Sunny days in Santiago

But not really, just hot and sweaty – Written 29 Jan

After the whole purse saga in Concepción, I arrived in Santiago in the afternoon and made my way to my CouchSurfing host, Nico’s, place. I took a little nap and then went to wander around the city for a little while before returning to Nico’s place to chill out for the evening with him and his flatmate, Rod. My first impressions of Santiago were that it was really just a huge city, with nothing much else going on for it, and that it was kinda like Malaysia.

Construction workers chilling out in high places Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Construction workers chilling out in high places
Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Santiago has Willy Wonka's chocolate river! Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Santiago has Willy Wonka’s chocolate river!
Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Anyway, the next day, I met up with Franco, another CouchSurfer who had very kindly offered to show me around Santiago. We went on a walking tour of the city, covering some of the main attractions of Santiago.

Plaza Italia is now an ad for Canon Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Plaza Italia is now an ad for Canon
Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Museum that I didn't go into Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Museum that I didn’t go into
Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

I even got to try some Mote con Huesillo, a sweet barley drink with peach juice and peaches and barley. It’s usually eaten as a dessert, although for me, it was pretty much lunch.

Cool guy making our Mote con Huesillo Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Cool guy making our Mote con Huesillo
Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

More walking around and exploring the city, which was unfortunately covered by a huge smog because of forest fires in a neighboring city, a result of 40 degree heat and no rain for weeks on end.

Tribute to Easter Island Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Tribute to Easter Island
Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Cerro Santa Lucia Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Cerro Santa Lucia
Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

It was really nice hanging out with Franco as well, and I was glad for the company (added benefit being a local’s knowledge of the country and the city), so it turned out to be a really fun day in Santiago, despite the ridiculous heat.

At the top of Cerro Santa Lucia, overlooking Santiago obscured by the haze Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

At the top of Cerro Santa Lucia, overlooking Santiago obscured by the haze
Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

In the evening, Franco and I met up with Al (who told me to go to Lota!) to check out Bellavista, a quirky little neighborhood with lots of character, and a vibrant nightlife scene. I also got to try a Terramoto, a yummy drink named for the frequent seismic activity in the region.

Awaiting our terramotos Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Awaiting our terramotos
Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

I spent the next day wandering around Santiago a little on my own and tried a local dish – pastel de choclo, a corn pie with meat and raisins and some veggies in it. I found the corn rather overwhelming and didn’t like it very much, but hey, at least I tried it!

Pastel del chocolo - not my favorite Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Pastel del chocolo – not my favorite
Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Museum of Human Rights Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Museum of Human Rights
Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Children's carnival where everything was human-powered! Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Children’s carnival where everything was human-powered!
Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

In the evening, I met Nico’s other CouchSurfers, Daniel and Bryan, who were touring South America playing gigs. Pretty cool stuff. Even cooler was that Daniel wanted to watch The Hobbit (which I still hadn’t watched), so we made plans to watch that the next day! Yay Hobbit! It was a really good movie and I enjoyed it more than the first. So glad I managed to catch it (:

Anyway, after the movie, Daniel was going to play the opening act with Bryan at concert for a Chilean band, Astro, so he invited me to tag along. My first concert experience haha. It turned out to be really cool – the venue was an amphitheater (Anfiteatro Pablo Neruda) overlooking Santiago on Cerro Cristobal,

Really cool amphitheater Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Really cool amphitheater
Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

we got backstage/VIP passes and I got to meet all the band members as well. Very cool stuff, and I must say, the life of a rock star is pretty amazing. And I didn’t think I would, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the concert – Astro makes pretty cool music, and they have amazing energy, so the concert was really fun.

Amazing performance by Astro Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Amazing performance by Astro
Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Santiago city lights from Anfiteatro Pablo Neruda Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

Santiago city lights from Anfiteatro Pablo Neruda
Santiago, Chile, Jan 2013

 

Well, while Santiago was a nice experience, it is still a city, and when I woke up the next day I felt the overwhelming urge to get out of the city. So I packed up my stuff, and it was off to Valparaiso, a tiny little city along the coast of Chile. Chau, Santiago!

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