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Published: June 30th 2012
So, after an amazing, relaxing time on the beach in Bahia Inglesa, Donna and I headed back to Santiago where we would be catching our flight out of Latin America and onto our next continent. We had deliberately given ourselves one last night in Santiago in order to have a nice dinner to say farewell to this amazing part of the world.
During the day that we arrived back in Santiago, we didn’t really do much but sit on the terrace of our hostel, and whilst I read, Donna got her head down as she had woken up with a bit of a headache from the overnight bus. It seemed like any other day in Santiago with the sun beating down on us, the traffic zipping around in every direction and both tourists and locals going about their business. This was until we heard what seemed to be a brass band and a lot of shouting from downstairs. Still being on our terrace we looked down to see what the racket was and were greeted to what looked like some form of peaceful student protest. After a while of being nosey, we realized this was indeed what it was, and
so thought no more of it. As this had now woken Donna, the two of us carried on reading our books in the warm afternoon sun. About half an hour later we were again interrupted with some noise, but this time it was not the sound of students chanting or the peaceful notes of a trumpet. No, this time when we looked out to the streets below we could see teenagers kicking the crap out of bus shelters, advertisement signs and anything else that would smash or break. Many of them had their hoods up or a scarf covering their faces, and for a moment, we thought we were back in London! Just as some kids started lighting a huge fire in the middle of the street, riot police came from nowhere both in riot vans and on horseback and started to pummel these ‘roustabouts’ with water cannons and pegging them back with their huge police horses. It was nuts! Not long after the police arrived most of the gangs had dispersed and shot in different directions, but we really did have prime seats for this rather unexpected craziness. To be honest, I hate to see stuff like this going
on. It always seems to be a minority of people that want to cause trouble whereas the other 99% of protesters are good natured and harmless. It does however seem to be a pattern whenever there are large protests, certainly in England anyway….
Despite the trouble, everything seemed to calm down after only an hour or so, and Santiago went on like nothing had happened! This was good news for us, as we didn’t want this to spoil our last night here, and we really wanted to toast an amazing 8 months in one of the most amazing continents that we have visited so far. So, that evening, Donna and I headed back over to Patio Bella Vista where we had been previously with Lisa, and had ourselves a lovely meal along with a few drinkies including a couple of our new favourite tipple, The Pisco Sour.
So, there it is. The end of our Latin American experience. Over the past 8 months we have been to Mexico, made our way down through Central America and into South America where we have had the most amazing time. I wanted to write a summary of the things we have
seen or done, emotions we have experienced and people we have met on our travels but I’m finding it so hard to find the words in which to do that. So far, we have visited 16 countries and on the way we have seen some of the most spectacular beaches, cities, landscapes and mountains that we have ever had the privilege to witness. As well as that, we have experienced so many new things that we had never done before, seen things we have never seen before, plus we have met people that will now always be a part of our lives whether that’s friends that we will certainly see again, or just people we met on the way that will in some way change our lives for ever. For Donna and I this place is magical and I don’t think either of us had any idea just how much we would love it here. You know that when you’re travelling, generally you will have a great time regardless, however there really is something special about this beautiful part of the world.
So, it just leaves me to say, Latin America, Thanks for the memories it’s been emotional. Look
after yourself and don’t ever go changing!
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