Saturday I woke up early and had a nice breakfast of bread with jam, an orange, and coffee. I had a nice hot shower before wandering about town. I found a lovely park and where I was able to sit for awhile and do some sketching. Note about Chile: if there was an award for excessive PDA, this country is the winner. Haha Later I wandered around the shopping districts and eventually back to the hostel once I oriented myself with where I was. Later I wandered out again in search of dinner. Apparently many places were supposed to be closed due to some elections that were scheduled to happen on Sunday, but I was able to find a place "Beer Hall" that was open. I found a table and tried to order a Bloody Mary, yet somehow ordered a blue margarita instead? I think they were out of tomato juice...or maybe my Spanish is just that bad! Either way, it was good. After a few minutes this guy walked into the restaurant that appeared to me to be out of place. He was wearing a plaid shirt with khaki shorts and a ball cap. He stammered around ordering a beer and took a seat a few booths away. I just had to see if I was correct--- so I got up and asked if he, perchance, was an American. Yep, I was right! I joined him at his table and it was nice to be able to speak fluent English for a while. He was on holiday to South America (and actually arrived the same day as I) but was heading to Peru to meet a friend for a month or two. He was from Alaska and worked for BP doing reclamation projects after the company is done drilling in a place. So he has been in some crazy blizzards, working 12 hour days for two weeks on and two weeks off ((not a job I would ever want!)). We shared a pizza and then ended up going out to see the nightlife for a few hours around town. Many people were out having a good time. We happened upon a fancy market area with very nice restaurants and stopped at one that was more medium-fancy to try out the local drink called "pisco-sour". The owner of the restaurant actually came out and explained to us what is in it: It is made from Grapa and mixed with lemon and sugar, and sometimes egg whites, and very tasty! After we paid we moved on to a bar called "Road House Blues" (ha!) and then one more local place where I am pretty sure we were overcharged since we were American. We ended the night with a nice walk back to the hostel (we were in different ones but they were literally right next door to each other). Another note about Chile: there are sooooo many stray dogs everywhere!
The next day I slept in a little bit and then ate some breakfast before packing and moving on to find the bus station where I would attempt to buy a ticket to Vina Del Mar. I took the metro to the bus station (got lost a little but found my way eventually) and stammered through buying a ticket. The nice ticket booth guy helped me find the van to take me to the bus terminal which was far away from the station. I waited there for about a half hour before boarding my bus. It was a double decker TurBus with comfy reclining seats and central air (which they didn't turn on until we had baked for a good half hour while we stopped at a second station to pick up more people). The bus ride to Vina was gorgeous! Traveling through green hills and sweeping valleys, the huge bus windows were fantastic to have as it was easy to see so much of it all. The ride was about 1- 1/2-2 hours long and was very comfortable.... Next Post: Viña Del Mar.