Taking things slow in Santiago

Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 18, 2011

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Flag of Chile  ,
Thursday, June 2, 2011

We were extremely lazy in Santiago and except for the day we left barely made it out of bed in time for breakfast, which finished at 10.30am. After a slow breakfast and taking our time to get dressed we never left the hostel before 2pm!  Obviously a week of 8ams on Easter Island and lots of walks there tired us out!

Santiago is a nice city and although we didn't do excessive sightseeing we wandered around the streets a lot and got a feel for the place.  It’s very modern and European feeling. It’s very busy and felt a bit like London at rush hour, especially around 6pm when there were hoards of people on the streets.  We walked up to the viewing platform in Cerro Santa Lucia and were surprised at how smoggy it was – you could just about see the outline of the mountains surrounding Santiago but only if you looked and imagined really hard.  Apparently it has a reputation for being an extremely smoggy city, although we only found that out after seeing it! The best thing I found about Santiago was how friendly the people are, which was the impression we got from our 1st night there before we flew to Easter Island too.  Especially if you try a bit of Spanish they are helpful and smiley, for example we stopped in a small pizza place for lunch on our first day and enjoyed our 'nonversation’ with the happy owner – so much so we actually went back there for dinner on our last night just to try and talk to him again!

 At this stage I have to confess that I actually bought a hairdryer.  Something I have survived without until now but it’s going to be cold for the first couple of months here and also towards the end in Patagonia so I thought it was worth investing in to avoid catching colds.  That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it! I am only confessing it on the blog because I’m actually quite disappointed in myself for having given in to such vanity; however it is purely for practical purposes!

We also made a visit to one of Pablo Neruda’s houses.  Pablo Neruda is a Noble Prize for Literature winner and therefore highly regarded in Chile.  He built quite an odd house in Santiago for his 2nd wife Matilda which is made up of 3 buildings – one which is meant to be a ship, one a lighthouse and the other just a house I think.  So that the house wasn’t seized after his wife’s death by the Pinochet government she left it to a foundation so it’s possible to visit.  It was interesting to learn about, and our guide was fantastic.  I would definitely recommend going there, just for the quality of the tour itself. 

Next we’re off north to Valparaiso where we’re going to do a crash course in Spanish.  Will let you know how that goes soon!
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