22 March 09
I am sitting in our hostel, hearing the plaza´s clock chiming 11(pm)...it only seems to show 5:10 all the time, however...hmmm...
Tim and I have bought up at the supermarket - cheese, salami, crackers, pate, olives, WINE - and have been enjoying a fine feed looking over the Plaza de Armas...the hostel is great...but I am slightly over Santiago...
10 minutes after arriving yesterday we dumped our bags and headed out for a famous Chilean hotdog (probably the only exciting thing about this place - its made with guacamole, chooped tomatoes, a cabbage/onion mix and mayo! mmm..we also added mustard and ketchup!). Within 3 minutes of finishing, my bag, which I had slung around me (at the back, NOT the front - stupid me!) was open and brand new camera, GONE! I was sooooooooooo angry!! I didnt even feel a thing. (note: for some reason, we had left the memory card in the laptop! haha So, no lost snaps!)
Looking around, Im not surprised. The square is full of bums trying to scam a dollar (or peso!). Oh boy, another camera... I think Allianz will definitely be looking into this one! Another $600 to claim and we´re even (joking).
So, off we went, looking for a police station in order to obtain a report...without it, an insurance claim would be useless. In the square, we found some non-English speaking policemen...great. Luck (funny, but true) was on our side, as a Chilean heard us asking the police for help...AND he could speak English! YIPPEEE!! He was nice enough to show us to the police station and to explain what had happened. We had a signed report within 10 minutes. Good.
After this, I couldnt help but feel deflated...
Today, we walked around the city for about 4 hours. Was nice to see a bit of Santiago...there´s nothing spectacular or exciting about it, Im afraid (maybe Im just a little bitter...) except a nice building here and there and even they are few and far between.
Upon recommendation, we visited Santa Lucia which is a essentially a big hill, with a big building on it, which has a big staircase around it, leading to a big rock, which has even more stairs leading to a small platform which allows you to look over the city. The view was good, but there wasnt much to see. The backdrop of mountains is quite nice though (if you can manage to see through the smog).
After this, we tried to find the archaelogical museum, which was recommended to us by a student who scammed 2,000 pesos from us for the information, which we then couldnt even find! What a laugh! In fairness, we should have known no one would be so super friendly for free! Its times like this you miss Australia...*sniff*
We did visit the National Museum of Beautiful Arts, which was a relief. It was quite beautiful inside, and free. Bonus. The city is good for that though - all museums are generally free on Sundays.
We finished the afternoon off with another delicious hotdog - they are absolutely unreal. And wait for it...3 hotdogs, 2 Cokes = $5. Cant go wrong.
So, what can I take from our stop in Santiago? Lets see:
1. there are more icecreameries than you can poke a stick at!
2. the locals seem to feed on pizza. burgers and hotdogs (and icecream!!!). It was difficult to find something normal like a sandwich (and when we did, it was expensive)
3. Chileans like standing up to drink coffee. The number of ´stand-up´ cafes is endless. I know - wierd!
4. no one seems to understand dental care
5. you can let your bag out of sight for even a second!
Thankfully, we are off to La Paz in the morning. 6am to be exact!
The 4-day forecast? Maximums of 12 degrees with lows of 2. Brrr......
Im sorry Santiago...Im just not that into you.
P.S. Happy anniversary, Kat and Jimmy!!!!!!!! xx