Hello there, as I have 5mins I thought I would update you, once again, of my whereabouts and recent happenings.
So I left New Zealand on an 11 and a 12hr flight to Santiago Chile. This ordinarily would be very do able the time difference meant that as i left New Zealand turf at 5pm on the 16th of July, I land sometime later at 12:30pm the very same day, so I pretty much gained a whole day, and no sleep!
So after arriving in Sanitago 4 12hours before i departed New Zealand i got to my hostel, found some food and went straight to sleep! This meant that the next couple of days I was in alittle bot of let lagged induced haze during the days and wide awake during the nights. Luckily enough for me the hostel (Casa La Roja) had a very well equipped bar containing plenty of drinks and other let lagged personages. And it was kind enough to stay open until 4am, this didnt help my jet lag, as you can guess. But after 2nights of this rebellion to time i focused myself and had a few early nights, which, I´m sure you will all be pleased to know, righted my body clock.
So after all of this I decided that I needed to enhance my, ermm, well none-existant spanish inorder to get by as a lone female traveller, so i started a week of lessons with Jesus (yes, the man himself). So this took up the majority of my time in Santiago, as I wanted to be a good student and actually learn something. I did however get the chance to have a wander around and see the sites.
On my first sight seeing day I wandered into the city centre and up to Cerro Santa Lucia, a beautiful castle placed on a hill right in the middle of the City, giving some amazing views. After this I wandered back down and headed to Plaza De Armes, a relaxed square where people sell their art work, play chess, watch street entertainment (it was lost on me because of the language barrier, but the locals were laughing), After a quick empanada it was back to the hostel for some spanish classes.
I also spent a day at the Museo Chileno de Arte Pre-colombino, but I wont bore you with the details of that, lets just say it was interesting!
Next we decided to head over to San Christobel after hearing amny wonderous delights about it (its a big hill with amazing views of the city and the Andes, plus it has big statue to Mary on the top) So we trekked to the metro station, jumped off at the correct stop, wandered in the wrong direction for abit, corrected ourselves, We got to the base of the hill (after about 1hr 30mins of travelling, walking etc) only to find that the cable cars that usually take you to the top werent working today.... So after that disapointment we decided to go shopping ,s o we headed off to Santa Lucia to find the markets. So it didnt turn out too bad at all really, but San Christobel wouldve been cool.
Once my spanish classes had finished I hopped on the metro and then a bus to Valporaiso, a seasideport town about an 1hr 45mins from the city. It was alot poorer than the areas of sanitago that I had been too, but it was beautiful.
I started off my wandering through some market streets, where people were selling all kinds of fruits, vegetables, fish and meats. many had proper stalls, however some were just selling out of cardboard or plastic crates. At one point someone must have yelled police because all the people selling out of the crates grabbed their stuff and ran out of sight, almost knocking me over. So if you go to Valporaiso beware of the Illegal vegetable sellers!!!
After this excitement I headed towards the cultural end of town where I wandered around various monuments celebrating or comisrerating things that I couldnt read, but all extremely pretty. Then I decided to risk the Ascensores, which I discovered were basically sheds on tracks that take you up the many Hills.
At the top was some great views, graffiti, buildings and cafes, so i spent a fair bit of time just wandering around, exploring all the little alley ways, nooks and crannys before heading back down in the shed and heading back to the bus station.
And that pretty much concludes my time spent in Chile, Next stop Argentina!!!!