32 hours in Santiago
After a 10 hour flight of barely any sleep, we hopped off the plane and were slapped with Spanish. Maybe it was the jet lag or the overwhelming amount of people approaching us trying to sell us transportation, but I had a mini break down. I mean trying to get money out of an ATM machine when it's all in Spanish is probably the last thing I mentally prepared for. In hindsight, maybe I should have brushed up a little more on my Spanish, but anyway no point dwelling on the past. Learning on the road is the more authentic approach, well, that what I'm going to tell myself.
With some help of a couple of Chileans, some broken Spanish and very elaborate sign language we managed to make it safely to our Airbnb. Not without multiple stares, I mean it's bit every day people see two waddling pregnant packs with a person sandwiched in the middle, is it – if this is anything what pregnancy feels like, sorry mum!
Our Airbnb host Nelson was wonderful, we managed to speak to him through his broken English and the help of google translate – omg it's a god send! He even showed us to the local supermarket and made us a glass of mulled wine as it was an icy as evening in Chile. We went out for a very local dinner of chicken, rice, potatoes and salad, and while we ate some of the locals were drinking quarts of beer while dancing (more like swaying) and singing (badly) to the jukebox.
Went home shattered completely zoned out and slept in till 11am oops, god dam you jet lag. Even in our half groggy almost drunk feeling state, we decided to take the funicular up to San de Christóbal where you see amazing 360° views of Santiago city and of course the Andes. Though you might have a fight with the smog to get the good view, my recommendation is to go after a rainfall or go midday-ish, we managed to see half of Santiago clearly and the other half while the other half was hidden in a misty haze with to tell you the truth added to the charm.
Wondered around bellavista a really neat wee neighbourhood with some wicked graffiti on almost every wall.
Then headed towards the market, which was via a beautiful massive park. The time of the day meant the light was naturally beaming through the trees, which made the park seem almost magical – getting all Harry Potter on you now. Anyway we noticed in the park and actually I'm most places around Santiago that PDA is HUGE, every person in the park was a couple making out almost intertwined together on the benches – maybe the park is the new bedroom, who knows.
The market was huge and we somehow managed to again point and semi sign language our way to buy some ham and cheese off one of their vendors – success. We also guessed our way to a ordering a banana and strawberry juice with milk – I knew banana was plátana and leche was milk but word of today was frutilla: strawberry.
Anyway after all of that we both got home with massive headaches – jet lag really doesn’t suit us. Which means sleeping it off then organising our bus over to Valparaiso.
Before our bus at 2.30 we decided to make the most of the last day in Santiago, so we went to the Plaza de Armas which was incredible. The cathedral was jaw dropping beautiful and the interior so incredibly ornate and it just has such a peaceful atmosphere.
After there we made our way to museo de la memoria y los derechos humanos (museum of human rights), which is dedicated to commemorate the victims of human rights violations during the civic-military regime led by Augusto Pinochet between 1973 and 1990. It's a place that you walk in happy and leave depressed. It's a very moving experience, even though we opted not to get the English headsets, you could still understand the feeling, fear and emotion.
It was time to say adiós to our host, who was sad to leave us go and even walked us to the train station. Then halo Valparaiso!!!!