The adventure continues in a new country after an execution style line up at the customs border at the 2800m high Chilean border with Argentina in The Andes. Not being satisfied with stalking Justyna the length and breadth of Argentina, we also latched on to an Australian couple taking the same wine tour, bus from Mendoza (more on the buses another time) and staying in the same hostel as them in Santiago- but that was it, luckily for them!
Santiago, like any old big city is choc full of great historic sights, buildings, museums and tons of universities- whose students seemed to have stopped rioting just in time for our arrival. There is also the same passion for politics as in Argentina and especially Buenos Aires, having experienced a fairly rocky road over the past half a century. The longer term history of the country with the Mapuche natives is also a big part of Santiago’s history, sparking the need for the Plaza de Armas armory in the centre of town when the city was first founded.
Highlights for us have been climbing (i.e. taking the bus) to the top of San Christobel Hill for a great panorama of the city against the back drop of the mountains as well as exploring the countless bars and restaurants in the Bellavista region. This area roughly resembles Shorditch’s shabby chicness with its graffiti, markets and fun bars and clubs except for a garishly new hub of restaurants called Patios Bellavista- which we ended up spending a lot of evenings at out of laziness.
Local delicacies are cazuela (watery stew), pastel de choclo (corn pie), terramoto cocktails (white wine with pineapple ice cream) and Pisco best as a Pisco Sour cocktail with egg white, and lemon juice, all of which we enjoyed. Even the watery stew- mainly because the owner of the restaurant in the fish market gave us special treatment (a second helping of watery stew for free!) when we came back for the second time.
On to the sorrow- Justyna, who we’ve become really good friends with over the past month through sharing a flat in Buenos Aires and travlling through Argentina and now into Chile, had to leave us to enroll in her masters course back in Poland. Not only does this mean we won’t see her pretty face again for a while (!- in joke) but Chris and I have to speak Spanish now!- nooooo!!
Wish us luck and of course for Justyna back at home! Thank you for my new friendship bracelet- it’s not fallen off once yet!