Our last stop in south America

Trip Start Oct 01, 2012
Trip End Oct 01, 2015

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Flag of Chile  , Mendoza Province,
Sunday, February 24, 2013

Actually 24th feb but the app is messing up!
The next day, feeling the effects of the day before we sat having breakfast, checking the bus times to Santiago. There was one in an hours time and we decided to rush and get that one, we packed and checked out all the while moaning and groaning about our sore heads!
We jumped in a taxi to the bus station and booked our executive bus (the only one they had left). The bus was like business class on a plane- maybe even better. It was 3 huge leather seats wide, they were pretty much lazy boys and reclined to almost 180 degrees, all the films were in English, including a terrible one - the zookeeper which unfortunately seemed to get stuck on repeat and played 3 times! The only down side was we thought the journey was 5 hours which turned into 7 and eventually lasted 10 with another long border crossing. The scenery was beautiful and we weaved and woved our way through the mountains. Not that either of us could appreciate though as we both felt horrendous - and to make it worse I had a cold coming from all the air-conditioning!
We arrived in Santiago at around 7 in the evening, we didn't have enough money to pay the taxi driver and so we took us to a few ATMs , none worked- Tai's card had yet again been cancelled , we arrived at the hostel who were completely unhelpful and wouldn't lend us the 3 pounds we were short till we sorted it out. Luckily outside there was a guy who spoke English and Spanish and we kindly translated to the taxi driver our problem and asked if he could come back in an hour. We asked the hostel if we could use the phone and they said no we had to buy a phone card, but we have no money we replied, the guy just shrugged his shoulders! We wandered the streets trying to find an international phone centre but to no avail. Soon an hour had passed and the taxi driver was back, we agreed for him to take us to the airport the following day when we should have the money he agreed and gave us a price for the next day which we later worked out was 60!! After an hour or so of this the hostel finally told us there was an Internet cafe just up the road where they might have international call booths. They did and we unblocked the card before heading out for a mediocre dinner that cost is 40! Chile is so expensive! By the time we were done it was around midnight and we headed back to the hostel to bed.
The following day we awoke early, checked out and headed into the city to explore. The cold I'd been trying to ignore had reached its peak today and I was feeling awful! We decided to follow the route of a walking tour offered by our hostel, we wandered through a long park which followed the length of a fairly main road, there was a cool fountain there with statues of old warriors rising horses in battle, what made it awesome though was that there was also 2 sealions skirting water on them from either side!
We carried on, through a cobbled street where there were a couple of stalls selling vintage items, onto a huge park. The bottom tier was a Japanese garden which I'm sure would have looked more spectacular had the water not have been turned off for maintenance that day. We climbed higher until we were welcomed with beautiful views across the city and the snow capped mountains beyond.
We enjoyed the view from the top for a while- tai happily bought himself a slushy - and then headed into the city towards the main square, we were going to go to the national museum but it cost money, we had a look around the cathedral which was packed for Sunday service and then headed to the tourist information to find out where a cinema was.
We passed shops and restaurants on our walk there- all were closed as it was a Sunday and didn't hold out much hope for the cinema but we were pleased when the only building with doors open was the one we wanted. We went inside and was pleased to see that a film was starting in 5 minutes time so we hid away in there for the rest of the afternoon. On the way back to the hostel we grabbed a pizza from a much cheaper place that we ate at the night before and then went to wait for our expensive taxi to the airport. The taxi was late and while we were waiting another one came and offered us the fare for half the price so we said yes, feeling pretty guilty as we still owed the other guy money!
The taxi ride was the quickest 20 minute journey ever and we were there in 8 minutes! We were pointed in the direction of our check in desk but were confused when we saw a time of 12.30 on the desks and not 23.20 as we thought our flight should of been, we were assured it was the right desk however so we started queuing, as time went on and the queue moved nowhere, people around us started to talk and finally the stories were verified , we were delayed until 12.30 the following day which meant we were being put up in a hotel overnight! We still had to check in now though for the next day which took a while as everyone asked a hundred questions on getting to the desk, and as always seems to happen in airports or when there are generally delays people were also - much to our amusement - getting very irate!
Once we finally checked in we headed off in a paid for taxi to the crown plaza in Santiago, we pulled up to a huge hotel with doorman and people to carry your bags! No one offered to take our bags though and instead it seemed they were just looking down their noses at us! Still as we checked in we were very excited and as people moaned around us we couldnt wait to see our room. We were definitely not expecting what we got! We got the lift to the 19th floor and opened our door to a huge suite, we had a king size bed, a desk area, an armchair, a huge tv and in the bathroom we actually had a bath and to top it all off we had views across the whole city!!
We had been given dinner vouchers so headed down to the restaurant area where a very snotty waiter served us a three course meal!!
Our night of luxury was however all over too soon as at 8 the following morning it was time to head back to the airport where our flight was on time and we were soon on our way to New Zealand!
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Dave on

The desk area sounds exciting. Can't wait to see pictures.

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