Santiago, Chile and Adios South America
Santiago Travel Blog› entry 10 of 56 › view all entries
After saying our goodbyes to Argentina we made our way to Chile. The flight was fine and we got to our hotel no problems. It took awhile, however, to get used to the fact that $1000 equals a pound so it seemed like we were spending loads! As we didnt arrive until late afternoon, we just had a walk around the city. While walking we stumbled across some kind of festival - a rock band were playing and everyonewas selling things. It was like a carboot sale but without the cars, which was very strange.
The plan for Monday was to find a tour to go on and do a walking tour of the city from the lonely planet book. Well believe it or not it was a bit of a nightmare trying to find a tour. Tourist information was useless, as was the receptionist in our hotel, even the internet didnt really give us any help. Eventually we went to another part of the city where there was another tourist information. Thankfully the staff there were alot more helpful and we finally booked a hiking tour of the Andes.
On Tuesday we were picked up from our hotel at 7am to begin the trip. We drove for about an hour and half with our guide Pedro in his minibus until we got to a tiny village called El Volcan, where we stopped for breakfast. I thought we would be going to a cafe or something, but Pedro produced a folding table, a tablecloth, sandwiches, cake, tea and coffee. It was perfect, one of the nicest breakfasts ever, and the scenery was beautiful. After breakfast we drove on basically dirt tracks for another hour until we got to the Andes country park. The views on the drive up were amazing but nothing could prepare us for the views we would come across on the walk. We were both quite unprepared as we only had our trainers and Russell was wearing shorts! We borrowed some walking sticks from the Ranger and off we went. At first I found it a bit difficult as it was really steep and it took sometime getting used to the height. We soon got into the swing of things, stopping now and again to admire the views. At lunch we stopped at a lake and had a picnic (with the birds) never before have I eaten somewhere so postcard perfect. Then we continued walking over show to the edge the Glacier San Francisco. I did fall a few times as my shoes were not really made for hiking. Once we got to the edge of the glacier we spent sometime taking in everything - words cannot describe how amazing it was, absolutely amazing. After the walk down we stopped at village for cake before returning at about 9pm.
Wednesday was our last day in Santiago and also South America. We finally managed to carry out the walking tour we had planned to do on Monday. It started out well but went rapidly downhill when we went for lunch. After eating we resumed the tour but backwards by this point I think we were both a bit fed up and uninspired as we kept walking around in circles! I still cannot believe our time in South America has come to an end and we have been away for over a month. It seems to have gobe so quickly but when I think back to what we have done since first arriving in Rio it seems like a lifetime ago.