Friday, January 4, 2008

Day 1

Santiago de Chile
Av Vitacura 2610
(56-2) 203-6000

We arrived @ 8 a.m. and the hotel let us check in early. We left Wenatchee at 6am on January 3, changed planes in Seattle and LA. The flight via Lima was fine, but changing planes in the middle of the night was a bad idea, and we moved from a big 767 to an A320, which was not near as nice a plane. Food on the flights and wine were superb. Taxi to the hotel was clean, swift and only $30. We napped and then had a walk around the neighborhood and even found a Starbuck’s nearby. They call this neighborhood San Hatten, as it is modern, full of skyscrapers. This hotel, the Radissson, is in the World Trade Center complex. From our room, 1001, we can see a 20,000 foot peak covered with snow and it appears to be only a few miles away, an awesome sight. Across the street they are building a 1000 foot tall complex, which will be the tallest building in Latin America. There are at least 7 cranes on this one project. Our hotel gave us a welcome cocktail called a Pisco Sour. We met an interesting couple from Ohio who insisted we sit with them. They take one big trip a year, adventure tourism, and were on their way to Antartica and Machu Pichu. After our visit, we said our goodbyes and then walked to Bar Liguria, which was a fun bistro/bar nearby. I had Polla Pil Pil and Dale had a Filete a la Plancha, a beef steak wrapped in bacon with roasted potatoes. We sat under a cute umbrella outside and enjoyed the fun neighborhood of Provendencia and the warm summer evening. It had been 34 C that day, about 93 F, so it was hot but with a pleasant breeze not too hot. A wandering guitar player serenaded us and we bought a CD of local Chilean music that the waiter promoted. Sadly the music was very mediocre, folk music. There we chatted with our neighboring diners who were going to leave the next day to motorcycle around Chile and Argentina for two months. Great way to spend our first night in Santiago. Lovely evening, interesting people, historic bistro with a lively European feel.

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