Published: June 26th 2012
June 4th 2012
After having relaxed for a couple of days in Puerto Natales after our trek it was time for us to move on. Our next stop was to be the last capital city we would see in Latin America. This thought wasn’t a pleasant one, and one that we tried to put to the back of our minds for now, however getting to Santiago did have one reason to be cheerful. The reason? A third and final friendly face from home was due to meet us there.…Lisa. We have known Lisa from about the age of 17, and she is one of our very best friends from back home, so we were really looking forward to seeing her and experiencing a bit of Chile together.
We arrived in Santiago having flown in from Puerto Natales, and after the standard confusion as to how South American buses work, we finally boarded our collectivo that would take us to our hostel. Whilst here, we got chatting to Faye, a girl from London who had no reservations for the evening, so we suggested perhaps she try our hostel being that it was a large one. Once at the hostel, there was bad news for
Faye as there were no available beds left where we were staying and apparently it was a similar story in most hostels in town. Not being able to do much to help, Donna and I wished Faye luck and set our stuff down for the night hoping she would get on OK.
The next morning after having had breakfast, Donna and I looked towards reception and standing there with her backpack and copy of the Sun newspaper was Lisa. It was awesome to see her after so many months and we quickly started to catch up on the latest from both sides of the Atlantic.
Once we had chit-chatted for a while, the topic of conversation quickly turned to what the plan was for the next couple of weeks or so. We had lured Lisa into coming to see us in Chile with the promise of some Red wine at a couple of vineyards and maybe some beach action. Lisa being a huge fan of both the sun and red wine was easily sold, and therefore it was just a matter of sorting out the logistics of where and when we would go. After having decided to go
to Santa Cruz where we could take in some vineyards for a few days, we started walking towards the bus station from the hostel in order to buy our tickets. The walk was a rather hot and humid affair down a main drag with rather unappealing surroundings and a ton of people rushing round everywhere. It was a strange sight for Donna and I having just come from Patagonia where it was always fairly quiet and where open spaces were norm, and we hoped that Lisa wasn’t wondering what on earth she had signed up for!
Tickets bought, we spent the rest of the afternoon chilling with a few beers in the Plaza De Armas downtown, before heading back to the hostel for a few more considerably cheaper beers there. Back at the hostel, we bumped into Faye who was now staying here, and we asked her what she ended up doing for accommodation last night. It turns out that the lack of hostel beds was a common theme indeed around this area of Santiago, and in slight desperation, Faye ended up in a ‘rent by the hour’ motel around the corner with red lights all over the place
and mirrored ceilings! Donna and I were thankful we booked ahead!
After hearing about Faye’s night in a sex motel and swapping other stories between the 4 of us, we decided to grab some food from a fantastic restaurant down the road where we ate well, drank way too much and had a cracking night. Back at the hostel, the evening was kept alive with yet another bottle of red, some rum and with Lisa falling asleep outside after having previously lost her keys down a crack in the decking….. a little slice of home!
Come the morning, we decided to skip our bread and jam breakfast in order to try sleep off last nights booze. We all felt a little jaded however nothing too serious and after grabbing Fayes details, Donna, Lisa and I made our way to the bus station. Last nights ‘wine-fest’ was a great way to start off Lisa’s trip, however we were now off to Santa Cruz and the wine region…..could we keep up this pace for 2 weeks?. We didn’t know, however we were looking forward to finding out!