Despite the confusion over my ticket saying I was Irish I made it across the Andes in a battered minibus to Santiago. The hostel, Ventana Sur, was class and had apparently been voted one of the top 3 in South America by Hostelbookers. On the first night they put on a traditional Chilean BBQ which included some red wine which was eaten outside by the small pool. Met a couple from Kirkintilloch which was a bit strange as well as some Greek guy called Giannis who had studied in Edinburgh for a year abroad at Heriot-Watt Uni...his favorite club was Opium which I think says quite a lot. After a long sleep in a bed that wasn't the pits unlike a lot of the hostels(soft mattress, decent pillow, a duvet!) I decided to get the bus into the town. On the advise of Ivan, one of the hostel workers, I didnt take my wallet with my cards in it I just took cash as he said pickpocketing on the buses/metro was really bad...he was right, I lost 45000 Chilean pesos(60 quid in real money!) which was a kick in the stones but I suppose was bound to happen at some point. Spent the day looking around the sights of Santiago, there arent too many. The municipal park near the middle was really good with lots of plazas, statues, plants etc and at the top of the hill views across the city to the Andes. The main square was really cool with loads of street performers, people selling paintings etc. I also managed to feature in a video with a group of Chilean Scouts, they were asking people from all over the world to say the name of they're Scout Group and making it into some kind of video project...at least thats what I got from them via my Spanish... Also really started to notice how different Argentine Spanish is from Chilean Spanish, I mean I'm not great at Argentine Spanish but was pretty much useless at Chilean! After wandering back to the hostel through Parque Bustamante I realised that, for all Santiago is a really cool city, it is essentially just a slightly uglier, not as good version of Buenos Aires. Still worth visiting though! Having cooked up a gourmet dinner of chorizo pasta and a large bottle of Brahma the evening entertainment was provided by Tom, an Englishman travelling with his girlfriend, continuing what was apparently a ritual of getting absolutely beltered on his last night in every capital city in South America...I dread to think how he felt on the flight to Auckland the next day... After watching his antics for a while I decided it was time for bed given I wanted to get the early bus to Valparaiso and the Pacific coast the next day.