Santiago, Chile 

If you subscribe to our blog you will have probably already received one. It was published by accident and hadn’t been finished haha. Here is the correct blog.

Our motorhome is in storage whilst we travel, in a little place near where we used to live in Leeds,  that only charges £4 a week to store it….bargain. 

We are now travelling/backpacking in Chile and Argentina for 3 months. We always pack lightly for our travels but this time Tina’s case was at its heaviest….16kg! whilst Kev’s came in at 9.2kg. We know some people who can’t go away for a week with this amount of allowance. 😂

We plan our clothes carefully. We travelled in walking trousers, lightweight micro fleece’s and walking shoes,  then we packed 3 pairs of pants/boxer shorts (these can be washed in the shower and left to dry overnight) 7 daytime T shirts for Tina, 5 for Kev, 2 pairs of shorts each, 1 swimming costume for Tina, 1 pair of swim shorts for Kev, 1 pair of “going out” trousers each, (which are really another pair of walking trousers), 2 “going out” tops each, (a little bit smarter t-shirts), 1 pair of flip flops, walking sandals (swear by Keen) and Keen walking shoes. We’ve had to pack some mid layer and base layer clothes plus waterproof jacket and trousers for when we get to Patagonia, as it’s a lot colder down there, but that’s it..done!  The rest of the case is filled with “incidentals” as Kev calls them. These being toiletries,  sun lotion, first aid stuff etc.

Tina bought a German back pack  (Dakine) as it has 3 compartments and the first one is a cooler. We always buy small bottles of water and freeze them overnight to put in the cooler bag next day…saves buying loads of plastic bottles of water everyday…saving the planet and money 😉.

After 1 train journey, 3 flights,  1 bus and 1 metro ride we arrived in Santiago. We had been travelling for 27.5 hours in total!! 😯

We were greeted with blue skies and a smouldering 29 degree heat, and we had left behind snow in Leeds. 

We had rented a room off a local guy from Airbnb. This cost us £20 a night with a private bathroom and a view overlooking Cerro San Cristóbal (San Cristóbal Hill). It is a hill in northern Santiago. It rises 850m above sea level and about 300m above the rest of Santiago; the peak is the second highest point in the city, after Cerro Renca.

Kev, being obsessed with good drying spots for his underwear, found another use for the balcony netting!

Whilst Tina found it a good place to air her walking shoes after a day in the sunshine and walking for miles!

We are staying in a district called Recollecta in Santiago. It’s quite lively and has a huge gay scene apparently. Our apartment is in a pretty quiet area though, apart from the local dogs on a morning! 🐕🐶. The streets are bustling with people and every wall has some forms of graffiti on, from basic words to genuine works of art.

We have decided to eat healthier here. We’ve piled weight on lately so have taken “before” photos (which were a real shock and not very nice to see 😂). We do loads of walking whilst travelling so hopefully can burn some calories off.

We got on the subway and headed into the centre of town. The carriages were packed and you were very up close and personal to the locals. We knew South America isn’t safe so we keep an eye on our bags, all decent jewellery has been left in the UK and we don’t wear named clothing. In the subway we had to out our bags at our feet so they weren’t at pick pocket level! The main compartment of Tina’s bag is padlocked for extra security, as a precaution.

Walking down a busy street near the local central market Tina felt her bag move on her back as a guy walked passed…she looked behind and checked to see if he had anything in his hands….nothing.  Then a lady told her that her bag had been opened and to carry it on the front not on her back. We checked and it was wide open. ….nothing taken though.  He’d tried the cooler section and only found water and fresh cherries (which only cost 62p for half a kilo!) Haha bet he was gutted. Lesson leared, by back pack is now a front pack 

We headed into the central market as it had good reviews for eating places.  It was like the street markets of Thailand outside, but very different inside.  Posh seafood restaurants selling great dishes but very expensive.  We ate at a restaurant outside that had a lunchtime special for £3 for chicken, rice, salad and bread with a spicy dip.  Small portions but tasty 😊

After we’d been fed and watered we carried on walking until we got to a gorgeous building with landscaped gardens…free entry so in we went. The place was picturesque with plenty of benches to sit and admire the architecture whilst listening to the water fountain, and imagining it splashing and cooling us.

