First day in Santiago with Melissa

Trip Start Mar 22, 2014
Trip End Mar 21, 2015

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Flag of Chile  ,
Saturday, November 8, 2014

I had an awesome first day with Melissa in Santiago today!  I was able to sleep for almost the entire flight from Easter Island, which really impressed me.  I got into Santiago a little after 5am, and got my bag without a problem.  Melissa’s flight was supposed to arrive at 6:18am, but it was delayed about 25 minutes.  I had plenty of time to find the international arrivals area and was waiting for her when she got out at about 7:10am.  It was so nice to see her again.  I knew I had missed her over the last few months, but I didn’t realize how much until I saw her this morning.

Our taxi driver, Johnny, who I had met on my way to Easter Island was there waiting for us and brought us into town.  Neither Melissa or I could even believe that we were both here together.  It was surreal.  It was really really nice, but surreal.  We got to our Ibis Hotel, dropped off our bags, and headed out into the city.  It was too early to properly check in, but at least we could shed the excess weight and head off unencumbered.  

We took the metro from Universidad de Santiago over to Baquedano and then had a look for some breakfast.  I would have thought that on a Saturday morning it would have been a lot easier to find something to eat.  There were no breakfast places open at 8:30am.  I don’t know what people do for breakfast on a weekend morning, but apparently they don’t go out.  We ended up having to get a couple of breakfast sandwiches at a gas station to hold us until lunch time.  Nice first date for the vacation, I know!

We found the office for Bicicleta Verde, which was our tour company for the morning.  We had a three hour bike tour with a guide, and it was just the two of us.  We didn’t plan to have a private tour like that, but it just worked out perfectly.  We got to see some really nice parts of the city, that neither one of us expected.  We had both been told that Santiago was just another big, dirty city, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  It is beautiful!  We spent most of our time in the neighborhoods of Bellavista, Providencia, and Pio Nono.  We learned a bit about the history of Santiago and Chile, and got to see some really cool graffiti art.  Our guide brought us to Mercado Vega, which is the biggest market in Santiago.  

We tried some different foods and sat down to enjoy a nice fruit smoothie in the market hall.  The tour was really good, and it left us both feeling really excited to see more of the city.  We finished up the tour and went back to the hotel to check in properly.  We got back out into the city and had a couple pisco sours, which are the traditional chilean drink.  They make the same thing in Peru, and they both claim to have created it.  We then hopped on the subway and made our way over to Concha y Toro vineyard.  It was beautiful!  

We were supposed to be there for a tour at 4pm, and we got there a little late, so we missed the english tour.  We stuck around for another half hour and then joined the tour in Spanish.  It was difficult for me to understand what the guide was saying, but it didn’t really matter.  I got to see the beautiful grounds and then taste about seven glasses of wine, with some cheese and bread.  It was lovely.  We hung around at the vineyard for a little while after the tour ended, and then headed back into the city.  

We found the Hard Rock Cafe, which was next to a really nice shopping mall in the downtown area.  We had a nice meal, and I got to cross off the 44th HRC on my list, in my 56th country.  I think I’m doing pretty well!  We went out for a couple more pisco sours after dinner, and then came back to the hotel to get some rest.  We’ve both had really long days, that started with us traveling last night, so we need a good night sleep before our trip to the hot springs tomorrow.
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