Alicia: After saying farewell finally to Ecuador after the crazy flight changes, we arrived in Santiago on thurs 16th Aug in the afternoon, much later than planned. First impressions? Looked like a European capital city except it was surrounded on two sides by huge snow-capped mountains. Was beautiful, but cold! And despite having been in South America 4months and got on fine, we found we couldn't understand what anyone was saying- Chilean Spanish is really slurred :S The people there seemed rather rude with it too which was disappointing. We went on a free walking tour which was fun and got to learn about Chilean history and also where to buy your hangover cure in the morning :P Was also good because we met a couple from England, Rob and Lucy, who were doing our trip but in reverse so got a few tips about NZ, China and stuff and managed to get a NZ guidebook too. We met up again for a nice meal and then finished off in a swish wine bar. Feels awful to say but felt like we were back to normality after the craziness of Peru and Ecuador. The next day was WINE DAY! We went to two vineyard tours: Cousino Macul and Concha y Toro - home of my Dave Cassillero del Diablo. Was a fun day despite the fact I miscounted how much money we would need so we were ever fearful we wouldn't have enough to get home, but we survived and as Mike found a $20 note in his pocket at the end, we got to buy a cheeky bottle of red to try out our free glasses we got on the tours :)
Our last proper meal in South Anerica we spent in a Peruvian restaurant drinking Pisco and Maracuya (passion fruit) sours, eating choclo( corn), Aji de Gallina and lomo saltado. Was great.
We spent all the next day with Pete an English guy from our hostel going around town visiting museums and parks to kill the time before our 11.30pm flight to Auckland. All in all a good stopover but definitely felt like we were just killing time before we headed to NZ and Oz. Given more time I'm sure mike would've wanted to have travelled down to Patagonia to see the penguins and Antarctica but as always not enough time or money. Off to Auckland we go!