We have spent the last 10 days or so in Chile, which were also our final 10 days in South America.
Over the 10 days we have covered perhaps half the length of the country, travelling from San Pedro de Aticama in the far north, to Santiago in the centre. On the way we stopped off at La Serena, from where I wrote my last blog, and Valpariso.
Valpariso (left) is a quirky little city on the Pacific coast, characterised by colourful houses which cling to steep hills rising out of the ocean. It’s a fairly tumbledown place, with old rusting VW beetles lining the streets and hundred year old funicular trains carrying locals up and down cobbled hills. This makes for an idiosyncratic but charming place, with an arty, creative vibe. Our hostel sat amongst brightly coloured apartments, art galleries and cafes. All very bohemian - If I had a novel in me I might write it here.
Our final stop was Santiago. Santiago was pretty standard capital city fare, but bigger and more modern than Lima or La Paz. Nice colonial squares, cathedral and underground but nothing special.
Overall impression of Chile was very positive, being a clean, safe and welcoming place. We did not do any of the big ticket activities that defined our time in Peru or Bolivia but just had a very chilled out time, saw some unique places, went out for the odd beer and slept in late. It was suspiciously like being on holiday.
New Zealand here we come..
- The joy of globalisation – mountains, deserts, “culture” etc, are all very well and good but sometimes you miss the simple pleasures that can only be provided by massive, faceless western corporations. As such we spent an evening at an out of town shopping centre in Santiago, where I bought a Levi’s jumper, ate a McDonalds and went and watched Transformers at the cinema. Take that South America.
- One off night out – in Valpariso we had a night out salsa dancing, at a pirate themed club, with some French girls. I’ll probably never get to write that again.