Goodbye South America

Trip Start Jun 30, 2010
1
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Trip End Aug 25, 2010


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Monday, August 23, 2010

It's my last day in Santiago, the final few hours in Chile after the best two months in South America. I've tried my best to keep this blog up to date with all the stories from my trip, and here is the final section.

After Friday night clubbing, Saturday was fairly relaxed. We hooked up with Ross, a maths teacher from Somerset, and Mark, an Aussie student. The 4 of us went out for some frozen yoghurt and just chilled in the park the whole day. Really, that's all we did.

Given that this was my last Saturday night in South America I wanted to do something big. Unfortunately, Mark was the only one interested, but we decided to head to the Santiago Pub Crawl nonetheless. For 10000 pesos it was free beer at the first bar and free shots at each subsequent bar. By the time we got there I was already pretty tipsy, and we didn't get back until 5 the next day. A truly great finish to Santiago.

On Sunday Mark, Chantal and I headed back to the downtown area. Mark had left his card in an ATM somewhere, so the first order of the day was to go to Western Union so he could transfer some money around. Obviously, with his luck, that didn't work, but he was able to change some dollars to get by for the next couple days. To cheer him up we decided to head to a truly Chilean enterprise.

On the morning I went to Valparaíso I had been asked by the taxi driver if I had tried the coffee in Chile. I really didn't know what he meant, I had some coffee in the cafe next to the hostel and it wasn't particularly special, and I hadn't heard anything about Chile being a coffee producing nation. It turns out he was talking about a Chilean establishment known as "Cafe con Piernas." Literally translating to coffee with legs. There are several of these cafes across the downtown area, and even more in the financial district, where bikini clad women serve, mostly male customers, a cortado.

We decided to enter one of the dodgier looking ones, with mirrored glass on the outside, to see what exactly it was. I was initially expecting something like Hooters - innocent fun. However, it was far from that. The room was the size of a bedroom and dim neon lights across the walls. There were 4 girls in the place, all of them having some sort of competition to see who could pull off the smallest bikini. There are no seats, so we were left to stand awkwardly at a kind of bar. In the corner, the only other customer was 'dancing' with one of the 'waitresses' and they eventually went into a back room somewhere. At that point we simply gulped down our coffees and headed out.
 
Last night Cecille and Carlos arrived from Mendoza, so we decided to go out for dinner with them. Although the others wanted Mexican, I dragged them all to a more authentic restaurant to try Santiago's finest seafood. Possibly one of the best salmon dishes I have ever tasted was a great end to South American cuisine.

I still have a few hours before I leave, but not before I empty the hostel of it's Pisco Sour.
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