We booked our hostel with Don Santiago again and had one ½ days to enjoy Santiago and get some things sorted before leaving South America. We went to the seafood market and I had an amazing Paila Marina which is basically a seafood broth. We had been told by our tour guide last time to stay around the edges as the prices shoot up as you head to the middle, this was great advice and our meal was a delicious bargain. We really enjoyed Santiago and would've liked to stay longer but after a short trip to the market with the hostel owner and another wander into Centro we packed our bags in SA for the last time and caught the bus to the airport.
We are sad to be leaving this amazing continent and take so many happy and amazing memories with us. Our preconceptions of SA have been completely changed for the better and we already have our next trip planned. It is such a diverse and spectacular place we feel that although six months is a long time and we have seen some exceptional things we have barely scratched the surface and it has got us wanting more. We have spent a lot of time probing each other on 'best place' and 'nicest people' etc. and it always creates a great debate and frequent pondering. This is a great sign as we remind each other 'yes, but what about…' and then more time is needed to decide on our favourites! It really is too hard to decide but here are a few moments, people, places or experiences that will forever stick in our memories. (In no particular order)
· The helicopter ride around Rio
· The thunderous roar of Iguazu
· Spending time with Sergio's family
· Scuba Diving at night, during a thunderstorm
· Spider monkeys on James's head
· The Inca trail and Machu Pichu with Mum and Dad
· Spanish School with host family.
· Living like portenos in BA
· Cusco city
· Fish caught and cooked for us in the Ecuadorian jungle
· The isolation of Costeno beach and Capurgana
· Exploring Medillin
· Scuba Diving with a shark
· Swimming in the Amazon with crocodiles and being protected by pink river dolphins
· Wildlife in Patagonia
· Seeing Christ the Redeemer for the first time
· Seeing the condors in Peru
· Reaching the sun gate at Machu Pichu
· The volcanic springs of Banos
· Salt flats
So this is goodbye from us to South America as we continue on our journey around the world. So far so good. The rest of world sure has got it's work cut out to top this awesome continent. Ciao Chicos! Hasta Luego...