Fri 10th – Mon 13th Aug
Feeling a bit muggy headed, I land in Santiago. The shock of the taxi price brings me well and truly into the here and now. It’s £25 to the centre! Local people around me laugh as I claim it’s the same or more than in my country! The friendliness of my taxi driver doesn’t make up for the steepness of this price. My hostel itself os lovely (it even has white bed linen!) and is in the lovely Providencia part of town. I don’t have time to sit around thou. V is in town too and it’s her last day.
I walk to the Bellavista part of town. This is much more cool and edgy but upon entering Vs hostel I’m soooo glad I chose Providencia! Here I meet one of her friends from Cusco the lovely Veronica from Italy and we all go in search for some lunch. We end up at La Vega marketplace which is where all the locals buy their produce – especially restauranteurs. From here we get the metro to the other side of town to a circus shop V wants to go to to buy some twirly things then it’s to Plaza de Armas for some ice cream and V practice time.
We follow the locals example and stop off for a cheeky glass of vino on the way home.
The bars are full and as we get into the party zone of Bellavista which has suddenly become alive, there are waiters outside every bar trying to coax u in with happy hour offers. This place is buzzing! We have a few drinks at their hostel which is a good craic but I fear for those who want to sleep! Finally we head out but with so many bars/clubs it’s difficult to choose where to go especially with an array of music tastes and then the extortionate drink prices on top in some. We finally settle on some reggae joint. Not my cup of tea but V liked it and it’s her last night. It’s also one of the cheaper options!
I last about an hour in but it really isn’t my vibe so I bid farewell to my friends and a big find farewell to my gorgeous friend V. I hate goodbyes but being on a club dance floor did prevent the sadness and tears. It has been amazing travelling with you V and I’ll miss u loads. See u back in Europe chica.
I ponder going somewhere else on the walk back but everything looks in club mode rather than bars and I don’t feel up to it on my own so just end up walking back – probably for the best!
Saturday starts a bit slow. I really don’t want to get up but I have plans to meet Veronica. Luckily she feels the same and we push back meeting to 1100! We plan to hike up Cerro San Cristóbal and I arrange to meet Hannah from San Pedro too but didn’t know there were different paths. She goes to the right one and gets to the top whilst Vero and I don’t have time to do it now from here. Oh well, it’s nearly lunch time and that sounds much better. We go to Mercado Central for lunch but it’s extremely difficult to find something vegetarian. Vero ends up with rice and fried eggs with salad! Then we get stung on the bill! I thought this place wd be cheap (er) but nope and it wasn’t even great food!
Next it’s on to Bellas Artes for one of the city walking tours and where we finally catch up with Hannah. This is with Tours 4 Tips with guides dressed as Where’s Wally. We move around the city leaving out some key facts and places and I lose interest as the guide isn’t that engaging, there’s a lack of detail and the group size is too big. There’s another company and I’ll look into doing theirs when I come back here and write about everything then. The tour ends in a cool part of town Lastarria – full of bars and restaurants but more up scale than Bellavista. We grab an ice cream – Chile has the best ice cream in the world. I’m normally not a fan but here, it’s soooo good pop to the supermarket and armed with some of Chile’s finest red, I head back to my hostel. I was planning on going out tonight but as I lie down for a cheeky rest, I promptly fall asleep and that’s the end of my Sat night out!
Sunday is a bit of a lazy day. A spot of lunch with someone and a walk around the city. Back in my neighbourhood, I take a good wander around Providencia and I love it. It reminds me a lot of Shoreditch and I cd definitely see myself living here – although probably couldn’t afford it! Veronica gets back from Valparaíso and we struggle to decide on where to go for dinner as being Sunday, most places are closed. We settle on Lastarria having walked through yesterday and luckily in the evening a lot has opened up. We fancied a drink or 2 but after a mammoth burger, we’re too full and call it a night. Another goodbye as Veronica is too heading home tomorrow. Que triste.
Monday I walk into the city. I had plans of doing some sightseeing but get side tracked by the shops and end up buying more new clothes! It’s the first time Ive seen some proper shops in ages….even H&M!!! A nearby hotel has a good menu del día so I go there for lunch. The food wasn’t great but the fact it included a glass of bubbly was well worth it!!!
Shopping and bubbles in one day – a perfect combination! I work off lunch by taking a stroll up Cerro Santa Lucía. Not really a cerro, more of a big hill but it does provide some great views of the city and especially to the Andes in the east.
Back at the hostel and another wander around Avenida Italia and that’s the day pretty much done…