13/06/17-16/03/17 SantiagoJune 16, 2017 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C
We flew from San Pedro to Santiago, the capital of Chile, where we started by enjoying a nice Steak at “The Fat Cow” restaurant.
The following day we took a bus to the town Valparaiso. This was the main port used in South America prior to the Panama Canal being built. It is still a busy port town today, and stood by the shore surrounded by shipping containers we felt as though we could be back home in Southampton.
Valparaiso is also famous for being a colourful town. The houses are all built into the hills and painted bright colours. Street art covers every possible surface available. We spent the day walking around viewing the art and taking cable cars up the hill at various points to admire the views.
On our second day in Santiago, we went to the ski resort of La Parva to enjoy a day on the slopes. Unfortunately due to high winds, a lot of the lifts were shut. However the resort was fairly empty, which meant that we were able to do the runs that were open plenty of times without queuing for lifts. All of the running lifts were drag lifts, which meant that by the end of the day we could really feel our legs! It was a great days skiing though and I have developed a new found appreciation for people who wear hired boots!!
We were due to leave Santiago for Mendoza the next day. We got up bright and early to heavy rain and were at the bus station by 7am to get our bus, only to find our bus was cancelled. The border was closed between Chile and Argentina due to heavy snow. Not ideal. After an hour and a half in an internet Café we changed our plan entirely and had booked flights the following day down to Patagonia. Fortunately for us we hadn’t booked too much in advance and got a full refund on our bus so haven't lost out too much.
With an extra day in Santiago to play with, we hid in a Café from the rain to come up with a plan of action. We started by visiting the home of Pablo Neruda, a Chilean poet and Nobel prize winner. His home had been turned into a museum. It was the house he built for his secret lover Mathilde, before leaving his wife and moving in with her. The house was built into the side of a mountain and was full of lots of impressive artwork and various items collected on his travels. The house was very quirky and felt like something from grand designs.
When we left the rain had settled, so we got the funicular to the top of the highest Hill overlooking the city. We decided to go for a walk afterwards, but in what seems to be a recurring theme of this trip, took the wrong walking path. This one was more of a mud slide than a path and we both finished up covered from head to toe in mud after sliding down most of it. So much for a gentle walk through the park.
As we finished the heavens opened again and so we took shelter in the shopping centre, which was the biggest either of us had seen. We contemplated going up the “tallest tower in South America” inside the centre, however when we were told there was no bar at the top, just a view, we decided against it. Plus the hill we had been on earlier that day had looked down on the tower, so we figured we had already seen the view for free.
We finished up our day by having a burger in a good old American diner, before turning up slightly wet and muddy at the airport hotel. I'm not sure they were too pleased!Read more