Habla Ingles??

Trip Start May 18, 2005
Trip End May 18, 2006

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Flag of Chile  ,
Friday, April 21, 2006

Hola!!! First impressions of Santiago? Well, lets just say first impressions don't last, at least not in this part of the world. We thought it was noisy, smelly and thick with smog (which it is), but after a couple of days it grows on you and the bad things don't really matter any more.

After an 11 hour flight from NZ we were happy to fall into bed in our lovely little hotel - an old family run converted mansion with all the original fixtures and a great atmosphere to go with it, and right in the centre of town.

It was nice just wandering around the place, buying books at the markets and eating strange but good food in strange but good places. We have only about 2 words of Spanish between us so we found it a bit hard to communicate, or even to know for sure what it was we were ordering from the menu. To be honest its a little embarrasing when you have no idea what they are saying, and vice-versa. We'll just have to pick up a few words as we go along, but at the moment we seem to be getting by with 'Si' and 'Gracias' along with pointing and nodding. It hasn't gotten us into any trouble yet anyway.

One thing that we noticed about Santiago was the amount of stray dogs about the place. They are literally on every street corner, just lazing about. They all look fairly healthy though, and quite alike too, looking like some sort of springer spaniel/collie mix. And they don't seem agressive at all. Its very odd. We were actually surprised when we saw someone with a dog on a lead. I think we saw one the whole time we were there compared with literally hundreds of stray dogs. A puppy is not just for Christmas folks!! Maybe I should learn to say that in Spanish...
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meercatvinny on

Re: Question about Santiago accommodation
Hi Margaret, Harry, Jim and Sophie!! Can't believe someone is actually reading my travelpod!!

Anyway, the hotel is called Hotel Paris and is in the Barrio Paris Londres. Its well located. Check it out here http://www.fodors.com/world/south%20america/chile/santiago/entity_139595.html

Just make sure you stay in the nicer part, although they may have fixed it all up by now.

Also, since you're making your way across to Buenos Aires you should try to get to Esteros del Ibera, a wildlife reserve between Buenos Aires and Igauzu falls (which you should also see). Its awkward to get to but if you are anyway interested in the outdoors and wildlife it will blow your mind. Amazing place.

Anyway, happy travels!!

Vinny O'Reilly

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