First day Santiago
Santiago Travel Blog› entry 4 of 129 › view all entries
Got to Santiago airport early afternoon. Shortly before reaching Santiago we saw the Andes; a lovely sight out of the window and looking like a picture postcard, but Santiago was shrouded in pollution. (John and Judy seat 1A) I had heard of this, so was not surprised. I was to be met by taxi organised by Jose but I couldn’t find the email with the note where to meet the taxi. Walked around and went to the obvious meeting places. Other taxi drivers were eager for the business but also happy to try to help me. Two of the men, one appeared to be an organiser, rather than a driver, took me to an information booth upstairs but we couldn’t find the name of the taxi company in the phone book. Also Jose’s phone wasn’t answering. In the end I took a cab for an agreed price of 15,000 pesos AUD34 (Jose’s taxi was to be 13.000 pesos AUD29). NB 13.000 = 13,000. The taxi driver didn’t speak English but my Spanish was good enough for us to have a reasonable conversation.
Arrived at the block of flats. Got key as arranged from concierge and went upstairs to 11th floor. Jose arrived shortly after with friend Luis, who doesn't speak English. Both very nice and Jose very helpful.
Later went for a walk downtown. Camera wasn’t working so went to buy some batteries at a pharmacy. Four AA batteries 2.480. AUD5.60. A Big Mac is 800p AUD1.82.
Went to artisan’s market and to toilet there 150 pesos AUD.
Went to an Italian restaurant, Casa Matriz, for tea on the way back. Individual pizza, two smallish bottles of red but larger than you get on planes in Oz, large ice-cream sundae. Total 5.670p AUD12.80. TV with soccer on, no surprises there. Not many people there but they all go ooooooh when there’s a goal.
Was tired so went to bed around 8:30. First impressions; I like Santiago and felt safe walking around on my own. There are carabineros (police) everywhere. What I don’t like are the dogs. There are many homeless dogs roaming the streets; actually lying down most of the time. I feel sorry for them. They are mostly fairly thin and people ignore them. I didn’t pat any as I wasn’t sure if they would bite. I talked to one and it came over, slowly wagging its tail; then I felt mean as I had raised its expectations.
Ramon Corvalan # 37
Staying in a home with Jose. Double bed with private bathroom. US$60 pn for the Saturday night (10th), US$35 for the other nights. You pay per person per bed for the room, so my costs are double for exclusive use. Light breakfast included.