Santiago Dec. 14 - 16
We arrived to Santiago very early in the morning and headed to the nice hostel we had made home the last times we were here, but they were booked up. We left our bags and found a nearby hotel with similar prices, but much worse facilities. We were just happy to have a place to sleep as the sun rose. After a good nap we went downtown with plans to find out options for Pablo in case he decides to stay and work at a brewery here (he's got an interview tomorrow), so we spent quite a bit of time in the immigration department building. A note, Chile is quite organized and clean with these processes from what I can tell. We had greasy Chinese vegetarian food for lunch. We headed over to relax and wander in Barrio Brasil (closer to our hotel) for the late afternoon and evening - it's hot out!!! We settled into a sidewalk table for red wine and olives to end the evening.
Pablo left early to head to the suburbs for a day at a brewery he's considering working at, so I had the
day to myself to wander. I slept in then headed out to a cafe near the park in Barrio Brasil where I spent some time writing up my notes and enjoying the beautiful weather. Pablo made it back in the afternoon and apparently didn't have a very productive day, as the person who set up the appointment at the brewery didn't show up. We decided to walk around some of the other neighborhoods we hadn't spent much time in. First up, Barrio Concha y Toro (which is one of the oldest neighborhoods in town and no where near the winery of the same name) . The old buildings were charming, and we stopped outside the music school to listen to someone practicing the piano from the street. We found a great place for a drink on the balcony overlooking the plaza and shared a bit of rum before heading across town to Bellavista. Bellavista is a neighborhood we've been in a few times before earlier this fall, but we never made it here during daylight, so it was a new experience today. It is a busy place, filled with the upper tier of young society and tourists, with plenty of
bars, restaurants, and shops, part of it a bit mall-like. It was too early for dinner - still before 8pm, so we wandered around the crowded streets and plaza. We saw a hand knit summer sweater that seemed perfect for me, so Pablo made it my birthday present (a few weeks early), since I'll be back in the US, and he'll be either here in Chile or back in Mexico with his family over the holidays.
We had been meaning to try a good Peruvian restaurant for a while, so it being my last night on the continent, we decided to splurge and try a place we found in the Bellavista plaza. We ordered:
a Peruvian beer (which tasted similar to Mexican beer)
chicha morada - red chicha with little fruit bits - delish!!!
osteones en salsa de wiskey (oysters in whiskey sauce)
filete a la macho (con salsa de queso de cabra y mariscos) (steak with seafood and cheese in a red sauce)
Afterward, we walked around and found an outdoor screening for a film fest and sat down in the plaza. Then we headed to walk around some more, and a bar caught Pablo's
eye, promoting a Belgian beer he wanted to try. Next, back to the hotel for some sleep.
I'm down to my last hours here, so I spent some time packing, and organizing and reminiscing with Pablo about our trip and our future plans - I'm going to spend a month in the U.S. visiting family in California, Wisconsin, and Illinois, then I am moving to Italy for a year. Pablo doesn't know his next step - he has a ticket back to L.A. in a week, but he may stay and try to work for a brewery here for a while, depending on how things go this week. I'm feeling sad to leave!
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