Red hot Chile

Trip Start Oct 10, 2009
Trip End May 18, 2010

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Flag of Chile  ,
Sunday, November 1, 2009

Got to Santiago no probs and met my airport pickup,It was a steaming 30deg, a half hour later I was having a beer with Rodrigo the friendly concierge at the hostel rio amazonas a pleasant little place with the most comfortable bed I've slept in up to now with SOFT pillows !!!!! The middle picture is actually my bedroom.Chile has a strange time difference of 2 hours forward to Peru, even though Santiago is further west than Puno, last week I was 6 hours behind the UK, now I.m only 3 hours back, very strange !!!
Had a great nights sleep, had breakfast and went for a walk around the city - Chile is not cheap, beer prices are double Peru, in fact most things are double Peru, including the people !!! I have never seen so many fat people... I kid you not, 50% of the women are overweight and a good percentage of the kids are chubby too, Santiago has a serious problem with obesity..Weird !!
The city of Santiago has the feel of a Spanish city, the buildings are mostly Spanish colonial style, you could be in Valencia.
Walked up to the Plaza de Armas - the army plaza or square - every city or town I have been to in Sth America has a Plaza de Armas, usually right in the centre. I then spent a leisurely 5 hours taking in the sights before going back to base, had a couple of expensive Chilean beers - Escudo beer - then I watched the big match online with Rodrigo... Universidad Santiago v Cniversidad Catolica, the big local derby game !! Catolica won 3-2 - Rodrigo was not happy... Good game though.
The glorious Stockport County lost again ... I might chance a prayer in one of the many churches around here - We need all the help we can get !!!! I got the idea whilst sat in the Plaza de Armas being preached to by some lunatic with a bible, pacing up and down shouting some Spanish religious mumbo-jumbo, he arrived on a bike with bible quotes plastered all over it ..While on the subject of religion, I forgot to mention the strange fact that the second (christian) religion in Peru is 7th day Adventist !!!! Even on the islands of Lake Titicaca and the jungle, there were 7th.D.A. churches.. How bizarre !!!
Then came Sunday, it's November and already I'm into my second month. Yesterday I spotted an even bigger hill just outside of the city and decided I'm gonna have that... So I set out to climb it, turns out it was the Santiago national park, about 800 mtrs high (2500 feet) and I could either get to the top by cable car or walk the 6 kms road, after Machu Picchu it was a doddle !!
Right at the top was a massive statue of some woman called Mary, overlooking a church - The Spaniards like to put churches in the highest places !! 
Six hours later I was back in my hostal - Knackered.
I'm having an early night tonight, ready for my 5 o'clock flight to the Atacama desert - I'll keep you posted.
Hasta Luego Santiago.
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thebuckets on

I am liking the look of Santiago. Proper City!!

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