Blogs from Santiago Region, Chile, South America - page 3


South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 7th 2015

Not long after tuning into Patrick Swayze, I found myself back in safe Santiago, and then at the very impressive appartment I’d rented out after the unpleasant few days and nights I’d spent in Valparaiso. It was in the same neighbourhood as I had stayed in before, in Providencia, one of the wealthiest and safest areas. The self-catering appartment had been cheap, on special offer for the weekend as most people go on holiday at the weekend. As it is the hottest time of the year people head out of the city to do either outdoor activities or go to the coast. The apartment has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen with all the mod-cons,a sofa and a terrace. I had only paid for the price of one room with a bathroom but I got the ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Providencia February 3rd 2015

I had a very successful shopping trip and bought about a fifth of the things that were on my list. They were all mandatory things for the rest of my trip such as a bikini. I got a really nice sarong which I can use as a towel in hostels as cotton will dry faster than towel materials, some very comfortable and brightly coloured pumps and some orange light, baggy Korean trousers so I don’t get burned. The rest of my clothes were put into laundry this morning. I definetly brought too many clothes and luggage in general. For my next trip I have a very good idea of what not to bring.... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 3rd 2015

One of the most frustrating things I found at first in both Argentina and Chile were the very long waiting times for everything. I jump out of bed at 8am thinking I can RUN up that hill I see in my neighbourhood, RACE back to the hostel to get a shower, JUMP on the metro whilst just POPPING into the supermarket to buy some bread, then get to the museum just at 10am when it first opens then I can BE READY to eat Menu del Dia in a restaurant, QUICKLY pay the bill and then SKIP to the bank to exchange some dollars for pesos.. I must forget these adverbs and replace them with comforting slow words such as CALMLY, PLOD, STROLL and STEADY PACE as in Latin America fast adverbs do not seem to ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 3rd 2015

Right now I am in a Beatles bar which I passed by chance when desperately looking for a cup of tea. The walls and tables are all decorated with newspaper headlines about the Beatles. There are posters of Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields, red buses and the British flag. After having being on the Beatles tour in Liverpool with Noriko I am now more of a fan than before. I brought postcards, keyrings and fridge magnets of red buses and post boxes from the UK to give out to any friends I meet in South America. At a push I would give out postcards to the Argentinians but no way could I give out keyrings with red buses and red post boxes. To Argentinians these are the cotroversial symbols of the Falklands, but Chileans would accept ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 2nd 2015

This morning at around 8am I was woken up by my bed shaking from side to side and the wardrobes rattling. There had been an earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale which had its epicentre in the centre of Argentina deep underground and the tremors had reached Santiago. I later saw it on the news, which once the Chilean staff in the hostel had excitedly tuned into to find out what had happened they lost all interest when they heard it had taken place in Argentina, whereas I was very curious and concerned about all those lovely Argentinian people who at 8 in the morning would just be getting ready for bed after a night of partying. At the time of the earthquake there was a Chilean guy in the dorm who had been staying ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region February 2nd 2015

Today was the day off I’d designated for myself, which I spent changing money at the bank in the city centre, planning my next couple of days in Valparaiso, speaking to Dad on skype and reassuring him about the earthquake before it made international press and counting my money just to check that I was sticking to my budget. I opted for a lunch in a restaurant which I’d visited before on my first day here and went for the same meal I had as before with a different dessert - a huge chunk of watermelon. It was very vanilla of me but I didn’t want to take risks after the earthquake, there had been enough novelty for one day and I didn’t want to spoil my day by ordering something I didn’t like. There are ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Providencia February 1st 2015

There are more things that concern me about Chile and its culture than intrigue me. I think I am more concered and ask myself more questions about their culture than they do about their own culture. For me it’s worrying when people only talk about the good aspects of their cultures, see other Latin American cultures as a threat and consider them to be inferior. From every Chilean I’ve met so far I’ve sensed that. They seem introverted and not very expressive. I’ve stayed in this hostel a week but I haven’t got to know any of the staff any better. We talk about the weather as the Brits do with strangers. After 1 week in Argentina I had got to know people’s individual political views, their feelings about the Falklands without even asking. Politics were ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Providencia February 1st 2015

After visiting the Human Rights Museum I’m stunned by the live footage I’ve seen of the events unfolding on September 11th1973, the day the government buildings were bombed. I saw tanks shooting at the palace, General Pinochet taking 20 of Salvador Allende’s friends out of the palace and shooting each one of them, Pinochet’s speech to the nation announcing the end of the socialist government and Salvador Allende’s speech apologising to the nation for letting them down and also announcing the end of the government whilst bombs could be heard going off in the background.Soon after the bombings started Salvador Allende took his life with a rifle whilst the palace was burning. Seeing the footage of what happened during the ten years under the dictatorship was even more disturbing, worse than anything I’d ever seen in ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 1st 2015

As part of the off-beat tour we visited Mercado Central which was built in 1872, the roof was built in Scotland and it is the famous fish and seafood market of Santiago. The fresh fish comes from the coast, Valparaiso. The most famous types were ‘Congrio’ Eel, salmon (Chile is the main producer of Salmon in the world, Ceviche (raw fish.) often the fish is mixed with dairy products which come from the South. Young and mild cheese is also very popular in Santiago. We then visited Lopa de Vega market, which sold clothes in Tirso de Molina on the top floor, pastel de choclo (the national dish) humitas which are like corn on the cob, Chilean salad and a massive variety of fresh fruit and vegetables at a very good price. The typical Chilean/Andean diet ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 1st 2015

In Santiago when you pass over to the other side of the river Mapocho, you go to La Chimba, which in Quechuan means the other side. The river separated two class divisions in the colonical area – the upper class lived on one side and the lower class lived on the other. The richer side was the part colonised by the Spanish and on which all the government buildings were built and all the jails, cemeteries, mental institutions and anything that people felt uncomfortable with were built on the Chimba. BUILDING BRIDGES TO BREAK DOWN CLASS DIVISIONS A man called Zanartu who became well known for his breaking down of class divisions organised the building of the bridge across the river so people could cross. He recruited prisoners to build the bridge as part of their ... read more

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