Have you ever heard the story of a Dutch-Chinese guy who lost his passport? No…? Well, here's the story…
As you all have read before I went to Antofagasta to get myself a new camera. I took the morning bus to Antofagasta from San Pedro de Atacama and when I arrived there I walked around to find myself a cheap hostel. This place didn't seem that touristy and I couldn't find any hostels anywhere. Most of the places I encountered were extremely expensive, but thanks to my lonely planet I managed to find myself a relatively cheap "hospedaje".
They asked for my passport when I did the check-in, so I grabbed my bag only to find out that my passport was gone. The next 2 hours or so I had been rummaging through my stuff, but there was no single sign of my passport. I went to the Dutch consulate and when I got there it appeared that I had arrived at the dentist. Apparently, the Chilean guy - who doesn't speak Dutch - who works at the consulate (also the only person at the consulate) is a dentist as well. He is authorized to hand me an emergency passport, but that wouldn't work for me as I would head to many other countries in South America. He told me to come back the next day and he would help me out then.
Hence, the next day I went back to the consulate and he put me through the Dutch Embassy in Santiago. It appeared that I had to go back to Santiago to get my new passport. There were some procedures I had to follow so I wouldn't be able to get a new passport within the coming two weeks. This basically ruined my itinerary as I was extremely close to Bolivia and now I had to head back south again.
On the very same day I went to the bus terminal and I caught a night bus back to Santiago. It'd take approximately 21 hours to get to Santiago. I had been in touch with Dario, a Chilean friend of mine who I had met in Pucón and he kindly offered me to stay at his place. Eventually, I stayed at his place for 2.5 weeks and I thank him for his kindness and for being the best host ever!
It was good being back in Santiago again! It's a big city, there's plenty to do here and nightlife is good! Approximately 40% of the Chilean population lives here. People always seem to compare Santiago with Buenos Aires. I'd say the latter is bigger, crazier and wilder. Santiago is just a bit more decent in my opinion.
So what have I been doing in Santiago? To be honest, I didn't do that much. I met up with people who I had met before, I got to know some new awesome people, I went out pretty much every day and I simply had lots of fun. For me it was nice being at one place for a longer period of time. I hadn't had that for a long time and being on the road all the time can be quite exhausting. It was good not being in buses all the time, sleeping in dorms, packing and unpacking etcetera. Santiago was the place for me to recharge my batteries…
Last Monday I've gotten a new passport and now I can finally move on again. In a few hours from now I'll be flying to la Paz and I'm going to meet up with some fellow travelers I had met before during my journey. Let's just hope that the altitude won't affect me that much…
I fell in love with Santiago and its people and I actually don't want to leave. Apparently, during my stay here I came to find out that many foreigners find Santiago enchanting. To me, it feels like I'm in Europe when I wander around in this amazing city. On top of that, it seems that Santiago offers a plethora of opportunities to foreigners. Apart from all the possible reason why people would stay in Santiago I would say that there's just something about Santiago that can't be explained. You'd have to come here for a while and experience it yourself.
I'm a "mochilero", so I've got to keep on moving. I almost forgot what it's like being on the road all the time. I'm going miss Santiago, and I'm going to miss my Santiago friends even more. I would like to thank all the people who made my stay so pleasant. A special thank you goes out to Dario Ordenes! He has been hosting me for 2.5 weeks and I kinda ruined his life by taking this working man to parties each day (and to the McDonald's). Another special thank you to Paloma Castro Farias for showing me love and affection. We did great! Hasta la próxima vez amor! I believe the most appropiate way to end this post is to share one of her amazing quotes...
"Creo que estoy descubriendo ese algo que me está enamorando de Santiago cada vez más… sus parques, sus edificios, sus calles, sus mercados. No sé qué es o cuando pasó pero me encanta!" - Paloma Castro Farias