Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Santiago, Chile the starting point.

October 16, 2012 - Arrived with no problems at 9:00AM at the airport - 9 hours Dallas to Santiago, 2.5 hours Chicago - St.Louis - Dallas, a long flight but OK. No problem getting Taxi and getting to our Hotel (IBIS) at the Central Bus Station. Not ready to check in, went for bus tickets to San Pedro de Atacama - 25 hours, TUR Bus only one that goes direct (with stops). Have sleeping seats on bus, ($100/person for trip). We have Hotel in San Pedro reserved. Out of San Pedro need to make  reservations in San Pedro - 10 hours to Salt going 4,500 meter high over the Andes.
When in Chile eat like a German!
Lunch at the Market
Human Rights Museum Santiago

On day one also went to Paraguay Consulate - of course the office moved (30 minute Metro ride out of town), we made it there (know the area from our last stay in Santiago). $65 and two passport pictures for the visa - deposit money in account and come back tomorrow. So today, day two, we are on the way to Providencia, the suburb of Santiago, to get visa. Come in morning pick up visa in afternoon they tell me.
Weather is in high 70's during day, or warmer nights are fresh.
Spent the morning and Lunch to get my visa from the Paraguay consulate (OK!) and then Lunch in La Providencia, a nice place but it feels like being in the States a mixture of Naperville and Oakbrook, many high rise apartment buildings, Office buildings, Stores and Restaurants with prices equal the States.
Spending time in Santiago and getting ready for the trip to San Pedro de Atacama.
Lunch at the Market and Human Rights Museum.
Spring time in Santiago, can be hot or cold but always hazy.
What do I remember of Santiago is:

Stores are busy, People are busy and working, no beggars on the streets, clean street, street sweepers everywhere, Newspaper Stands, Ice Cream eating anytime, Sidewalk Vendors, Newspaper Stands, No dress code, Cell Phones, Smoking,   Stretch pants on everyone (Ooh-No Oh-Yes), Tight Jeans everywhere (Oh-No, Oh-Yes!), Homeless-sleepy dogs on sidewalk, Hot Dogs and Hamburgers with lots of Mayonnaise and Avocado, Expensive ($US 2 coffee, $ 4-5 Beer), Not very good food (anywhere), crowded Subways and streets, Police walking streets.

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