Published: July 1st 2012July 1st 2012
After our overnight stay in Melbourne we boarded the plane to Sydney. Upon arrival there we received the sad news that dads best cycling/triathlon buddy and someone he has been inspired by and looked up to for over 20 years had passed. RIP Millsy xx this was not the best start to the trip, however dad was glad he had just visited him two days beforehand.
The 13hr flight direct to Santiago was fine, although once we landed we were ready for bed as it was 2am AUS time but only 10am Chile time! Disoriented, dizzy and exhausted we mindlessly wandered around the streets of Santiago trying to stay awake. I couldnt put my finger on this city; some parts reminded me of many of the third world countries i've been too due to the stray dogs and muggy river. Other parts reminded dad and I of small European towns with the beautiful architecture of some old buildings and the autumn tree's like the one you see in photo's parallel to each other and never ending. Also, it is the off season in Chile- we finally worked out why we had only seen one other tourist !
Secretly I had researched where to find the best vegetarian restaurant in Santiago which happened to be 300m from our hotel...so I guided us there. It was called El Huerto and was hands down the best meal of my life. Organic chocolate spiced tea, fresh raspberry juice, lemon and mint water, a local beer, and 3 mexican inspired vegan main meals went down nicely between the two of us.
By 4pm we realised we weren't making sense and finally crashed. After 15 hours sleep we woke at 5.30- realized nothing was open this early on a Sunday morning so resorted to McDonalds across the road... The only time you will ever spot dad or I in Maccas! I couldn't bring myself to eat anything there but dad had a coffee and yoghurt. In Chile today it is my 21st birthday today... Dad gave me a beautiful sterling silver bracelet with saint Christopher on it when we woke up (thankyou mum as well xx) and I was lucky enough to reach mum and extended family on skype in Geelong. Today we are heading to the Valaparaiso region of Chile... So nothing too strenuous just yet, only wine tasting and sight seeing. Couldn't think of a better way to spend my 21st! So this leaves me here in our hotel lobby waiting for it to be 8am so dad and I can eat and we jump on the 2hr bus to Vina Del Mare.