Chile > Santiago
Driving through picturesque mountain scenery for 7hrs was a great way to be introduced to a new country, destination no.9: Chile.
Within the first few hours of being in Santiago city we had already said goodbye great steak and hello fast food! However, accompanied by another couple we met in Mendoza - who happen to be from Southsea (Hey Kelly & Steve!) we let that slide and talked the night away.
Confronted with a map of Santiago, we soon realised we would have to be picky about where to visit with our one day pass. We started at the Virgin Mary statue situated in the main park, which proved to be a bit of a disappointment; unfortunately any big monumental statue we come across will be compared to The Christ in Rio - The Christ v The Virgin - & the big man wins hands down. The little virgin doesn't have a chance especially when she's located on a hill that appears to still have work being done and offers smog infested views of the city. Wanting to be proven wrong about this place we ventured on to the cable cart which takes you down to another part of the park, only to find that the people filled carts were stuck mid-way. After waiting 30mins and with no sign of them moving we got our money back and decided to let this part of our day slide past...
Hopeful that a nice bottle of wine in the afternoon sun would help with our views on Santiago (Chile is regarded as the best wine producer in the world) we went in search of a restaurant. Neither the food nor the wine impressed us (although we were aware that it would be hard to match the meals we've had in Argentina), but we remained spirited and arranged to go to a local jazz club. Not denying we know jack about jazz, we do know what we like and this band weren't it. Overall our day was pretty unsuccessful but looking forward to the extremely comfy bed we had, we let it all slide.
With an early night under my belt I woke feeling refreshed and ready for a cup of Nescafe (again we stress, the food and drink here is instant this and fast food that and you have to pay ridiculous prices for it), only to roll over to see a look of horror painted across Nicks sleepy face. With a slight itching sensation on my arm my eyes followed my fingers to scratch, to find numerous red lumps, by which time Nick has seen they were also scattered across my back, shoulders feet and legs. Within seconds I was typing away in Google (it turns out the only good thing about this hostel was the internet) looking at pictures and reading about lovely little creatures called bed bugs; small brown insects that swap your blood for their saliva. Not nearly as cute as they're made out in that oh so sweet nursery rhyme, the little f*ckers had been working hard all night. By day 2 I was covered from face to toe, counting 20 bites on my left hand and forearm alone. Scratching like a heroin junkie and practically loosing my mind, they itch like crazy 24/7 and are quite painful, I hardly slept a wink. I got through the day by smothering myself in after-bite, germaline and a course of Piratyze and proceeded to itched my way all the way to our next stop Valparaiso...
Now, you may be wondering why I haven't mentioned Nick being bitten... the lucky git is in the minor 20% of people who even if bitten, don't react. At all. Me, jealous?
Before going to Santiago we were warned not to go because it has nothing to offer - but we were in a no win situation; regretting it if we have a bad experience or regretting it if we don't even experience it for ourselves.
We've been hearing all about the great weather that has magically appeared over the weekend - we hope you've all been able to make the most of it!
Lots of love XXX
PS - In response to your post on our message board Sue T; living the dream has turned into a little nightmare for the past few days - everything has to be balanced out I guess! & as for the piccies, there are plenty to come. Hope you're ok!