The days in Santiago are hot and loud, the nights are cool and loud. This city seems to be out all the time. Most restaurants are open until midnight and even later, standard time for dinner is 22:00+.
I think both Dan and I are slightly disappointed with Santiago. I expected it to have more nice restaurants, cute streets and shops to walk through... Dan expected more colonial architecture, grand buildings, plazas, bright colours... Nevertheless, we are not stuck in snowy London working!
We really lucked out with the apartment that we had. It was very nice, great kitchen, great location & we only booked it a couple of hours before heading to the airport to fly down here. I´m pretty sure that will be one of the nicer places we stay on this trip since it was slightly over our nightly budget, but it was a great way to start the trip!
Although neither of us were excited about what the city had to offer, but it was nice to be in a warmer climate and have a few days to just walk around, absorb the city & a last chance for me to have Starbucks for the next couple of months!
After arriving safely at our apartment that we had rented for our first 3 nights we decided to head out to the large grocery store, which luckly was almost directly below our building, so we could grab some local food to cook. We had dinner & then decided to take a nap which lasted until well after midnight. So that was it for Day 1 in South America for us.
After making breakfast on Day 2 we had a chance to walk around the city and took the cable car up Cerro San Cristobal to get a view of the city. We also had a local speciality while up there which was called Mate tea and has soaked barley and poached peaches in tea. A sweet & a nice refreshing drink on a hot day.
Day 3 consisted of more walking and exploring the area of Providencia in search of some markets which we didnt manage to find - or maybe no longer exsist (our Lonely Planet book is not proving to be as useful as we had hoped!).
We did come across a nice vegetarian restuarant which I was excited about called El Huerto. The best food we´ve had in Santiago!
Next we are off to Mendoza to enjoy some local Malbecs and hopefully great steaks for Dan! Our first of many long bus rides await us!