en route to Santiago

Temuco Travel Blog

 › entry 36 of 72 › view all entries
We left at a reasonable hour to get to Temuco, which was to be our next stop on the way to Santiago. Our plan was to have a look and see, based on initial thoughts, how long we would stay. We wanted to spend a bit of time in Santiago, so we thought the we would probably spend one night. We arrived at 12 and drove directly to the train station and bought tickets to leave that night. Not an impressive place at all. Certainly larger than the other towns we had been in, but polluted and uninspiring. We had to return the car, so we needed to find the agency drop off, which was at the airport, and basically wait out until our 10pm train. The guy at Budget rentals was really nice and drove us back from the airport to the station. The people in Chile have been extremely friendly too, much the same as Argentina. The area around the train station is a bit dodgy so we ended us spending about 5 hours at the train station, with a quick dash to a petrol station about 200m up the road for a bite to eat – yes, hungry and desperate enough to eat a hot dog from a petrol station (quite tasty actually). That was the second hot dog of the day after having lunch at Doggis. Good hotdogs with funky toppings. Mine had avo, tomato salsa and chilli, while Kat’s had tartare sauce and tomato salsa. We also found a shop (department store) which has shopping bags which they provide to customers which have different country flag on them. Seen quite a lot of people walking around with bags with South African flags on them. A rather strange experience. Also in town, being 21 May, there was a parade. As far as we could work out from the Budget guy, this is a celebration of the war which involved Bolivia (no real clarity to be gained from the guidebooks either). He seemed quite bemused that they celebrate war. Temuco as far as we could gather is quite a boring spot and only worth a stop en-route to somewhere else. We decided on taking the overnight train from Temuco to Santiago as an alternate to the bus thing, as we have done quite a lot of bus already. And it was a nice choice too. The train is very comfortable and first class is quite reasonable and gives decent space too. A ticket for a 10 hour train ride was £20. Not bad value I think. The one bit of entertainment was that there was a whole bunch on military guys, who must have been in Temuco for the parade, who were on the train with us. They also arrived about 4 hours early for it. Of 100 odd army guys there were only 2 that we saw who were the same height as us or taller. Quite a laugh. There was only a small coffee shop with one girl working there so she was quite busy taking orders and making sure the guys were kept in order. It was a real multi tasking effort as the shop does coffee and snacks, internet, has phones for metered calls, stores luggage and does the tokens for the toilets.
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photo by: wendermilliken