Sunday, March 25, 2007

Day 1: Santiago de Chile

Our big trip has started! Thanks to a glut of points, we enjoyed a luxurious trip on Air France via Paris to Santiago (fois gras with dinner AND breakfast!), but it was still 14 hours. We slept most of the way, but still felt exhausted.
Unforunately, we couldn get into the hotel we thought we would have (Villafranca). A problem with the room, and voluminous apologies. The owner put us in another hotel just around the corner. It was ok, but that's about all we can say. The neighbourhood is nice, with pretty tree-lined streets, although pretty noisy up to now. (lots of lovely gum and plane trees).
We spent the day wandering the streets, seeing the government area (mucho policia) and several churches, one with a hunk of St. Theresa. We saw a tour of other hunks of her in Ireland a couple years ago. Small world!
The high point (at least for me) was the mercado central. It reminded me of the food courts in Singapore, but latin. Several restaurants among the fish stalls. We had beer and almejas (clams) with cilantro. Amazing fish stalls with just about everything that could come out of the sea.
Tomorrow we fly to Puerto Montt to meet Guy and Annie. We spend one night there (Sunday), then join the boat to Puerto Natales.