First, a big thank you to our son, Scott, who helped us get this blog on Chile up and running before we left stateside. We very much appreciate his savvy computer expertise.
Santiago definitely gets short shrift in the South American guidebooks, and we don’t understand why. The weather is warm (ave. temp is 80 degrees right now) and the heat is dry. No precipitation. The people are friendly and very pleased to help one with his/her rusty Spanish, although we’ve had some very amusing conversations. (For instance, today for lunch, eaten at 1:00 p.m. and generally the main meal of the day, we asked for ensalada con queso, which we were going to split. The waiter asked what else we wanted. Leslie replied that she’d like a small piece of grilled salmon. He said something about “fondo”, which we didn’t understand and promptly looked up in our trusty diccionarios. “Rear”, “bottom”, “bed”, we read. Puzzled looks and silence followed. We finally think we understood that he was asking if Leslie wanted her fish on a bed of lettuce, but we’re still not sure…. And so it goes….
Our photos show some highlights of our week in Santiago and our trip to the coast to visit Vina del Mar and Valparaiso. We’ve done walking tours of the city, ridden in an ancient funicular, watched numerous stray dogs cross busy intersections only after the pedestrian crossing signal turns green, and tasted the (in?)famous “terremotto” (cheap red wine with a dollop of vanilla ice cream) near Santiago’s Mercado Central (where we and other patrons got playfully sprayed by a fishmonger’s hose). Santiago and environs have been a fun start to our Chilean exploration.
This afternoon we met Teamai, Ric and Dorry’s grandaughter, and her fiance, Lucas. They showed us a bit of Santiago and we wandered leisurely through many artisan shops at the end of the Los Dominicos subway line.
On Sunday, after a nine-hour bus ride south to Temuco, we will connect with Helen, Teamai’s mom, and explore some of the Lake District.
Click below for photos of Santiago and Vina del Mar.
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