Around the world again... bit slower this time
Refugio above Santiago Getting here was an experience. We had our directions on how to get here but it was still a challenge. Judes back was getting worse, she was struggling when she carried any weight so it was lucky that we were going to stay only two nights which meant we needed to bring very little in the way of clothes etc. We caught the metro - very efficient system and cheap flat rate fare across the whole network. We took the metro to an enormous shopping mall. So we did what any girl would - we went shopping. It was great to see big shops - all air-conditioned and the best supermarket we had seen in South America. We shopped like mad for food for 2 dinners, 1 lunch and 2 breakfasts. Jude was looking forward to cooking. We went in search of a collectivo - the shared taxi system that they use here. But we struggled to find the correct one - eventually a young man who spoke English spoke with the caretaker on our mobile and everything was understood. It still sounded the same way we had been pronouncing it to our untrained ears. Anyway we were in an old banger of a collectivo and we went for miles climbing all the time. We arrived at the gate house and he instructed the taxi to continue up the hill were we would be met by Oswaldo the caretaker. Our car couldn't make it up the hill and we had to get out and walk. This is on top of the walk that we knew we had were the Taxi was supposed to drop us. After 15 mins of up hill walking (we were completely exhausted), I saw a man waiting for us, but it took another 10 mins to get to him. The heat was full on and we still had a way to go. Oswaldo was very kind and took our shopping from us and we followed him up an endless dirt track (the memory of this walk is getting lost in the exaggeration!) Anyway we arrived to a little spot of heaven above the madness of the city below. The Refugio was wonderful Jude cooked I ate and slept, read and we even had Oswaldo over for dinner on our last night. It was difficult to converse but pictures and our trusty South American Spanish book made for an enjoyable evening. The house was surrounded by beautiful well kept gardens, a swimming pool and with wonderful fruit trees that Oswaldo filled a fruit bowl with exotic fruits, some of them we had never tasted before. The highlight of this trip could be the spider we found on the floor one evening - perhaps it was a tarantula? Have a look at the pictures and let us know if you agree. The sunsets were wonderful, due mainly to the smog caused by the lack of wind in the city below us. We had a truly lovely relaxing time here, so our thanks to Mo for letting us stay.