Disembark Punta Arenas Chile. They scanned our luggage coming through customs, but they never looked at our passports, that’s a first coming into a country. There were problems coming into the port (weather) so the ship had to sit out in the harbor for 3hrs. This killed most of the only day I had there. I basically ate dinner (4pm), picked up some snacks, bought more Sudafed and cough syrup, and back to my hotel.
April 7, 2013
Up at 3:50am to catch my 0625 flight to Santiago. LAN airlines- super nice, head phones, movies, great snacks, plus it was a really new plane. I’m not crazy about my Hostel here, my room is super small, kind of dirty, an open window to high to see out of, feels like a jail cell. And it’s on the 4th floor with no elevator to take my luggage up. I like this part of town, one end of the street is the old colonial, cathedrals part of town. The other end is young, trendy, and bohemian type area.
April 8, 2013
Up early again for a full-day tour of Valpariso a coastal resort town, more like a city, it’s huge. It’s about 1-1/2 hrs from Santiago. We also stopped and did a winery tour, very interesting, it was an organic winery. There are chickens all over the place, they are there to eat the worms that infest the vines. They also plant different herbs, plants, and bushes around the vines to keep unwanted pests away and they use Alpaca’s to eat the grass between the vine rows.
I’m sitting in the hostel main living room and all these 20-somethings are just sitting here playing on their phones. They don’t even talk to each other. What’s happened to the hostel culture I used to know? Where everyone would sit around the room talking about their travels?
So, today I was eating lunch in a restaurant and a man (who looked like Johnny Depp) came up to me and asked if I speak English. Wow, that’s a first, it’s usually me asking that question! He couldn’t figure out the menu situation, which I actually knew the answer to. I could hear him over at his table having a hard time communicating with the waiter. I was happy to know I’m not the only one.
April 9, 2013
I was a little weepy this morning, everything was going wrong. I checked out of my private room for a dorm room, just needing a place to basically store my luggage since I am checking out tonight. Front desk gives me a key to the new room. I walk in and it’s a small room, 6 beds, full of guys and their duffel bags. I didn’t know I booked a co-ed room, there is no way my suitcase is going to fit in there. Front desk let me keep my stuff in my old room for a couple hours, then I moved my stuff in with the boys after they’d cleared out for day.
Then my melt down happened when I went to Santa Lucia park. I walked a ton of stairs to the top of this hill and there is a man at a table set up on the sidewalk he was asking me to sign the log. Of course, again I have no idea what he is saying, I refused to sign it. I get into the park and looking around and a security guard comes up to me telling me off, waving his radio, yelling at me. Wow, I turned around and walked back down the hill. That was it, I had to cry for a while.
Today I bought a pass to the hop on/off tour bus. That was worth the 20,000 pesos ($40). I was out the whole day stopping and sightseeing at different parts of town. I had Indian food for lunch. Peruvian sandwich for dinner.
Headed home tonight, I’m ready.
- I’m getting old and have out grown hostels.
- Work a little harder on my Spanish. I feel that I missed so much and it could have been a more full experience.
- I miss traveling with my mate, but I won’t rule-out doing something like this again (with more preparation.)
- Nothing weird happened, I never felt I was unsafe.
- I did challenge myself and did things I normally would have whined about if Dan were with me.