New arrival in Santiago!

Trip Start Jan 19, 2006
Trip End Jan 19, 2007

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Flag of Chile  ,
Sunday, October 22, 2006

Got our flight last night from Quito to Santiago which was a lot shorter than we thought so sleeping tablets were probably slightly wasted! Arrived early and had a few hours to wait for our new arrival, Dave´s dad, Tony fresh from London via Toronto.

Before he arrived we had a frantic search for beer, champagne or wine to welcome him from his flight but can you believe that none of the cafes had any available so we had to make up for it later obviously. Great to see him after 9 months and doesn´t seem to have changed much.

Got a cheapo taxi to our Hostal, Residencial Londres not far from the centre of town where we have a triple room. Nice place and nice big room. Enjoyed opening various packages from home that we had requested including Wotsits, maltesers, double deckers, marmite, newspaper, books and toiletries. Think that Dave´s dads bag weighed considerably less after all that plus our bags of stocking fillers (not quite sure whether we will be grateful for carrying these round for 3 months but will let you know on Dec 26th! Am sure we can hazard a guess at our comments though)

Went out for a walk in the sunshine up to La Moneda, a palace (I think) and walked through that admiring the size and colonial architecture before wandering to Plaza de Armas, town is pretty quiet today until we reach it here and then it is heaving with locals and street sellers. Stop for a beer and a snack in the square and enjoy people watching for a bit, it really feels like Barcelona and Las Ramblas to us all. Square is massive and bustling with fantastic buildings on the outside including the National Post Office and Cathedral. Have a look in the Cathedral after lunch where a service is going on. Is one of the most impressive churches we have seen in S America with a mixture of styles. Back outside we carry on walking up past the central market and towards the river where we ponder our next movements before being told by a local that we shouldn´t stop here as its dangerous. Are loads of people around and dont feel in danger but decide to heed his advice. Walk through the park alongside the river which is incredibly fast. People have set up an impromptu car boot sale without the cars or boots along the path. Police on motorbikes try to move some of them on and they pretend to pack up and then carry on as soon as their backs are turned.

We walk to Plaza Italia another large road intersection which is surrounded by more colonial oldey worldey buildings and is near where we stayed last time. Have another drink outside in the sun as an apperitif before we go to the restaurant we went to last time we were here too. Nice oldish place with a lot of character where we have a 5 course meal for about 6 quid. Very good and have a nice bottle of wine........if things carry on like this the next couple of weeks will be a blur!

Get the metro home and all have a good nights sleep after our flights (and wine!).
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