MERRY CHRISTMAS SANTIAGO!
Trip Start Dec 03, 2008
73Trip End Oct 14, 2009
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We have to admit that we were a little lazy those few days on the beach so we shouldn't have been surprised when we struggled to find tickets to Santiago in time for Christmas. Santiago was were we had planned to spend Christmas. So after a long walk into town and talking to a few different bus companies, we found the only seats available were luxury, premium seats that completely fold out into beds and were in a sectioned off area of the bus with only 4 other people. At first, we weren't sure if we wanted to spend the money, but now, 23 hours into the ride we're sooo happy we did. It was only roughly $1 more an hour to get these seats
We got to the bus station and meant one of the two guys we were staying with, Marcello. We did the best we could - he doesn't speak much English and we don't speak much Spanish. When we got to their place (a really nice Bed & Breakfast) we had wine - my first of the trip - and it was wonderful!!! He made a great meal for us and we hung out on their patio drinking and eating and not understanding one word each other was saying. Walter (English speaking) came home after awhile and told us all about their place. They had JUST moved in and Brian and I were their 3rd, yes 3rd, guests!!! They gave us a great room and they even gave us hand towels (first yet in South America). Turns out Marcello is an artist and makes jewelry!!! It was so fun to compare our stuff and see what he makes.
We really only had one day in Santiago to explore - which wasn't enough at all. So after breakfast we headed out for the day. Too bad it was about 95 degrees that day. At one point I didn't think I'd survive. :) We first hiked up this old fortress in the middle of the city. It was a lookout point
After this we walked back to the B&B. On the way we stopped at the cathedral. It was amazing. We walked back on this street where no cars were allowed and it was just shop and shop
One interesting thing - they REALLY REALLY like mayo here! In every market there is a good half aisle just for mayo! Gross. I saw a guy put a few packets of warm mayo on his McDonald's burger yesterday. Didn't he see "Supersize Me"? Also, we haven't had a lick of milk since we've arrived. Maybe it's because the milk is in the cereal aisle on the shelf, warm as the air. I don't understand.
So yesterday (Christmas Eve), we left Walter's early afternoon after going to the store and piling up on booze. We took the subway to the Marriott!!! Yes, maybe it's cheating but oh...it's soooooo wonderful!!! Susan and Mike, thank you! We spent Christmas Eve and now (Christmas night) in the Marriott. We've been looking forward to this for some time. As soon as we got here we went to the pool and have been wearing bathrobes ever since! It's not all fun and games though. We are really classy - we did two "loads" of wash in the bath tub!!
We've been finding other ways to save as well. The connecting room happens to be a suite and the connecting door happens to be unlocked and it so happens that no one is staying in there. So, we've taken a few toiletries. But we're not all bad - we didn't take anything from their mini bar. So, yes, we are having a wonderful Christmas here, just the two of us. But just so you know...we really miss everyone! Last night was hard for me as I couldn't stop thinking about baking cookies with Mom and wishing I could go to church and see family. Hope everyone had a great Christmas!!!
Tomorrow we are off to Argentina. I am really excited about. We're going to a town called Mendoza, which is basically the Napa Valley of Argentina. I mean, the place we're staying as wine included in the cost! Perfecto!