The farther south we go, the more western (well.. Northwestern) the people seem to be. Walking around the airport and train stations I noticed groups of punk, gothic, nerdy, and preppy kids that I either missed or were nonexistent in more northern regions like colombia. Throughout the city are walking thoroughfares and relaxed plazas dotted with cafes. Speaking of cafes...
Greg and I chose a quiet place to eat breakfast based on if it had a bathroom, and if it had wifi
. We commented on how Santiago seemed to be the safest city so far... About 30 minutes into the meal I was busy translating a Spanish Facebook message into English when Greg asked if I still had my backpack. (For the rest of the story, realize that I had slept 2 hours in a plane the previous night, and 5 hours on a bus the night before that) I looked to my leg were the pack was usually looped around... Nothing. To my right, nothing.. Left, nothing. My adrenalin kicked into overdrive as I realized my passport and backup cash/cards were in the pack. "That guy took it" Greg said pointing to a 45ish year old man in a trench coat quickly walking a way. I lept up and followed him, unsure as I couldn't see my backpack anywhere on him. He quickly jumped into a car on the side of a perpendicular street. I ran to the window to see him in the backseat with my pack on his lap. As the car started to move I reacted and chased after it. A parkour leap and rock climbing hold into long boarding skitch position left me hanging on the side of the car as it accelerated to about 30mph. For some reason I wasn't phased, but stared angrily at the guy in the back seat. I'm not sure if it was fear about the furious young man reaching toward him and the pack, or concern for his safety, but he yelled for the driver to stop and threw my pack out the window at me. As the car sped off I had just enough time to flip him the bird and yell a Spanglish curse. The rest of the day I just replayed the whole scenario in my mind, thankful that things worked out the way they did. No injury and nothing missing...phew. Right away I made a daisy chain out of parachord to use as a bag leash for the rest of the trip.
After the unsuccessful robbery Greg and I were no longer tired... At all. We spent the rest of the day walking around downtown Santiago and looking for replacement cameras for Greg. He ended up getting a new dslr and point and shoot so I'm not the only one taking pictures now. At about 5 we met with Dani and Coni, two friends we met at the lost city in Colombia, to join them last minute for a weekend in valparaiso (a popular weekend vacation spot for those that live and study in Santiago).
As the plane descended towards Santiago international airport we watched the sun rising behind a row of mountains towering over the city. The landscape reminded me of central Arizona with it's rocky scrubland and red-brown peaks. Again, we had no expectations for the capital of chile and thus no real plans to fulfill or disappoint.