Today was a little crazy regarding my hoped for trip to the place you have not heard of, but in fact you have heard of it. The long and the short of it was that first it was on as wanted, then it wasn´t, then maybe the dates would change. One hour ago it was finally confirmed I could travel tomorrow and return Friday next week. I´m am over the moon with excitement. This little trip will be totally different.
I spent the day wandering downtown Santiago. The city looks and feels very European. The people too resemble Europeans with their stylish clothes and calm outlook. The weather today was much hotter than yesterday, so it was on with the cap and suncream. I climbed a small hill, Santa Lucia, in the centre of downtown, just as the noon day gun went off. Wow it was loud, and I jumped out of my skin. Great views over the city from here, although too hazy and smoggy to see the Andes.
As it is my birthday tommorow, and I will be in the back of beyond, I decided to have a slap up lunch. Within the Central Market (Mercado Central), which maily sells fish, are some great seafood restaurants. So at 1pm I headed here to eat under the iron and glass 19th century roof. I ordered what my guidebook said were things that lived in shells but had legs!. I still have no idea of what these were, but there were very tasty. The main course was conger eel. This was served fried with chips. It was a zillion times better than the local chippy. All this was washed down with a few glasses of Chilean Sauvignan Blanc.
After my lunch I did more exploring. It was lovely to get out of the heat in the cool churches. In one there is a statue of Christ that was damaged by an earthquake in the 1600´s, causing Christ´s crown of thorns to slip down to his neck. When they attempted to push it back up, the statue started to bleed. Fearing a massive haemorhage they decided to leave it be.
Tonight I will go downtown for a few beers, there´s an Irish pub and as St Paddy´s is tomorrow it should be fun there.
I will be well out of touch until Friday next week. My destination tomorrow is very very remote, so suspect only satellite phones are usuable there.
Here are a few pics from today.