So the plan was to leave the lodge the morning after our trek finished, however I was up all night with what will we euphemistically call upset tummy, and going no where at seven AM. By three that afternoon I was OK on my feet, so off we went.
Still feeling a bit shakey we went to explore the following day, only for egg to get bored of looking after me and decide to get sick himself for some attention. He was then vomity for around 24 hours. I was nice and did the looking after. So after a day of rest we set out again and made it to the most touristy thing in Santiago, the funicular up San Cristobal. And there I blacked out in the queue, which was both terrifying and embarrassing. Not thinking straight I insisted we still go up (we were next in the queue!), and spent the journey sat on the floor trying to neither faint not throw up.
Finally we were able to go and enjoy Santiago! And I love it. Actually I think we love it. Beautiful and green, lots of bars, cafes, ice cream, frozen yogurt, galleries, big hills and pisco sours.
We did a walking tour of Santiago, which I thought was a bit pants to be honest but egg liked (we found out that tear gas is still routinely used to break up protests which surprised me, and experienced its effects even after 24 hours had passed since it was used, horrible). We went to Bandera, a street full of second hand shops which made me super happy and I treated myself to a skirt for two pound.
We are some really good food, kind of a repeat of our Buenos Aires week; there was incredible ice cream from Emporio La Rosa (chocolate and hazelnut and raspberry and mint were my favourites, we tried alot), ceviche in the central fish market, chorrillana in the biggest food market I have ever seen, sushi and we found an asian food shop so managed to find gluten free soy sauce! There was also an area of bars and restaurants in Bellavista called patio Bella vista where we age a couple of times, mainly salads for me but also really good yuca fries and decent drinks offers before nineish. Our most extravagant thing by far (excluding the hospital) was a trip to the American/Chinese chain PF Changs. From one blog or another I found out they had gf Chinese food so we hoiked to the very very nice part of the city as this was too good an opportunity to miss. It was delicious, and I got my left oversee in one of those adorable cardboard take out pots which was awesome.
We visited NAVI, a visual art museum, Bellas Artes and the contemporary art museum. Despite Bellas Rates being literally a fine arts museum, it was our favourite. Lots of interactive pieces and interesting work. I’d like to go back again for longer (we thought we wouldn’t like it and only went in a couple of hours before closing because egg wanted to use the loo!) We always went into the big cultural centre which was good in itself, but also had a festival going on where you could watch twenty or so artists making arty through out the day.
Also, the tallest building in south america is in Santiago, the newly finished Costanera centre. I wanted to go to look at the big building and we were told it was being used as a shopping centre so of we went. This is not strictly true, the public access part is only six floors, but there is a balcony at the top which had an amazing view. It also happened to be the food court, so obviously we had some nachos and guacamole and frozen yogurt.
We wandered alot around the city and found the areas we liked and the areas less so; egg found a very shoreditch looking cafe and stayed there for a couple of hours while I got all of my hair chopped off, finally being brave enough to do something I’ve thought about for years. Beauty stuff is very cheap here, so maybe I’ll change it every month or so.
Also this post, we climbed up San Cristobal and the smaller Santa Lucia hill, I ate a twister dog, we discovered cinema is cheap in Santiago, we stayed in two great but very different hostels, I made so many gf pancakes, egg enjoyed the generous Chilean hostel breakfasts.