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The Trip Begins

Sydney to Santiago

overcast 16 °C

We left Sydney nice and early on a mild, sunny day. In backpacker mode, we even caught the train, much quicker at peak time.
Husband was anticipating trouble as he could not check in online, whilst I already had my seat. It eventually got sorted at the airport by a nice and efficient Latam customer service lady. It appeared Auckland had caused some trouble by blocking seats. Can't trust those Kiwis...
They are suspicious too, you come out on the flight from Sydney and have to go via security and electronic sniffers again whilst getting to the Transit Lounge! I guess there is always that food and soil in shoes you carry from the backyards of Sydney...

The arrival in Santiago was as expected, a few queues since only travellers on an Australian passport have to pay the entrance fee. We were soon our way to the hotel through the traffic of Santiago, now a city over 7 million souls.
We found the energy to go out and search for an ATM. They tend to be hidden within bank buildings, already closed at that time. Mission accomplished, our first buy were Empanadas and water, the typical doughy pies with tasty fillings. We ate them sitting on a park bench at Parque Bustamante, watching the locals. By then we had to have a short nap. The combination of a warm day, food and jetlag was more than I could handle on day 1.
Energised, we went out again at sunset, crossing the bridge over the fast flowing Mapucho river that runs through the centre of town. The ubiquitous locks on the railings of these bridges a reminder about how similar couples in love behave the world over!

We walked the Bellavista suburb, a young cosmopolitan university populated area, very lively with music, cafes, shops and restaurants at the base of Mount Crstobal. Too late to climb as the gates were closing, we found our chosen restaurant and started with a Pisco Sour. This South American drink, more typical of Peru, was almost the last thing I did for the day. On the 1st 1/3 I felt really relaxed but the head was swimming. Even with a full dinner, I could not manage the full amount. As my older daughter would say, I am a definite light head. I did make it home safely and upright.

Day 2 started with a lovely breakfast at the hotel and the longish drive to the mountainous region of Cajon del Maipo. This is a reservoir area on the base of some of the Andean mountain region of Chile.Cajon del Maipo, standing in the cold

Cajon del Maipo, standing in the cold

We did a city tour on the way and saw many little villages90_PA200002.jpg. The road eventually became unsealed and quite narrow. Our driver was experienced and careful in those areas- unlike his city driving. It was cool and windy, unlike the previous day.Cajon del Maipo, windswept

Cajon del Maipo, windswept

We still managed to have a picnic of Empanadas, wine and cheese( after the Pisco experience, I did skip the wine....) before making our way back with several stops for photos.Fox


Mountains, Cajon del Maipo

Mountains, Cajon del Maipo

Mountains, Cajon del Maipo

Mountains, Cajon del Maipo

Cajon del Maipo

Cajon del Maipo

Another nap later( I may get used to this!) we made our way up Saint Cristobal hill on foot. The light was fading when we turned around, then decided to take he cobwebs out of the credit card and explored the local jewellery shops.
Another lovely dinner later, we walked- more steadily this time- to pack for our departure tomorrow.

San Pedro, we are coming!

Posted by MariaDC 19:16 Archived in Chile Tagged santiago

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