Chilling in Chile

Santiago Travel Blog

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I love a good sign. Especially a good sign at the start of a trip. So, imagine my excitement when the kids and I finished our toast in the Qantas lounge only to bump into Paul Kelly!!! I've immediately started talking in that high pitched, really fast voice that I do when I'm super excited to James and Lauren who didnt understand all the fuss. Much to Lauren's embarassment, I went and chatted to him. Told him I was going to his gig at the Palais in May and had a photo taken with him. Now, it may not look like he's as excited about this introduction as James and I were but trust me, this is the look of a man who.....well, may have been thinking 'stalker alert'. Anyway, it was a highlight for us.

We had 1 night in Auckland also. Just time enough to visit the Viaduct in the evening, have a swim in the hotel pool the next morning and then tackle the SkyTower before catching the shuttle back to the airport.

Skytower in Auckland
Alas, no celebs at the airport today but that didn't stop the kids from throwing in a 'Look, Mum, there's Pete Murray' line. I only looked the first time.....ok, maybe twice.

The 11 and half hour plane trip into Santiago was long and torturous as I knew it would be. There was 'he poked me in the ribs' and 'she's leaning on me' a lot. The movies on demand were limited to only 6 and none of them particularly great so there was also winging about that. But enough about me!!! The kids actually had a great flight. Hats off to them, I say - absolute troopers. Not a winge or peep out of them really, even when they didn't get their pre-ordered kids meals, which is enough to push anyone over the edge really.

Dim, this one's for you. I know how much you love me taking a good flag shot. Enjoy!!
They stuck it out, entertained themselves, slept and we got there in ok condition. Hola Santiago.

We arrived at our hotel which is an absolute palace. Our room is massive and has every mod con available. Even a huge plasma with about 80 channels - some english too. We have a great gym and pool and although the breakfast isnt as good as the ShangriLa in KL (according to Lauren) because they dont have a chocolate fountain, it is better than the ones we had in Vietnam, which had mystery meat. Billy got here about an hour after us and we hit the markets and the streets of Santiago.

We explored the local market which really wasnt much chop.  It was full of all sorts of odds and bods.  Lets just say that if I was mugged and had everything stolen, this is the first place I'd come to replace it all.

Mall in Santiago
  Ok, lets also say that I'm 99% certain most of the stuff we looked at was stolen.  We took the funicular railway up to the Ciero San Christobel which has a massive statue of the Virgin Mary and an awesome view over Santiago with the Andes as a spectacular backdrop. What more could you ask for. Then we took a cable car which showed us the city from another view. All in all, a great day.

English isnt as widely spoken here as we'd hoped and although Billy and I both have a smidge of espanol, we just know the same words so haven't expanded our vocab too much. Watching the odd tv show in spanish has helped but clearly not enough. We ate out one night, menu in spanish but with a few pictures. The kids decided on cheeseburgers (yeah, go the authentic Chilean cuisine) and so Billy and I, not being able to figure out with certainty what anything else was, opted for the same.

Church, near the market
Brave Shell jumped up to order. Quatro queso burgers, por favor - four cheese burgers, please. What came out was...well, interesting. Billy said what I was thinking - "are they fish fingers on the burgers?" Nah, they were cheese chunks....deep fried. Yeah, quatro queso burgers got us the four cheese burger. Who knew you could fit four cheeses on a burger. But, maxxed out on cheese is an understatement and for the record, deep fried cheese on a burger is just wrong!! We thought we'd leave it up to James or Lauren to order next time.

Santiago isnt as cheap as I'd thought/hoped. Things are quite expensive, especially food and drinks and clothes. Ok everything really. And tipping is rife which is always hard to get used to for us aussies. But we board the ship tomorrow so I wont even start to complain about that - sure the cruise will be much more of the same. We are catching a taxi to Valparaiso tomorrow and hopefully squeezing in a tour on the way of Vina Del Mare. Its about a 2 hour trip and then we embark. I'm so excited!!!!

Shellann says:
Dim, so sorry about the cold!!! It's a really rank one. Billy is still making comments about my nose blowing - get over it :) Take it easy.
Hey, Deb. Great pic. Scary!!! Yeah, I'm a crap friend hey - give her a cold and piss off. Ah well...
Posted on: Apr 01, 2009
debbiej says:
do you like my pic i have looked better :)deb
Posted on: Mar 30, 2009
debbiej says:
Hi ya guys sounds like another fab holiday love the pics how cool getting to meet paul kelly. Poor Dim what king of friend are you shell leaving her here like that when you should be here making her hot soup and stroking her head there there dim. Have a great time as i know you will looking forward to the next update love deb
Posted on: Mar 30, 2009
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Skytower in Auckland
Skytower in Auckland
Dim, this ones for you.  I know h…
Dim, this one's for you. I know …
Mall in Santiago
Mall in Santiago
Church, near the market
Church, near the market
On the funicular
On the funicular
The funicular
The funicular
Andes in the background
Andes in the background
James and Billy on the cable car
James and Billy on the cable car
Pisco Sour.  Lethal drink.  Dont k…
Pisco Sour. Lethal drink. Dont …
Dinner on our last night in Santia…
Dinner on our last night in Santi…
Santiago
photo by: Bluetraveler