Got to get away some times...

Trip Start Dec 26, 2009
Trip End Dec 22, 2010

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Flag of Chile  ,
Thursday, May 6, 2010

Santiago, a vibrant fast pace city; settled at the base of the grand Andean mountain range. The proud owner of the highest mountain in South America; Aconcagua, standing tall at 6900m. Too bad you can hardly see this amazing mountain range through the thick Santiago fog.

Chilling on a queen side bed, upgraded to for free from a dorm. I felt slightly depressed for the first time in 4 months. Through the noisy traffic and unfriendly atmosphere at the hostel, I couldn't figure out why. Maybe I used all my happy endorphins drinking and partying in Valparaiso, or it may have been the crowds of people in the streets rushing from A to B. I peered out the window to marvel upon fort Santa Lucia. A hill in the middle of the city covered in fauna and flora, an oasis of some sort. The perfect place to "get away from it all" 

arg.. Maybe I just missed Patagonia.

After spending too much time away from "society" it feels a bit harder trying to integrate myself back in. I decided to rent a bike for a day to capture the atmosphere of the city. I had a great day exploring, but couldn’t find the motivation to pull my camera out and take photos. I came across this strange folkloric dance in one of the city plazas. I wasn’t sure what it was called or its origin, but it looked Spanish to me and slightly lame.

Finally! I was invited to surf my first couch. Arriving at Rodrigo’s beautiful apartment, I instantly felt those happy endorphins return to their rightful place. It was refreshing to hang out, drink some beers, chat and go clubbing with him and his mates. It was good to be away from the masses of travelers in hostels, which sometimes makes you feel like a piece of meat in a production line. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Rodrigo. I will try my best to do more couch surfing in the future.

It was a striking ride travelling across the Andean mountain range to Mendoza. Gazing upon these mountains, reminds me of how I yurn to explore them. I notice Aconcagua to my left, astonishing. I will climb this beast one day.

It’s sad, departing Chile. The people are truly friendly, the only country in South America where cars stop at pedestrian crossings. They love and make the time to converse at any given opportunity. However they speak muy rapido.....Often finding myself, lost in translation.

The chilean guys are firendly and good to have a laugh with. The girls generally seem more conservative than their Argentine counter parts, maybe because of the strong Catholic influence. They seem shy during the day, however after a few drinks at night. They transform into proud, flamboyant Latinos.

There is a large indigenous population with beautiful brown skin and eyes, in comparison to Argentina which received copious amounts of immigrants throughout the years. I do stand out here, like a black man in a KKK meeting, with my blue eyes and white skin etc. But the good thing about Chile is that there isn’t this negative feeling of being a tourist. When you go out to buy street food, they charge you the same amount as everybody else and don’t try to exploit your ignorance.

It has a mix of large supermarket chains, similar if not better than NZ ones and small street stands that sell freshly made food. Everybody has the opportunity to earn money if they cannot find a job. Allot of them bye food from the supermarkets, go home to make something, returning to the same supermarket later to sell it to other shoppers.

I felt really safe in Chile, only having one negative experience with a Mexican guy who thought I was an American, his answer to a question of mine "I’m from that country below your piece of shit one" obviously in Spanish. This was not a good sign. One, being reminded of their hatred for Americans, two being mistaken for an American and three his ignorance that every American person is the same. I hope I don’t run into this situation more often as I advance north. However once he found out I was from NZ, we were getting along really well and it wasn’t long before I was dropping back some really "good" shots of Mexican tequila....if "good" tequila even exist.

I have many reasons to return to Chile one day, there are countless amounts of things I still want to do. But in a way, I’m ready to move on.

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