Day 1 - ContinuedDecember 29, 2018 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C
After resting at the hotel, we went up to the hotel's terrace bar for a drink. From the seventh floor terrace, we had a view of the Cerro Santa Lucia (Saint Lucia Hill) just a few hundred feet from the hotel entrance, Cerro San Cristobal (Saint Christopher Hill), the east side of the city, and the Andes rising further east. Santiago is plagued by smog, which is quite bad in winter (July to September) but not too bad now. Gail ordered a Pisco Sour, the national drink. Pisco is a liquor made from Muscat grapes and taste a bit like grappa or tequila. The Sour is a mixed drink with lemon juice and a dash of bitters. There were a smattering of other guests and I picked out Spanish, Portuguese, and French as well as English among the different tables.
We headed over to the Lastarria neighborhood. This is the "bohemian" area with many restaurants, street vendors, street performers and boutique shops on the other side (east) of Cerro Santa Lucia. We heard the drums long before we got there. As we came to Lastarria street, we passed a troop of folk dancers performing on the corner to their drums. The vendors had there wares set up on tables or laid out on the ground. For sale they had books, antiques, trinkets, marijuana brownies, small art works, and much more. Moving along the street, packed with Friday night revelers, were mobile vendors with paper birds that flutter in the breeze. On other corners buskers playing and singing music from classical violin to Queen. The restaurants were packed but we found a place and had a great ceviche and a clam chowder. We wandered back to the hotel in the twilight - it's summer here and the days don't get dark until about 9:00 pm. It had been a long day without much night so we went to bed about 10:30 - early by Chilean standards.Read more