Well we arrived in Santiago on Wednesday lunchtime after leaving Wednesday evening from New Zealand!! Relived the 3rd Sept by having a browse round the city centre, and our first 'completo italiano' (hot dog with guacamole, tomatoes, and mayonnaise!! - they live on them here!)
Thursday was a rather stressful and frustrating day spent trying to organise and book flights with a rather difficult language barrier. plus we're paying alot more than we expected to travel to Peru and Rio, so the budgets been scrapped! (any donations are most welcome!)
Friday, we finally managed to do some sight-seeing of Santiago. Visiting places such as 'Cerro San Cristobal' (the hill next to the city, with the statue of the Virgin Mary and small (scary) cablecars), the Plaza De Armas, the Cathedral, crossed over the river (not a postcard picture) and Barrio Bellavista (behemian area). We also found a lovely italian restaurant to stuff ourselves (after all our walking) and had our first much needed beers!
Saturday (yesterday) we'd previously managed to somehow book bus tickets to the coast, so bright and early off we went, on a very impressively smart bus, and 2 hours later arrived in Valparaiso and were soon snapped up on a city tour. The tour took us round Valparaiso port, the famous 'elavators' (like Wellingtons cable car in NZ), and the many pretty squares. For lunch we stopped at Renaca beach, and had yet another 'completo italiano'! although the sun may have been shining it definitely wasn't warm enough for the bikini or the sea!!!! In the afternoon we vistied Vina Del Mar, a pretty and posh area of the coast, boasting a casino, castles and an original Maoi from Easter Island (its twin is in the national history museum in london!). After the tour we spent a bit of time having our own wander before getting the bus back to Santiago.
Today we had a lie in, updated the blog and now we're heading to have a look round the market stalls in the city centre. we also plan to watch the football match tonight, Chile vs Brazil!!!!
Just to keep you in the picture, we travel to Lima, Peru, on Tuesday morning, and onto Cuzco on Thursday for a week to do Macchu Picchu and Lake Titicaca, so you may not hear from us for a while.
Lots of love Rachel and Ciara xxxxxxxxxxx