we took off! We started
in Auckland at 4pm on Feb 22nd and arrived in Santiago at mid day the same day courtesy of crossing the international date
line. So basically we lived the 22nd twice! Weird, and absolutely exhausting.
My chronic fatigue and back ache didn't deter Luc though and as soon as we had checked in to our hostel we were out the door
on a city tour! And I wasn't allowed to catch the metro either! Luc made us walk all the way into, through, around and back
from town, including climbing up hills to see the Santiago smog!
Not much to say about Santiago really. It is a typical foreign city with a main square full of old men sitting, a few hawkers
and shoe shine boys and surrounded by a few government buildings, a post office and Cathedral. We had pretty much seen the
place in a couple of hours (Thankfully); so it was back to the hostel for a siesta to catch up on some much needed sleep.

Feeling a little more alive we ventured out into the bohemian part of the city, which fortunately was much closer than the
city centre, in search of dinner. This area was actually very nice and much less grungy and rundown than "bohemian" had
made me envisage. There were swanky cafes and restaurants and cool bars all over and it was much more vibrant than Australia
or NZ as the eateries were all open past 9pm! In fact happy hours in some didn't finish until 10pm, a time when Aussie and
kiwi restaurateurs would be firmly tucked up in bed! You have to love the Spanish influence!
We chose a nice looking place and after some fun and games with the menu and attempts at ordering and sign language with
the rather hot, perky waitress, we got our meals. Steak! but that was it. No potatoes, no vegetables, just steak. We then
realised why the waitress was looking at us strangely and giggling when we insisted we were happy with our order. Anyway,
the steak was very good and huge, so it didn't matter. We did learn though that when you ask for a rare steak..........
 in Chile, you get a blue one!

Not happy with the previous days self guided city tour, Luc had us out early for a "free" guided tour. I was allowed to get
the metro into the city this time though! After 4 hours of mostly the same sites we had done the day before in 2, we were
finished and I now feel like I could conduct tours of Santiago myself. Jokes aside, it was very informative and more
interesting than the Lonely Planets interpretation. Oh, and it was "Free" and not free, because basically they keep telling
how much average tours cost and at the end virtually insist on a tip!

One more thing we noticed about Santiago is that it seems to be a city of Dogs! There are stray dogs everywhere, more than there
are bloody pigeons in London (ok not quite) but they actually aren't that ferrel looking and appear fairly clean and well
 fed. I had to convince Luc that she wasn't allowed to take one with her!

We are now leaving Chile for Quito, Ecuador, where we embark on our trip to the Galapagos!!!!
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iseult on

hi you 2, so glad you're both safe and still having a good time
when do you guys get home or is it too soon to talk about that yet?
take care both of you

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