Rest Day in Santiago with Astrid
Trip Start Jan 08, 2014
18Trip End Jan 25, 2014
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Oh, today started with a total disaster. I managed to get past immigration and customs - my reciprocal visa cost me $160.
Then I went to get some cash to take the bus and metro to the hostel. while I was struggling with the ATM, a nice gentleman employee of the airport was giving me assistance. He told me which button to push to get the English translation. I had asked some English speaking men who had just gotten in what the exchange rate for dollars was. They told me 5 to the dollar. They were wrong. I got totally confused by the extra 100 multiplier and had no idea how much money I was taking out of the machine. I ending up caving into the "nice" man's suggestion that it was safer to take a taxi and then I got totally ripped off when he tagged along and gave me the taxi rate. I am embarrassed to say how much I overpaid. Astrid said to forget it. She also reminded me that she had given me detailed instructions on how to get to the hostel using the bus and metro...which would have avoided my big blunder
After I settled into our room and Astrid and had taken care of a little problem she had with our women's bunk room turned into a co-ed one, she left me to take a nap before going out to explore a little of Santiago.
After my nap, we set out for a restaurant cafe (Cafe del Museo ?) that she had liked before and we ordered the set menu. It was lovely and we sat outside and I was warm - gloriously warm. We had discussed some options but by the time we paid our bill it was after 4 pm. We decided to go the cemetery since3 she was very impressed by it and I thought there wouldn't be enough time to do the Botanical Garden justice. We stopped in the Metropolitan Cathedral on the way & it was quite impressive
We traveled by the subway which is quite modern and Astrid didn't manage to lose me although I did try to get lost once or twice.
The cemetery is amazing! I don't remember all that Astrid told me that she learned on her city tour but the cemetery was bigger and more grand than La Recoleta, the famous cemetery in Buenos Aires where Eva Peron is buried. Allende's tomb is here; he was recently reburied here. We stopped off at a cafe and had some ginger ales before taking the metro back to the hostel.
For dinner, we had our cheese, cracker, olive, peach, avocado and wine dinner and tried to work out part of our future plans to rent a car but ran into difficulty. All for now - will try to fill in more tomorrow. Maybe.