Thursday, 4th January 2008 – Santiago
Arrive we did in the late afternoon after a 4 hour flight from Ile de Pascua and glad
we made arrangements for a driver and van to meet us for a ride to our hotel, Vegas Hotel on Londres in the old section of
the city and right behind the fancy San Francisco Hotel, but the price is much cheaper and ambiance much better; at night
the cobblestone streets glisten with the soft lamplight. There is even WIFI and a neat little coffee shop next door. Just
across the main boulevard of Santiago, a half a block away,
are shops everywhere and many point of interest. There is the central square
with its cathedral on one corner, a museum of ancient cultures, and large fish market. Of course, you can ride the subway
or bus to many other places. We chose to walk about viewing people and buildings.
We walked about the city visiting some key places and there were only several thousand
others on the street for whatever reason. Now I know why I do not like big cities. We did go looking for a plug conversion which turned out to be a bit of a challenge,
not because of language, but it took a visit to 4 stores before we found what we wanted.
Persistence pays off.
Friday, 5th January 2008 – Santiago
We had made arrangements for a tour to the coast to visit the home of the writer Pablo Nurda. His home is unique and right
on the cool ocean. The best part was to stand and take in the cool salt and sea air. This fellow seems to have been very successful
early in like, like at 20 years old and was awarded the Nobel Prize too. He has many collections of many things, not the least
of which is ship figure heads.
We had lunch in a tourist village and walked the streets eying all the tourist stuff. Upon return to the hotel and a brief rest we headed out to dinner at a good Italian
place just around the corner then walked the evening streets. While there were few shops open the streets were alive with
people, street vendors, and street actors all looking to make a bit of money; all this is fascinating.
Saturday, 6th January 2008 – Santiago
We all were up late so we got up late for
breakfast. The hotel fare includes breakfast which has a good selection that includes fresh fruit, toast, eggs, bacon, coffee
or tea, jam, and oatmeal. Besides it is interesting talking to the other guests and finding out where they are coming from
and going to, several of them were headed on ships to the Antarctica.
Today the streets are almost empty except
for some street vendors and ice cream ships. Oh, yes, there were a few large department stores open and a religious group
singing and healing on the street.
I finally have some time to finish my notes
and post them before we fly south tomorrow.