Friday, October 8, 2010

Santiago, Chile (Twice Last Year)

The first stop on the GT was Santiago, Chile.
Downtown Santiago. Could be anywhere, really, but for the flags.
Known for being the most expensive city in South America we figured it would be best to start there and move to less costly places as the trip went on.  Then, everything else would seem like a bargain, and we love a bargain.  Not to worry though, as is often the case, Santiago was less expensive than New York, and we managed to keep the spending in check.  Here are some highlights:

Cost (USD)
Chilean Visa
$140 (pp)
It’s kinda sweet how they greet you in the Santiago airport.  “Americans and Canadians, to your left to pay your huge, reciprocal entrance fee.  All others, proceed directly to immigration.”  At least it is (supposedly) good for as long as we have the passport.
Taxi from airport to Pure Lounge and Hostel
· Official Taxi Desk - $52
· Bus to subway option - $3.50
· Initial offer from unregistered taxi - $26 (sweet deal!)
· Revised offer after we were in the car with our luggage in the trunk - $60 (it seems that we gringos cannot discern the difference between trenta (30) and trece (13))
· Following heated negotiations in the car, including leaving the car and removing our luggage, a final price of - $32
Private room at Pure Lounge Hostel
We bought the following:
· Private room with private bathroom in the hallway next to the room (private to the extent that other people respect the sign saying “orange room only”, because the private bath was in fact, one of the two women’s bathrooms that was reserved only for us)
· Free breakfast, which is not served after 12 PM, when we woke up on our first day.
· Free breakfast, which is not served before 6 AM, when we left for the airport our second day
But Most Importantly
· An amateur DJ training center in the courtyard directly outside our window, including speakers on the roof on top of our roof.  Each night the students spin trance and house music to a raucous party that rages from 7 PM until 3-4 AM.  And on Saturday nights it apparently rages at least until 6am when we checked out.  We knew we should have packed those glowsticks.
Taxi from Pure Lounge Hostel to airport
Guess we didn’t negotiate as well as we thought we did on the way there.

Santiago-ians love their ¨Doggis.¨ Here´s a warning about eating too many of them.  That´s also why we ate zero.
We were staying in the Bellavista neighborhood, described by Lonely Planet as “bohemian” and described by me as “bohemian in the way McDougal Street could be called bohemian, in that artists used to live there but now it’s just lined with divey college bars and drunk kids.”   Actually, there were some charming parts.

We spent our 1 ½ days exploring the city, visiting, among other places, the presidential palace, the Plaza de Armas, Cerro San Cristobal, the courts of justice (as lawyers it is our professional responsibility to visit courts of justice all over the world) and Empanadastodos (as eaters it is our professional responsibility to try the many flavors of empanda Chile offers).  

Presidential Palace. Not a whole lot of security.

The VM sits atop Cerro San Cristobal and protects all of Santiago.

View of Santiago from the top of Cerro San Cristobal.  First of MANY self portraits you will see on this blog.
Dave has declared by fiat that empanadas are carb-free to promote cultural exchange, and because they are his dream food (“pastry, meat, cheese, and fried”).  Definitely his dream food.

Jesse takes a tentative first bite.

Thanks lady at Empanadastodos who told us we needed 4 empanadas, when clearly 2 would have been sufficient.


  1. Jess I can't believe how long your mani lasted

  2. The ladies at vogue really did me right

  3. Ass gigante - ha - love that warning!

  4. Ain't no warning- that's the truth! -Dave


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