Dani on Tour
On a Monday afternoon we arrived in sunny and warm Santiago. I guess we were lucky because there was not smog or anything like it. We found a lovely hostel called La Chimba quite central. It was run by an American and very stylish, the right place for us as you can imagine! We had a walk around the city centre of Santiago, did some window shopping had some ice cream, enjoyed the sun...Walked around for about 4h and the evening we went to a nearby restaurant famous for its fish - I have to admit, it was great!! Next morning we had a lazy start but then went to the farmers market which was huge and it is surprising that it is as big because they all sell the same things: fruits, herbs, vegies etc...and after went to the fish market as well. Santiago has got a little hill, more like a viewpoint where we went via cable car. I know, we could have walked but we wanted to catch our bus to Vina del Mar in the afternoon and it would have been too time consuming. Unfortunately, the weather was cloudy that day so we could not see as far as we wanted from up there but it was still good. We really liked Santiago! At the bus station where we bought our tickets for Vina del Mar, a Canadian started talking to Lisi whilst I was buying us some water for the trip...5min later we went to change our tickets to go to a place called Isla Negra which is a tiny village at the sea side. Vina would have been very industrial and nice according to the guy. Himself, he runs a hostel in santiago and also suggested one (probably the only one) in Isla Negra. 2h later we arrived there, really small village but nice because of the locals and the sea...It was home to the famous poet writer Pablo Neruda, Lisi went to his musem and she said it was/is really impressive. We arrived at the suggested hostel "Casa Azul", the blue house and believe me it was blue throughout!! A girl our age openend us and we were the only guests...quite unusual...the house itself was amongst trees nearly in the forest and inside it was very cold and mouldy...I/we did not feel comfortable but we stayed that night anyway. The girl, we found out later, lives with the Canadian we met at the bus station and the actual owner of this hostel is his best friend...well how much more do you need to know to realise that you got tricked?? We had no hot shower and the girl could not even get a fire started in the fire place but guess what - the 2 girls from Austria of course managed that easily!! That night it was freezing cold and do not remember to have frozen as much ever in my live (whilst sleeping)! How glad was I to leave that place!!! The next morning we went via bus to Valparaiso, quite a big town 2h away. It is renowned for being dangerous in the sense of robbery etc. We did not do much there just used it to stay there really because we wanted to get up to La Serena (7h by bus) the next day. Just went to the fruit market and strolled along the streets during the day and had an early night that night as we did hardly sleep the night before...