We have finally crossed the Pacific and have arrived in our last continent on this trip (well apart from Europe, which we do hope to make it home to!). The 11 hour flight from New Zealand left at 6pm on Thursday and we arrived in Santiago at 2pm on Thursday, crossing the international date line has some benefits! The 16 hour time difference and completely different environment to New Zealand was a (welcome) shock. Santiago is home to around 6 million people, more than the entire population of New Zealand. It is busy, loud and bustling. It is great.
Our first week has here has been jam packed with activities, including taking some Spanish classes to help us ensure that we can always order wine, cocktails and chicken. We took a walking tour, drank far too many pisco sours (resulting in us ending up in being the material for a drag comedy act), went on a Spanish walking tour and today we finally made it to one of the most famous sites in the city, the San Cristobal hill and the Mary statue.
San Cristobal from a distance:
Whilst it is not really a rival for Rio’s religious statue it was still a nice visit. It has also been cleaned a lot since my last visit in 2008, where is was pretty much covered in pigeon poop so I liked it a lot more now! We took a funicular up the hill after our initial plans for walking up were killed by the lack of path (currently under construction) and the thirty degree heat. Up at the top we enjoyed the view, watching the other tourist and ice lollies 😀 it was a good day.
Here is a short video of our visit:
Santiago is stuck in a valley, which means it clings on to it’s pollution quite tight and makes the place always look a bit smoggy. The best time to visit the hill is just after it rains but with no rain due on the forecast we figured today was as good as any. We could kind of make out the surrounding mountains and their snow but I don’t think the video captures it.