Santiago - big trip - diary - chile - april 2003

Cool head statue in Plaza de Armas



Thursday 3 - Friday 4 April

Santiago is a pleasant capital city with leafy pedestrian streets and colonial buildings lining various central plazas. We arrived in the afternoon and landied about for a while checking out the centre before moving east to Bellavista. This area has various bars and streetside cafes and is bordered by parks on both sides. After a quick look around we went in search of a hotel, ending up in a nice enough hostel back in the centre.

Changing of...

...the guard...

...Chile style

The rest of the afternoon we spent wandering about looking for a Chilean flag sticker for the side of the landy, eventually finding one nearly back where we'd started and, by luck, the street stall had a Guatemala sticker as well to replace the one peeled off by some Brazilian kid in Macapa last September. T found a new kit bag to replace his worn out one and the lads busied themselves unsuccessfully looking for some decent tottie to ask about the nightlife.

Plaza de Armas...

...pleasant place to...

...have a laugh at a bible basher

Skirted schoolgirls aplenty

Chilean obsession with receipts...

...count those pennies

The evening arrived and we caught the metro to Bellavista for something to eat. Plastic chairs in the street and chicken and rice was about the best we could find before having a beer in a bar. A chat with the barman and we discovered this area used to be in-vogue but now it has gone downmarket, the place to be is Providencia. We hopped in a cab and during the journey got the feeling the driver was a bit dodgy although on the surface friendly enough. As T paid the 6500 peso fair, the guy pulled a fast one and swapped a 5000 note for a 500, asking for more cash and covering his sneaky trick with some fast talking and general bluster. Tosser. Later we found out the fare should only have been about 2000 pesos anyway, so the guy made a nice profit. Just shows that even seasoned travellers can get ripped off if you don't have your wits about you. Still, that little sour experience coupled with the high drinks prices, pushy promotion staff in the streets outside the bars and a complete lack of any decent looking women (fat bottoms aplenty) instilled us with a strong desire to be on the way out of town.

Plenty of old and disabled...

...on the streets

Friday saw that desire fulfilled after watching the changing of the guard and taking a few pics around the centre we fired the landy up and headed uphill for Argentina.

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