My purpose for blogging about the vacation this time will be two-fold. One, as always, to keep family and friends up-to-date on what I've been up to. But also, I will be offering travel tips and reviews of places as well. I found that to be REALLY helpful when I was trying to get from one place to the next!
Also, I'll be changing the dates, not to when I am posting, but to roughly when I was in each area. Just to avoid confusion!
So, here we go!
I spent three nights in Santiago, Chile. It is somewhere I've always wanted to go, even though I didn't really know why. I enjoyed the city, but by the time I left I was ready to get out of the city and start very slowly working my way south. The first day I relaxed by the pool at the hostel, which was a huge luxury coming from Colorado winter, straight into South American summer! While there I met a Dutch girl named Edith. We ended up getting dinner together at a little cafe up the street, where we waited extra to be able to sit out on the sidewalk and be able to enjoy the evening!
The following day I went to a museum called Museo de la Memoria, or the Museum of Memory. It is a sad and serious place, dedicated to the many people who were "disappeared" during Pinochet's rule. It was excellent. That night I met a nice group of 5 Brazilians, who couldn't have been more friendly, and who all made an effort to speak English to include me in their conversations! The next morning I regretted that I'd had *quite* so much wine with those fun, bad influences! I didn't do anything that morning but pack for my first bus ride of the trip. Onward!
Reviews and Recommendations for Santiago:
- Free Walking Tour of Santiago. There are several, I have heard others are good too. This one meets in front of the Plaza de Armas church at 10am and 3pm, and the guide wears a red FREE TOUR shirt. Franco is great!
- Museo de la Memoria
- Happy House Hostel: 5 hostel stars. This is probably the nicest hostel I stayed at the whole time. Pros: nice beds, sheets and comfy pillows (2!!!). Great breakfast, and a pool. Lots of common areas, friendly, helpful staff. Adequate power outlets in rooms, big lockers. 3 wifi routers mean you can get service in most areas of the hostel. Huge kitchen. Average bathroom/shower facilities. Cons: really squeaky floors, it's hard to be quiet. Earplugs solve this problem.
- HI Santiago: 2 hostel stars. I had to move here when Happy House didn't have space. It was okay but just the bare minimum in many ways. Pros: nice yard, bar serving drinks, decent common area. Cons: NO outlets in rooms, tiny shower where the curtain sticks to your legs, breakfast is only bread and instant coffee.