Back in the States... and a recap of Chile

Santiago Travel Blog

 › entry 12 of 12 › view all entries
Well, we're back in Arizona... boo! On the plane (no problems, by the way!) we were all quite melancholy about leaving. There's just something about Santiago that makes me feel as if a part of me is missing. Arriving in Phoenix, I kept thinking that the baggage people were going to talk to me in Spanish, or that if I turned a corner I would see the other students in our class. Alas, that is not the case. Everyone spoke to us in English (which was really disorienting, let me tell you!), and I haven't seen or heard from anyone in class yet.

However, coming back definitely has its perks: first of all, warm water! Thank goodness to be back in the heat (never thought I'd say that!) Second, free refills. And free water! I definitely have not gotten used to being charged for water (spoiled American, I suppose). Let's see... it's great to see my family, of course. I'm sure once I get used to it all, though, I'll be itching to travel again. As for now... I'm happy to just relax :)

Our last week in Chile was spent studying for our final and finishing our 10 min. research presentations (mine was about religion in Chile; Em's was on 'machismo'; and Em's mom was on fatalism). However, we did get to visit el Pueblito de los Dominicos, next to the big church. The church is so famous, it's actually on the Chilean 2000-peso note! We didn't go to the church; instead we went shopping in the Pueblito market, where artisans and craftspeople sell their creations. Emily and I had visited a week earlier, but we went again to show Em's mom and take pictures! We bought scarves (always buying scarves!) and last minute presents for friends/family back home. We talked to this one lady from Easter Island, whose family made jewelry from coconut shells, seashells, and stones found on the island. Em bought a necklace and I bought an interesting looking bracelet made entirely from the outside of a coconut (polished, of course, it wasn't rough like a coconut).

One of the places this week we went to lunch was Rivoli, an Italian restaurant in Providencia on Nueva Lyon street. My take? Don't go unless you want to shell out BIG bucks. The restaurant is supported by a farm outside of Santiago, so everything is super fresh (they even make their own cheese), but the average cost for an entree was $16.00 (US). Em and I shared meals on this trip (to save money and our waistlines!), and the meal definitely was not big enough to share. This may sound trivial, but where every other meal in Santiago is big enough to be halved, it's disappointing. The food was really good, of course, but I think you can get another meal just as delicious for half the price.

We never did get to go to Cajon Maipo, which our teacher highly recommended. I think it's supposed to be another crafts/artisan/fruit-vegetable/nice place to visit. We did go to Santa Lucia, which is both a hill and a market. Highly recommend the market-- the crafts are really cool, very unique, and really reasonably priced. Our last stop of the trip was one final goodbye lunch at El Huerto-- really going to miss that place!

All in all, successful month in Chile, I'd say. I definitely understand Spanish a whole lot better now-- both speaking and listening. My writing skills didn't improve that much, but that's the least of my worries. I can't wait to go back to Santiago!
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Santiago
photo by: Bluetraveler