Santiago Travel Blog› entry 122 of 123 › view all entries
Ricardo was efficient as ever in serving up breakfast at the hostel, so I was out the door by 7.30am, giving me enough time to walk to Talca bus terminal for my 8.00am 'Talca, Paris y Londres' (strangest name for a bus company ever??!) departure. They had bloody nice buses, a double-decker jobbie, nice leather seats and some cheeky little snacks, all included for the CLP4,500 (£5.50/$9) price. We arrived into Santiago at about 11am and I took the metro across the city to get to my hostel. I had decided to treat myself and booked the 96% hostelworld rated CasAltura. Its a 'boutqiue' hostel and I have to say I wasn't disappointed, a bloody nice place to stay.
I had a stroll around the city on my first afternoon, taking the Lonely Planet's suggested route and gave me a decent impression of Santiago. The weather always helps - its been beautiful, about 27 degrees during the day and clear skies (well kind of). Its got lots of nice parks and plazas and plenty of shops (you feel like you could actually be in Madrid its so European). On my second day, I went up the funicular railway to Cerro San Cristobal for the views over the city (CLP1,600 return/£2/$3) - they would have been great had it not been for Santiago's lengendary smog....it really is true, during the summer it turns what should be a perfect blue-sky day into a kind of grey mist. Still, It still gave a good impression of the size of the city.
After that, my attentions turned to bigger things...well, New Zealand. My friend Helen fries out to meet me in Christchuch tomorrow, and we have 3 weeks of fun on the South Island to look forward to - can't wait! Have been busy ensuring my shoes are spotless as I know the immigrations and customs guards are pretty harsh on anything mud-like!! So a final few hours here at the hostel relaxing before I head off to the airport for my LAN flight.....which leaves just one more entry to sum everything up....