Santiago Travel Blog

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La Virgen- one of the many stops up the funicular up on Cerro San Cristobal, Santiago

I arrived into Chile through the hustle and bustle, known as Santiago. We spent a couple of days here... I took to it immediately. It was like any other big city- loud, noisy, dirty- but I love that sort of thing. My friend, Nicki,  picked me up at the airport. Prior to me coming, she warned me that men in Chile are always whistling and checking girls out, and aren't shy about it at all. The second I got off the plane and walked outside, I knew exactly what she was talking about. Ah- Chilean funny at times...we had everyone from an older older gentleman hitting on us, to 10 year old boys exposing themselves to us! The only thing you can do is just find the humor in it all, or otherwise, you'll be yelling "Fuck Off" every minute. ANYWAYS- we were staying with el abuelo de Nicole in a part of Santiago called Providencia. A charming part of town- nice cobblestone roads with lovely homes on it, lined with tons of trees. We would just roam the residential areas often because it was such a nice and peaceful walk. There's an area of Providencia that is filled with little cafes and shops. A beautiful place to sit out in an outdoor cafe, order a pastry and a coffee, and people watch.  While staying in this city, it became very apparent that the men loved us and the women hated us. The men couldn't stop whistling, the women couldn't stop talking shit- and the funny thing was- they didn't think we understood them. We were at the mall in Santiago shopping during the season of "Liquidacion"- when all of the department stores are having a huge sale and everything is so reduced that they're practically giving it all away. Anyways- we're at a department store when one of the girls that works there, smiles at us as we pass by her, and then yells to her co worker in spanish "check out this fucking giraffe (referring to Nicki because she's considered tall for a girl in Chile) and this asian girl with the big ass (of course, referring to me. People don't seem to realize that I am half Latina- and my bottom half certainly lets it be known). " From that point on, I referred to Nicki as "La Giraffa" and she referred to me as "La Chinita con culo grande". While in Santiago, we went out to the bars over at Suecia, an area where there is a ton of bars. Very rowdy place, lots of fun though. We had some very strong Caipirinas while we were there. Good times for sure. Hmmm, what else did we do? During one of our days, we took a trip to Cerro San Cristobal. An hill of Santiago, that has numerous stops to the very top. You can take a funicular and a cable car to get to certain points of the hill. While up there, we visited a couple of public swimming pools, which was fun (Piscina Tehapue). A nice place to spend the day sunning and swimming during the middle of the summer. When arriving at the top of the hill, it had great views of the city. Here we tried Mote con Huesillo, a traditional Chilean desert. Amazing- looks strange, and the combination of ingrediants doesn't sound appetizing, but was surprisingly good- a whole peach, juice, and grains. After leaving Cerro San Cristobal, we headed for Pio Nono, a strip of bars and restaurants down the street. Here we stopped off at a little restaurant and ordered another Chilean classic- Churrasco ( a sandwhich with beef, green beens, tomato, and chilis ) and a large beer with Fanta Orange Soda mixed in with it. It's a popular drink and sounds disgusting, but was actually pretty good.  Hmm let's see- what else did we do? During two different day trips, we took a two hour drive out of Santiago to the Andes Mountains. Here we went white water rafting one day at the Rio Maipo, and horse back riding through the Andes another day. White water rafting was tons of fun. This company that takes white water rafting tours- had the most beautiful men I've ever seen in person, working there. Absolutely gorgeous men! Ugh- Chile made me so boy crazy it's disgusting! ANyways- don't go white water rafting here if you don't understand Spanish. I'd say it's kind of important to understand the directions, if you're going white water rafting for the first time in a class 3 river- i think that's what they called it. I had no idea what they were saying- i was afraid i  would drown- but i didn't . A great experience! Probably one of my funnest. Except for when Nicki kept hitting me in the head with her oar everytime she'd paddle forward (she has extremely long arms and they decided to sit me in front of her!) Horse back riding in the Andes was another experience. Kind of scary at times, but worth the view.  While riding our horses up narrow narrow narrow and steep  paths up the mountains- we asked our guide (in a very worried tone) if we were going back down these same paths. He said "No! we're going back down different paths for sure!" Too bad the paths we went down were even more narrow and steeper than the ones came came up on. Everytimee the horse stepped to put it;s foot down, half of the freaking path would go tumbling down the side of the hill. I think Nicki closed her eyes the entire way back down. After our days in the Andes, Nicki's aunt, Tia Raquel, invited us over to her house for some empanadas (soooo Good!) , pisco sour (try these if you make it to CHile! It's Chile's national alcoholic drink) , creme puffs, and crepes. From Santiago, we made another day trip to Vina Del Mar and Valparaiso. Great day trips and a short drive from the city. A great place to visit the beaches and some famous Chilean wineries. **A good tip for the ladies- don't wear a thong to the beach unless you want lots of Chilean men trying to sunbath litterally right next to you and perv out on you the entire time! Another funny thing I learned while in Santiago- if you're a girl and pretend you don't speak or understand spanish, you can get away with just about anything with the police :)  We were pulled over by the police at one point during our drive to get to Valparaiso, while in Santiago, because we were driving down a street that only allowed buses. We didn't know how to get out of the city by taking any other road, so we continued driving down that road hoping we wouldn't get stopped. Of coures, we get pulled over by the police, and he sees 3 American girls with big smiles. At first he was mad and scolding us in Spanish. We tried to play dumb with our maps in our hands and saying to him in our worst possible spanish- "no hablo esssssspppanolll". Of course we understood him, and would have been able to tell him in spanish why we were driving down a road that we shouldn't be, but we decided to play the "cute american girl card". He kind of laughed at us, yelled to his partner "they're americans and they're lost". We hoped by smiling and trying to be cute, that he'd let us off and continue to drive down a street we weren't supposed to be driving down. And of course, he did.

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La Virgen- one of the many stops u…
La Virgen- one of the many stops …
photo by: Bluetraveler