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Santiago, Chile

Last stop in South America.

sunny 2 °C

The bus wasn't so bad...lot's of police check points and a couple of bag searches, so we could at least get off and wander round a little bit. Still wouldn't want to do it again like!

Being a little bit organised, we had booked a hostel in Santiago (Hostel So Be), in the Barrio Brasil area. We managed to use the underground to get there from the bus station, and again we found everyone to be super friendly and helpful. The hostel was cool, had an outside courtyard area, along with a cosy TV room, and huge pool table (which Phil won on nearly everytime!)

Santiago is mind-numbingly huge, and we found the tube super helpful in getting around. The guidebooks tell you that pollution is a huge problem and will make your eyes water and throat sting, not so whilst we were there. A really pretty city, surrounded by the snow topped peaks of the Andes. Full of people that want to say hi to you, find out where you are from and more importantly to them, if you like Chile and South America. So many people spoke English too, which was refreshing (I know it's not supposed to be a good thing, but after 5 weeks of only Spanish it was a little bit of a good thing!).

We went to the Zoo whilst we were there, I was like a child! Running around and getting excited about the animals, I really liked to monkies and spent a little bit too much time working out how to steal one... We took a funicular to get up there, which was a little bit like the cliff lift a Scarborough, but bigger and better with a one man band (consisting of pan pipes and a classical guitar) singing you off.

The weather was a bit of a shock to the system, it was bloody freezing! We were lucky if it made it above 3*c and got out of the wind. This just meant we stopped for lots of coffees and walked a bit faster. Things were also much more expensive than we had become accustomed to, everything bar Chilean wine which was unbelievably cheap. Without trying to sound like an alcoholic, I took quite a fancy to Pisco sours too. They rock, the perfect combination of sweet and sour, sharp but smooth and just heavenly! I'm sure they are what made me crap at pool.

We arrived in Santiago just as the student protests were quietening down, well that's what we were told. If these were the tail end, the main ones would have been petrifying! Around the University of Chile, the road were stained with paint, Police had a big presence as did the riot vans which had a novel squirty water thing to clean paint of themselves (this could be normal, never seen a real life riot van in action before). A couple of times (after I had been nosy and wanted to know what was going on) we found ourselves walking away from flying rocks etc at a quick sharp pace.

Out last day in Santiago was a little sad. It was our last day in South America and who knows when we'll be back. It was a Sunday too, no where open on a Sunday and cities turn into ghost towns, so we were twiddling our thumbs a bit. I bought a new pair of shows, my old faithful Toms had died a death of six weeks constant wear and walking.

We caught the Centro Areopuerto bus to the airport at sunset and waived goodbye to what had been an amazing start to our Big Adventure.

Posted by Big Adventure 22:49 Archived in Chile Tagged zoo protests pool wine pisco funicular sour

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