Today we said ‘adios Argentina’ and ‘ciao Chile’ (‘ciao’ can also mean ‘hello’). Our flight with Sky Airline went nice and smoothly and we touched down after a magical journey over the snow-capped Andes. We arrived in Santiago around lunchtime, caught the blue bus (1,500 pesos per adult) and then, at Los Heroes, took the metro to Santa Isabel (red line, then the blue line – don’t leave the station, just change lines). Then we heaved our backpacks across the sunlit streets of Providencia to our lovely, cosy hostel – Ventana Sur Hostel. We met Ivan and I had a whole conversation in Spanish and, what’s more, I understood him! Progress.
We got lunch at a place called Mistura del Peru (Peruvian cuisine in case you couldn’t guess). We ordered the fish of the day (a shellfish saucy thing with rice), and a chicken and beef dish (as you can tell, I’m not the domestic kind). The food was absolutely delicious and so were the Pisco Sours… which made up for the fact that the waiter kept accidentally-on-purpose brushing his hand over my boob. He also patted me on the arse as I was escorted out of the door. Ah well, Vicki got felt up the other day so I guess it was my turn. Sharing’s caring, kids.
Then, in our drunken stupor, we went for a wander. We got lost (of course) but eventually found our way to the Lastarria neighbourhood – with street musicians, artists and cute little bars and restaurants. We grabbed a cortado at Cafe 202, and a bottle of Chilean wine (Cachamere) at Urriola. But it was nowhere as near as good as the Malbec so we won’t be adventurous with our wine again.
The night air prompted us to return to the hostel and cover up our bare legs – as did the numerous wolf whistles and heckles (it’s only because we’re blonde… I never usually get cat-called in England for having highlights). Chilean men are on heat. We refused to retire at 9pm so we headed back out to Pepperland, where I tried a michelada (chili beer) and nearly vommed. I love chili. I love beer. But, together, they are VILE. Add a sprinkling of salt around the rim of the pint glass and – well, let’s just say I won’t be doing that again. I still feel dodgy now and I only had about three gulps. The chili powder congealed on the surface of the beer, for goodness sake, and it was all just – URGH!!
The bar was really cool though.
I love the buzz of this city. I prefer it to Buenos Aires. People seem more relaxed and friendly. It feels a lot safer… nobody wears their backpacks backwards and there’s more sense of a community spirit. Also the music is more rock and roll and, as a former rock chick, I dig that. We’re making friends left, right and centre – with the guy at the metro station, the waiters in the various bars, even the shopkeepers. Everyone’s happy to say ‘hello’. What’s more these hellos are met with genuine smiles.
Our hostel is having a bit of a party downstairs. Part of me would like the energy / settled stomach so we could go and join them, but the other part just wants to sleep.
So, on that note, na night.
…Oh there’s a Brazilian called ‘Milka’, or something to that tune, and he wants to make us caipirinhas tomorrow night so we’re going to par-tay. There’s also a really fit arrogant guy here. Naturally, me and Vicki fancy the pants off him.