Santiago (San Antonio), Chile

Wednesday, 14 March:  Another day at sea yesterday, which was good as we had to be ready to leave at 6.30am this morning for a full day’s excursion to Chile’s capital, Santiago and the seaside villages of Vina del Mar and Valparaiso.  It was a busy day on board as well, as today was the end of the cruise for many passengers who were leaving the ship today and for others taking their places for the second leg.

It was a 90-minute trip each way to the 477-year-old city, which sits at the foot of the Andes.  Very interesting, lots of history with modern as well as historic areas, but we have seen lots of trash, especially plastic bags, strewn around the countryside and there’s hardly a building that hasn’t been defaced with ugly graffiti.  Such a shame.

I’ve noticed (with some concern) dogs on the streets, sometimes singly but mostly in pairs.  None of them looked undernourished but our guide explained that people are a bit lax with ownership.  However, they seem to be well fed by shop owners who like to use them as guard dogs.  I was pleased to find out that there is now a new law which says that dogs must have an owner and be micro chipped, so that’s a step in the right direction, although I imagine it will take a while to enforce.

Lunch was salmon once again, although we weren’t complaining as we love it.  It has a lovely flavor, different to what we have in Australia.  I think I’ll be all “salmoned out” though, by the time we get home!  Pisco Sour once again, I’m getting to like that drink a lot.  The restaurant was large and modern, with floor to ceiling windows.  We had a very nice time.

The seaside towns we visited were nice, but nothing much to say about them, just typical holiday spots with beaches, apartments and restaurants, much the same the world over.  We enjoyed the day though, and by the time we got back at 5.30pm feeling very tired, it was time to leave Chile for the last time and head for Peru