Tina got a travel wipe out to clean her hands and Kev said to wipe her neck as she had a “tide mark” 😮  Tina asked “where abouts on my neck?” He couldn’t just leave it at that…no…he said “it’s on your 4th chin!!!” 😣  he knew he was digging a hole so he tried getting out of it by singing “you are so beautiful to me 🎶”. Tina laughed saying “yeah right, whatever”. He retorted  “You always look beautiful to me”. Before Tina could smile he added “I never have my glasses on!” 🤓 He certainly knows how to make her feel good 😉

As you can see we’re not very romantic towards each other, and don’t often show affection in public. We do walk around holding hands or linking arms but that’s about it. Here,  they are full on…at all ages. They practically eat each other..in public places, and don’t care who watches 💏

You can always tell the tourists from where people sit…or maybe it’s just us English?  The sun was scorchio and we wanted to sit down…loads of empty benches in the sun…cos all the locals were sat in the shade. 😎 “Only mad dogs and English men ” as the saying goes. So we we sat in the full sun soaking up the Vitamin D. 😀

It was nice sat listening to a jazz band playing, kids cooling in the water fountain and mounted police going past on horses! The police have a heavy presence here but it’s for everyone’s safety  (crime prevention).

Above are the armoured vans along the side of the road. There were more police as “Papa Francisco” (the Pope) had visited Santiago and the people thought it was amazing. The city was buzzing.

We walked back and cooked pasta bolognese in our apartment whilst looking out at the stunning view from the balcony. The meal for both of us only cost equivalent of £2! We tend to eat out on a lunchtime and have breakfast and evening meal at “home”. 

The locals love their empanadas (small pasties filled with various mixtures of meat and vegetables. A bit like a cornish paste only smaller. These are usually eaten “on the hoof”.  The coffee bars have outside  standing areas, rather than sitting areas. They tend to stand, have a quick coffee and off they go.

So on day 3 in our apartment, our lovely host Luis, decides to tell us that we have access to a roof top pool with great views and and bbq area!! Why did he wait so long to tell us this!

Wherever we go Tina always try to learn some of the language.  She can speak quite a bit of Spanish so has been trying to teach Kev some. He’s not as quick as picking up the lingo….but he tries. Tina keeps going over words with him so he gets used to hearing them and can remember them. 

In the subway a local said something to Kev in Chilean Spanish (totally different to any other version of Spanish). Kev turned around and told him that he didn’t understand, he was English. This would have been great except he told him he was English but said it all in Italian! 😂

Our next stop after here is a place called Valparaiso (pronounced Valpara eeso). For some reason Kev can’t remember this and consistently calls it Valpar ayzo! Tina wouldn’t let him order tickets in the bus station as we could end up somewhere totally different to where we want to be!

On our final day in Santiago Kevin went off to visit the local football stadium and had a guided tour (all in Spanish 😂) whilst Tina sat around the pool reading and practising more Spanish. As we had not been out for lunch we decided to go into the local area of barrio Bella Vista for some food. We tried a recommended Chilean restaurant. The portions were huge and the food was good but it was a bit pricey for us. They also ripped us off when we paid by credit card. (Revolut pre paid card…best exchange rates ever). I told them we didn’t want the currency conversion,  but having checked when we got back it seemed they decided to do their own conversion rate, which only cost us about an extra £5 but it’s the bloody principle!

Tomorrow we go to Valparaiso for 5 nights. Staying in another airbnb that’s costing us £18.63 a night for a double room with a balcony! Happy days 

2 thoughts on “Santiago, Chile 

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