22 hours after Santiago

LA BOLSA in Santiago

LA BOLSA in Santiago

After quite a lengthy bus ride aboard a luxurious double decker bus (I got stuck on the bottom), we arrived at last in Santiago, Chile, and boy was it a welcome sight, if only to signal we could finally remove ourselves from the, albeit comfortable, seats which now had our imprints on them. It had been quite a journey, travelling south through northern Chile and down through Antofagasta. The landscape is very much the same throughout most of northern Chile, but it never gets old.

 

SANTIAGO downtown

SANTIAGO downtown

Hills, mountains, the ocean on our east, you’re truly surrounding by the majesty of nature at all turns. Santiago is situated close to the Andes, a very large and diverse city from my early impressions. I love the architecture and old world vibes that run through this modern city. The area
of the city we’re staying in is one of the more modern styled areas of the city, very much different from some of the other areas, and each is enjoyable in its own right. The streets in this area are scattered with outdoor cafes, and it’s a bustling section of town, brimming with energy.

PATAGONIC fjords

PATAGONIC fjords

One strange practice I was somewhat unprepared for is how late they serve dinner. Being somewhat regimented about my meal times, I was dismayed to have to wait until 8 PM for dinner. Especially after a day of walking around and exploring the town, dinner can’t come soon enough, and 8 PM definitely wasn’t soon enough.

The next day we need to prepare for journey even further south into Chile, so I must say goodbye to Santiago. A boat ride seems the most logical choice to get us to our destination, and indeed there’s a cargo vessel called the navimag which hugs Chile’s coast for 4 days, eventually reaching Puerto Natales and the Torres del Paine National Park, our ultimate destination. Unfortunately to reach the takeoff point of that vessel, we must endure another 10 hour bus ride, ahhhhhh. I’ve had a great day where my butt wasn’t plastered to a seat though, so I think I can handle it, and I can’t wait to begin the boat trip.

TORRES DEL PAINE National Park

TORRES DEL PAINE National Park

This trip will take us around and through the many little islands and islets that dot Chile’s west coast, as well as bringing us close to that glacier, I can’t remember it’s name…don’t laugh. At any rate, it’s gonna be sick. After reaching Puerto Natales we’ll gear up and head out for a trek around the park that should last for 5 days. Our boat is ready to take us back in 5 days, after which point I’ll have those bus rides to look forward to again. But enough of that, it’s time to do some hiking and sightseeing!