Santiago, Chile: not quite worth the expense

Our bus trip to Chile didn’t get off to a good start. A 6-hour trip turned into a long 12-hour one unfortunately. There were delays at the border. Apparently there were elections the next day and a lot of unhappy civil workers, which resulted in everything taking ages and long delays. Even the stunning scenery at the border didn’t help the boredom after a few hours. 20131209-201753.jpg

When we finally got through, after 10 minutes in the bus there was another hour delay because of roadworks. By this point we were really getting quite pissed off. Instead of arriving at 5pm in Santiago, we arrived at 11pm. Exhausting and infuriating, but luckily our last long bus trip for a while.

Santiago itself was nice enough. It is a capital city with all the facilities and attractions that comes with that. There is enough to do and see but Santiago is quite expensive. Not quite sure how the local population manages with the prices there (similar to UK) and a minimum wage of 400 pounds a month.

We only had a few days there and managed to squeeze in the ‘free’ guided walking tour around the town centre. This was very interesting and the first time we had a native English speaking guide and therefore nothing was lost in translation (or heavy accents). Lots of interesting facts regarding the political history of Chile and a few nice streets, squares and parks.

20131209-202238.jpgThe museum of Memoria was also incredibly interesting with a lot of human interest stories of life during the Pinochet regime. I had a quick peak on my own in the Museum del Bella Artes, which is worth a quick visit if you are in the area.

Of course, we also had to visit the famous winery Concha y Toro, the largest winery in Chile and one of the largest wineries in the world. The tour was very interesting although it felt at $18 per person it was a bit pricey for what it was (like most of Santiago).

Then we had a flight to catch to New Zealand! The end of an era for us as we are leaving the Spanish speaking part of our trip. Can’t believe we are over half way (and effectively on our way back).

We almost didn’t get on the flight as you need an exit ticket to enter New Zealand on a tourist visa. Of course, we didn’t have one because we weren’t quite sure where we wanted to fly to in Asia and on exactly what date. However, our only option at check-in was to book something right there and then otherwise they wouldn’t let us on the plane. We are still not quite sure we made the right decision but we are booked to go to Thailand mid January.

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