Chile 3-4: The Boat Days

Tuesday the 30th
Breakfast at hostel was fruit w/ honey, bread, eggs. Then we took the Metro back over by zoo to Pablo Neruda’s house. For those of you non-English literature majors, that’s a famous Chilean poet. He wrote about love, travels, his houses… Anything. So his house in Santiago was shaped like a boat with a lighthouse and is a cool collection of artwork from all over the world. I learned a lot… More on my boy Pablo later, lol.

Then we wandered through a huge park to meet Brett and Sophie for lunch. It was $6 for bread, salad, soda, grilled chicken, white rice, and orange jello. Amazing! We all walked to a hill in town with lots of steps and yellow building that was first built after the uprising in the 70s, which had a great view of Brett’s school and the city. Then the students were off to class and we went to the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, which was all about Chilean history, namely the uprisings and hostilities from 1973-1990. The museum was really nicely done with English headsets, but also super sad as a number of Chileans died during this period.

We headed Back to the hostel to meet Brett and Sophie, then to a sweet seafood restaurant that was designed like a boat with different themes in each room. we opted to eat family style with calamari, grilled reinata (a local fish), a veggie dish, shrimp w/ ham, and a mushroom/chicken/beef plate… Topped off with chocolate mousse and a chocolate/vanilla ice cream roll. Omg. I was in heaven! I even liked the mushrooms 🙂 Finally we all walked to Brett’s house and met several of his roommates, many from France, one from Mexico and one from Spain. It’s very cool and a colorful community to live in.

Wednesday the 31st
Up early, same delicious breakfast, then out the door with Brett. He dropped us at the bus terminal and we were off to Valparaiso, a smaller city about 1.5 hours west, on the Pacific Coast. What was our first stop? A second home of Pablo Neruda, lol. This one was taller and up on a hill, think San Francisco- style city. It was even more interesting and over-the-top than the house in Santiago. After a long tour and Belinda/Cynthia nerding out again, we moved on. Our taxi dropped us off in the city center and while walking around, we stumbled upon an adorable cafe overlooking the bay. We tried Macha, which is a ribbed clam, with Parmesan as well as scallops, shrimp, and a seafood gratin. Again, SO good and the view was breathtaking, I can’t wait for you all to see pictures.

After our long lunch with mango sours, which are the mango version or pisco sours like we had on Monday, we began to head back to the bus. This was an adventure. So we wanted to ride the fonicular, which is like a gondola on a track, which we managed to find and ride. It was super cute but a shorter ride than I was envisioning. Then we had 15 minutes to hull butt across town to the bus. Our attempt to hail a cab failed, so we quickly crossed the road and used our broken Spanish/pantomiming to get metro tickets. Then we rode two stops, jumped off and power walked to the bus. We knew they wouldn’t wait, so we were booking it. With one minute to spare we took our seats and watched as two people scrambled on behind us as the bus pulled away… Success!

After the bus dropped us in Santiago, we navigated home through the very clean and well organized metro system, even at rush hour. Brett came over and we walked to a nearby Mexican restaurant for a light dinner of beef fajitas and quesadillas. Then we’ve been hanging in the living area of our hostel watching the kids parade around for Halloween. I have really enjoyed the first part of our here in Santiago, but am very excited to head up (latitude and elevation) to the desert tomorrow with the gang. If you missed my full itinerary, check it out… Happy Halloween!

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