Edit Blog Post
Published: January 11th 2010
Santiago was lovely. Annoying currency. But lovely. Tracey was leaving to go to New Zealand on the Monday evening so we only had Monday daytime to sightsee, which we did. We saw the cathedral and we went up another hill called San Cristobel for the lovely view, saw all of Santiago in one go, good way to 'sightsee' if you only have one day! It was weird saying good bye to Tracey after 3 months together, and I feel like we have built a very strong friendship in a short, intense time. I think that is what you get spending 24-7 together for 3 months, it's nice though and I am also glad that we will be meeting up in Sydney when we are both there.
The night Tracey left we had dinner and were sitting in bed when Franki popped her head down from the top bunk and said she was bored so we got up and had a bottle of wine and a good old gossip until 2am!
We went to the Museo de Chileno de Arte PreColombino which was good and also had an exhibition on the Incas which Franki and I were most excited to go
and see - just in case we had missed anything in Peru....! The next day was Franki's birthday so we went to Valpariso to find some sand. It turned out to be a lovely sunny day and we lay on a small beach, had our picnic until we got too hot and then we found somewhere to drink to Franki's birthday, a whole bottle of champagne later we decided to get the bus back to Santiago and go out for dinner. We went to an amazing steak restaurant and had the best steak I have ever had in my life. In Chile. Unexpected, but delicious. Later on we met Jimmy (from the Salt Flat tour) and had some drinks in the city with him and some of his friends before heading to a club that was a lot of fun with music right up Franki's street which also turned out to be a gay club. Franki and Jimmy did dancing so I found some people to dance with including one that apparently looked like Chuck from Gossip Girl (didn't know who he was though). All in all it was a fun night and I think Franki had a good day.
We had a lazy day the next day so we had some lunch and sorted a few things, I watched a film and later on we bought bus tickets (mission) and had a lovely fish dinner and by the time that was over we were both ready for bed!
The next day was leaving day but we had the whole day so we sat by the hostel pool, eating cheerios in my case, and then went to do a final bit of city sightseeing. We met Jimmy and went to Cerro Santa Lucia, another hill with a good view and very pretty gardens. Afterwards I went shoe shopping to try and buy some shoes for my birthday. Success. Just needed to find somewhere to pack them!
Our next destination was Mendoza, a lovely city with a huge wine growing region on its doorstep. We went to a lovely artisan market where I bought some Christmas presents and in the evening we walked a long way to Villanueva, a street with bars and restaurants along and had some dinner and drinks as it was Saturday night. Not much happens on Sunday's mostly because everything is closed. We found out
how to get to Maipu, the wine growing area and rented bikes from Mr. Hugo's to cycle around the vineyards and also visited a chocolate factory and an olive oil factory. We bumped into Luis and Tamra from our Inca Trail totally randomly, it was lovely to see them. Had a lovely day and sampled some nice and some not so nice wines. We went to the big park in Mendoza and walked around the lake and then had some lunch with some red wine sauce that Franki got all over her white top and then caught a bus to San Luis to visit some of Franki's family.
I had a lovely time in San Luis. We stayed with Natalia and Emi and their Mum and met their Dad, Nona, uncle and Emi's boyfriend Martin. I went to see a little waterfall and the families other houses in Rio Grande and Portrega. We all went to a casino for dinner and a salsa show and went to Emi's graduation and a lovely few lunches, including one at their Nona's house. I had trouble with the Spanish as I have never learnt it and I didn't want them to think
that I was being rude but even if I could follow the conversation it is very difficult for me to speak spontaneous Spanish. They were all absolutely lovely to us and we weren't allowed to pay for a thing the whole time we were there, so generous but wewish we could have contributed something! We did pay for some sandwiches once and I got told by Emi that if I pay, I sleep outside! 😊
We caught a bus to Cordoba and stayed there for a night and 2 days, did the standard sightseeing of cathedral, church, artisan museum and did some shopping and ate an all you can eat meal in the biggest one of those in the country, once it opened. Cordoba was pretty nice and had a lovely sunny day there.
Having almost missed our bus because the taxi didn't turn up we made it and got the bus to Buenos Aires and then straight on to the ferry to Uruguay to catch some rays for Franki before she went back to England. Arrived in Colonia del Sacramento. It was lovely, we had a look around the port and the plaza and found the old
city gate then we had some dinner and watched some telly. It wasn't until the next morning that we realised there was an hour time difference. Oh well, we weren't expectign that but the day must go on. We bought a museum ticket that allowed us entry into all the little museums around the town. Most of them were quite rubbish but it was fun finding them all. We also had a horrible lunch that consisted of what I think were bits of cow, which bits, I'm not sure, and I don't want to know. On we went up a lighthouse and then decided we were finished in Colonia and caught a bus to Montivideo.
Montivideo is the capital of Uruguay and has what was once the tallest building in South America. I am sure that a while ago that was quite a claim to fame but nowadays it is just a building, on a plaza. We met some people in our hostel and went for a drink with them. Our day in Montivideo Franki went to the beach and I went sightseeing. I saw an artisan market and Iglesia Matriz where I bumped into the people from our hostel
and then we all went toa plaza with a statue of a man on a horse who, in my experience, was probably someone to do with the liberation of Uruguay or at least Montivideo. Also went to the Carnival Museum and the Precolumbian arone too. Then I walked to the beach to meet Franki, it was a really long way and took me two hours to get there! Later that day we caught another bus to Punta del Este and realised we were staying in a different town just down the road called La Barra. Had lovely time there, visited the beach, lay by the pool, had a good day in Punta, not the sunniest it could have been unfortunately but still managed to catch some rays before heading back to Buenos Aires to do some last bits of shopping and catch out flights.
Leaving South America was quite emotional. I will miss Franki a lot and I have had the best time. I absolutely love the places I have been and the things I have seen and it has been an unforgettable, amazing experience. I hope one day that I will get to go back to revisit some
places and to see some new ones too. Flying over the Antarctic was amazing as well, quite a sight to behold. I am very excited about being in Sydney, seeing John and Mel and my little cousin Jessica.
Happy New Year have a lovely 2010 and I will see you after August! Love Jen xx
p.s the photo upload messed up again - another guessing game for you!
Tot: 0.03s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 17; qc: 20; dbt: 0.0046s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb