Thursday, April 3, 2014

Santiago, Chile

Amber:  We had a lot of fun in Santiago.  Tim and I had a couple days to explore before Tim's folks joined us for three weeks of traveling throughout Chili and Argentina.  Tim booked us at a nice hostel and we got to experience our second ever in a shared room.  Our first was in San Pedro de Atacama.  Considering we have traveled three winters as budget vagabonds, we have been really spoiled as we found that in most countries its just as affordable to stay the two of us in a twin room as it is to rent two bunks in a shared dorm room.  Not so in Chili!  Housing is pretty pricey compared to what we are used to, so we finally broke down and stayed in dorms.  We were very fortunate, both places were quiet and clean with no creeper dorm mates.  And it came with a kitchen, so more cooking in for us!  The food is expensive in Chili, and we had not had much luck finding local dishes we loved.

Considering Santiago is a really big city, I really liked it.  The public transit system is clean and efficient and in the University district we were staying in, the walking streets, shops and wine cafes were very nice.  The streets were lined with big oak trees, and parks were everywhere.  We climbed up two hills that had been turned into parks in the two days we waited for Robin and Valerie to join us.  We had lost about 10 pounds each during our first part of our trip in Peru and into Chili, so we did our last bit of exercise before the Chilean and Argentine wine tasting began!

Tim: We arrived in Santiago two days before my parents were to arrive. Santiago is a city of over 7 million people. We were happy to find a very efficient public transportation system that included a good network of subways. The airport is located 20 kilometers from the downtown of the city so we opted for a bus that dropped us off at the subway line that would take us into the downtown area.
The subway brought us to within 300 meters of our hostel called Poker Hostel. Our hostel was located in a very chic area near the Catholic University. There were many pleasant cafes and restaurants within 100 meters of our hostel.

Our first day in Santiago we checked out the Santa Lucia hill just 200 meters from our hostel. The hill is a park with a beautiful fountain and stair case. There are several pathways that lead up to the top lookout which gives excellent views of the surrounding city with the backdrop of the Andes Mountains.

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