Stopover in Santiago

Trip Start Jun 09, 2005
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Trip End Jun 08, 2006


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Flag of Chile  ,
Saturday, March 25, 2006

After travelling through Chile for over a month, staying in some of the ropiest backpackers accomodation I have ever experienced, it is a welcome break returning to Santiago. Andrew and Pauliīs flat now seems to be extremely large, clean, modern and spacious and even the healthy household plants look exotic and foreign to me.

We relax for a few days catching up with washing, sleeping, internet and eating. Andrew and Pauli are extremely good hosts and we invite them for a meal out in Santiago.

Pauli provides an extensive list of potential dining venues. Itīs difficult to make a choice as there are so many in this cosmopolitan city. We finally decide to go for my favourite, Japanese suishi. Andrew takes us on a fast-paced walk from his flat in Providencia and through the very modern business district. Corporate-looking skyscrapers fill the sky and city buses drive past us at an alarming speed.

When we are close to our destination, we meet Pauli. Itīs 8.30pm and she looks tired after just finishing a dayīs work at the University. Apparently people in Chile endure the 2nd longest working hours in the world! We learn that the suishi place is closed, and we will have to go elsewhere. Not to worry she says smiling, as theres an enticing-looking new place just opened very close by.

We walk another 5 minutes, and find ourselves at a Czech restaurant called Praha. Outside we see that they have a special menu of the day which includes homemade pisco sour (pisco, ice, lemon juice and egg whites all shaken together until the ice dissolves.. very refreshing), main course, and dessert for 6000 Ps per person. Thatīs about 6 GBP each.

We enter the small red house and into the dining area. The furniture is beautiful and everything looks clean and welcoming. As always the waiters are extremely attentive and professional. John and I both order a roast duck dish which comes with apple red cabbage and fancy potatoes. Andrew orders a special reserve of a particularly smooth red wine (Vina del Sol, I think).

The food is delicious, and after the enormous serving of duck, John and I are feeling pretty full. The dessert menu lists apple strudel, chocolate mousse, pancakes and artesenal ice cream and we have difficulty chosing.

We take a day trip to Valparaiso (see Valparaiso, Chile entry). Time flies by quickly and after a short break itīs time to pack up again and make our way back to Santiago airport. This is our third visit to the airport (previous departures to Punta Arenas and Easter Island) and this time we will be heading north to the desert lands of Arica.

I know that after leaving the luxuries of Santiago itīs going to be difficult being a backpacker again.
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