What do you do when you get booted off of a flight to Buenos Aires just before takeoff?
Those of you who caught this post already know. You get on the next flight out… which happened to be Santiago, Chile!
We landed in the morning feeling a little tired, but excited. The first order of business was to find coffee and wi-fi so we could locate a hotel and form a plan.
Thanks to the Internet and a very nice Chilean man in the airport restaurant we booked a hotel in a nice neighborhood called Providencia and were on our way in just a couple of hours.
The first order of business was lunch. Naturally we ended up at a French cafe. I was craving greens and enjoyed a massive salad topped with egg, asparagus, broccoli, avocado, and olives. We also enjoyed a glass of wine to mark the
first of many beginning of vacation.
We sampled an empananda. This is once of the most famous South American foods, and one of the most tasty. It’s basically a pocket of dough filled with cheese and other items (often ham) that is either fried or baked.
More exploring/getting lost ensured before we found these gorgeous fountains.
And then we found wine.
And then we found dinner in a cute plaza called Patio Bellavista. It was a Peruvian restaurant called Barandiaran. Go figure.
The dinner was quite good. That highlight was a shared ceviche dish that was wonderful. I NEVER thought I’d eat seafood, let alone ceviche; however, I loved the sea bass! Shrimp is still a bit much for me.
The next day we found parks! A really cool sculpture park called Parque Las Esculturas:
Followed by an even better park that was filled with exercise equipment! I busted
my ass a move on the elliptical.
I should mention that these were all found on a walk that must have been close to 10 miles. By the time we reached our original lunch destination in the Bellavista neighborhood we were starving. Annnnnd… we discovered the restaurant no longer existed. We did the only thing left to do: ate a greasy lunch at a trashy college dive.
Sometimes you need to be local. However, when you order guacamole and it’s served with Doritos, you wish you were a little less local.
That was followed up with a “traditional” dish of fries topped with onions, sausage, and fried eggs. I can’t lie… I didn’t hate it.
Post-lunch we really needed to walk more. There is a giant mountain/hill called Cerro San Cristobal that holds one of the most popular tourist destinations in Santiago: the sanctuary of the Virgen de la Inmaculada Concepción. It contains a 14 meter statue of Mary. We hopped a funicular (a train built in 1925) to get to the top and visit Mary.
Random sight of the day: dude wearing a UGA sweatshirt. He wasn’t American.
Santiago was an interesting experience; however, we were ready to move on after 2 days. I hate to say it… but it’s a pretty dirty, crowded (7.5 million people) city.
One odd food note – when we sought out traditional “Chiliean” food, we were often directed to other cuisines such as French and Peruvian. It seems like Chile is sort of like America in that they take foods from other cultures and modify. It was good, but a shock having travelled more extensively in Europe.
Sadly, there are no workouts to recap this Monday. Instead I’ll recap my recovery from the trip:
Step 1: Green smoothie bowl
Step 2: Mani/Pedi
Step 3: Arden’s Garden “Love Your Liver” 3-day juice cleanse (this was amazing – no joke)
Icing on the cake: A special delivery of Greek yogurt from Chobani! Nothing but goodness. Thank you, Chobani. I love you much.
My concierge now loves Chobani, too. I tipped him with a yogurt, and he’s a convert. 🙂
Check back tomorrow for some excellent wine and a run in with US Navy officers.
Have you ever been to South America? Was it what you expected?
Doritos with guacamole… any thoughts?