Santiago, Chile

I am looking out my balcony, its 7 pm in Santiago, bright and sunny, 30 degrees. Stretched out before me is the Andes, beautiful and rough around the edges. Off in the distance, high on a hill I can see a vineyard.

The airport in Santiago was CHAOS, everyone asking everyone what was going on. It seemed directionless and we ended up in several line ups.  Thank goodness Sergio is great with Spanish!  After immigration and getting our five year visa, we hooked up with a luggage guy and he took us through the crowd like a bull.  The taxi was easy, and we arrived very  to the apartment with a sigh of relief.

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Sergio took a trip to the grocery store and got a good bounty to tide us over for the next couple of days while we rest and relax.   He scored some amazing cheese and empanadas, yum!  We have a kitchen in the apartment so we are off to the fish market tomorrow for fresh fish and veggies.  Among the bounty were blueberries. When I opened them I realized- THIS IS WHERE OUR PRODUCE COMES FROM ! Canada gets a lot of produce from Chile in the winter.  We head up to the roof and discover a bright blue swimming pool- very lovely.  Santiago is surrounded on all sides by the mountains, and is spectacular.  

We traveled out of the city to Vina del Mar, a city on the ocean that is about 100 kms from Santiago. Vineyards line the way. Sergio drove us out to the sea, and we walked along the board walk, had some beautiful ceviche and lunch along the seaside.  The seaside town of Vina del Mar was surprisingly large, houses lined the hillside into and out of the city.

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We had a great day on the hop on hop off tour bus, touring around Santiago, and ending at the Central Market- a fish market.  We had lunch and got a big Patagonian King Crab, have you ever seen one?  They have long spidery legs, and they are a vibrant red- crazy looking!  We bought shrimps to bring home, feasted and now, finally as we are leaving Chile, we are satisfied with our seafood fix.

It was a lovely place. I hope Santiago will be on my South American get-away future.  Hint hint.

Tomorrow we are headed to Brazil via Argentina. It is a three country day. Over the Andes in Chile, touch down in Buenos Ares. Jet set up to Sao Paulo.  A switch in Curitiba, and finally landing in Maringa. And then the  45 minute car ride home to Jandaia Do Sul.  Psyching myself up for all the travel.

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