A few days of getting our bearings!

Santiago Travel Blog

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View from our apartment.

We´ve combined a few days into one in this entry, because not very exciting for most of you! 

18 March:
Wandered around quite a bit today.  Walked over to the Mercado Central which is famous for selling fish  and shellfish and for its seafood restaurants.  The middle section of restaurants are the more touristy ones, and are priced accordingly.  There are cheaper "local" eateries around the outside section, with much more enjoyable prices but still very good food.  We will come back here at a meal time to sample the fare.  As it was mid-morning at this time, we indulged in an ice-cream - we will have to be very careful that this does not become a habit, because the Tres Leches flavour is becoming almost an addiction for Melissa (condensed milk flavour!).

Some of the inside of our flat (not much more really, just a bedroom, bathroom and the kitchen this side of the bench)
  We went to LAN and got a brochure for Easter Island, will see if we can squeeze a trip into the budget, then took the metro over to the Providencia area to visit the Chilean Tourist Board.  The man here was extremely helpful, spent a lot of time with us, giving suggestions and even designing a walking tour route around Santiago for us.  We´ve decided to do the ferry through Patagonia so will organise that shortly.

19 March
Walked over to the Barrio Brasil area today to start organising our next journeys.  We visited La Casa Roja hostel to get some information about the Pachamama By Bus tour, a hop on/hop off bus which runs a route down to the Lake District and links with the ferry we want to get.  Also went in to LAN, but couldn´t get any packages at the times we want to go.

Artist stalls at the Plaza de Armas
  There are only 3 flights a week, and they book out a couple of months ahead, so think we´ll have to miss Easter Island.
In the afternoon, we took the metro out to the Concha y Toro vineyard (also a local bus - we had the numbers from the tourist info, but 3 very helpful locals decided they weren´t right and put us on the right one!).  The tour was quite good, walked through a part of the gardens to the old house, then back to see some vines and lastly through the cellar area.  Even went into the Casillero del Diablo cellar, after which their most famous wine is named.  The legend goes that in the early days, Don Melchor used to keep his good wines in this cellar, but they kept disappearing.  As he suspected it was the locals stealing the vino, he spread the rumour that the devil lived in the cellar to guard the wine and the locals, being extremely superstitious, bought the story - hence, no more losses!  One little section now has a silhouette of a devil on the far wall, just to keep the story going.
Entrace to Viña Concha y Toro
  The tour was with a guide who spoke extremely good English and we got three tastings, all of a decent size, so most enjoyable afternoon!  The tour needs to be booked ahead, so we go the Santiago tourist office to do it for us.  Whole thing cost us about CP15000 in total, a bit different to CP25000 EACH on an organised tour!

20 March:
Did a lot of walking today, backwards and forwards, organising our next lot of travel.  Went back over to La Casa Roja (which is owned by an Australian) and booked our Pachamama By Bus tickets, the Navimag ferry through Patagonia and our flights back from Punta Arenas to Puerto Montt after the ferry.  Spent rather a lot!  The lady, Susi, at the travel agency in La Casa Roja is incredibly helpful.

Vines at Concha y Toro
  We also booked the three nights at the hostel between leaving our apartment and commencing the bus trip, looks really nice there with a pool, bar, restaurant - the lot.  We also confirmed our flat in Buenos Aires, we´ll be staying in the San Telmo area for a month, so that should be nice.  Our friend HJ came over for dinner tonight, so we met her at the Plaza de Armas, had an ice-cream (uh oh!) then spent the evening dining and wining - most enjoyable.

21 March:
Not a lot doing today, as it´s Good Friday and everything is closed.  We walked up our street to the "river" and then along towards the central market.  Had a look at a little local market with clothing, fruit, veg, cheese etc., then walked back down to the Plaza de Armas where we - wait for it - had an ice-cream!!  Saw HJ and her friend Steve, who´s just arrived from the UK this morning, so had a quick chat.

Melissa toasting the devil!
  Then decided to go and see a movie.  We´ve bought a pack of 10 movie tickets for Hoyts, so that will help keep us amused on the days we´re not doing much, as our flat does not have cable TV!  Home to seafood empanadas (meat for Noel) and a relaxing evening. 

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View from our apartment.
View from our apartment.
Some of the inside of our flat (no…
Some of the inside of our flat (n…
Artist stalls at the Plaza de Armas
Artist stalls at the Plaza de Armas
Entrace to Viña Concha y Toro
Entrace to Viña Concha y Toro
Vines at Concha y Toro
Vines at Concha y Toro
Melissa toasting the devil!
Melissa toasting the devil!
Casillero del Diablo cellar at Con…
Casillero del Diablo cellar at Co…
Monument near the Mercado Central
Monument near the Mercado Central
Restaurant section at the Central …
Restaurant section at the Central…
The Cathedral and Plaza de Armas
The Cathedral and Plaza de Armas
The devil in his lair, Viña Conch…
The devil in his lair, Viña Conc…
Santiago
photo by: Bluetraveler