13.04.2008 - 18.04.2008 30 °C
After the exertions of Pucon, we enjoyed the luxury of our first 'semi cama' (about 45o reclining seat) bus trip overnight to Santiago. We were exhausted after the trip up the Volcano and I managed to sleep the majority of the 10 hour journey - Kay just reminded me that she hardly slept at all!
We arrived in Santiago about 7:30 on the Sunday morning and spent the next 3 hours wandering from hostel to hostel trying to find somewhere decent with some friends we had met in Pucon. In the end we 'settled' for a one with a pool and bacon (first we had seen on the trip!) for breakfast!
After dumping our bags, we had a wander around town and the main square, Plaza de Armas, where we took this picture:
We spent the majority of the next couple of days lazing around the pool enjoying the sunshine and drinking lots of wine! We really liked the feel of Santiago, and could have stayed for much longer, but we fly to Auckland from here later in the trip and had only really come this far north to cross back over the Andes into Argentina. We will definitely allow for some more time here before our flight out.
On the 16th April we went to Valparaiso - about 2 hours west of Santiago on the coast. We got bombarded by hostel touts when we got off the coach but we got chatting to a sweet señora who talked us into going to her hostel/house. It turned out to be in a fantastic position in the centre of town, albeit on the side of a huge hill - Valparaiso is built on the hills overlooking a big port so you don't have much choice really!
The woman and her family were really friendly and wanted to help us learn Spanish. We stayed up until 2 in the morning chatting and drinking with them on both nights we stayed there!
Not much to Valparaiso itself apart from some good restaurants and a nice statue...!
Next stop Mendoza.......