19 03-03-2019 Sun Santiago

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We arrived in plenty of time for our bus and to get some Chilean currency. We were only slightly concerned that officials found it necessary to breath-test our drivers. We had been re-directed to seats at the front of the cabin, which meant we had the TV screen right in front of us. We watched two films, Life of the Party and War for the planet of the apes, the last one twice, as they restarted it after we crossed the border. The border formalities were very tedious and took almost an hour. We did get a useful slip of paper that exempts us from 18% tax on certain things like lodgings.

More mountains! We retraced the route we drove yesterday and then continued on into Chile and Santiago. It really is awe-inspiring and uplifting to traverse this stretch. Toward the end of the mountains there was a very steep descent with at least 24 switch-backs, made easy by the excellent condition of the road. The last half hour or so followed a river course with lots of human habitation and agriculture along it. Lots of cacti too.

Like Argentina, Chile seems to have a lot of poor people, at least ones who want money from tourists. You pay the chap top put your bags on the bus and a different one at the other end to take them off. We declined the attentions of the taxi tout at the bus station and were abused for it. Santiago is also a biggish city – at least the hotel downtown was a long way from the bus station.

Our hotel is in a very quiet little cul-de-sac.

We walked about a Km to Eat St and had a very good meal of salmon. When you get the bill, the 10% was already pre-calculated for us. We watched out the window as a group of dancers were entertaining folks in the street. Notable was that they were both men.

  1. Linda

    Saying Santiago is a biggish city is a bit of an understatment. It has a population of about 6million and is 640 sq km.

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