Ok we got to Santiago. This is a city of 3 million and is labeled as the most expensive city in South America. It is a beautiful modern city. The streets are clean and there are conveniences I have never seen. There is a very effifcient subway system as well as a bus system.We are still staying with my old room mate, Carlos Pizarro, and his daughter. We have been here a week and as I write this we are packing to leave in the morning for a cruise from Valparaiso Chile going to Buenos Aires Argentina. the cruise is 14 days and passes through the Channel where Darwin sailed. Pam is very anxious to see penguins. I have another old friend that lives in Frutillar but it doesn’t look like we will make contact this trip. (Just talked to her while editing this and it looks like we might. Teri Graf Pulvino. She was my tennis partner at the University.
Earlier I made a comment about how in comparison Eureka, Ca is a third world country which drew some criticism. All I was saying is that when most people think of South America I think they have an image of very underdeveloped countries living in poverty and it just isn’t true. In Eureka we have a lot of people living in the streets and begging. We have a small mostly empty mall and almost no elevators. By contrast a lot of these cities have very modern and gigantic malls and major conveniences. For all the travels so far we haven’t seen many beggars or homeless people. OK that explanation probably doesn’t help much unless you live in ..
In Santiago I had the chance to connect with another old friend, Juan Estay and his wife Wilma. They treated us all to a fantastic night of dining on paradillas, large community plates of steaks and other meats. We are talking T-Bone and sirloin. Quite a few bottles of excellent Chilean wine and Pisco Sours, there was a folkloric dancing show and then it was open to dancing. We danced for hours. I don’t dance in the US but here it is different.
Besides the fantastic malls Santiago has a lot to offer in the way of history as well. We went to many cultural places like the museum of fine arts and the Plaza de Armas. Santiago has a hop on hop off tourist bus much like the trolley in San Diego, Ca. We went to the Finicular which has a tram that goes pretty much straight up the hill over a rock floor and is drawn by cable. Pam almost lost it. We have had the opportunity to sample some of the local dishes like Charquekan a plate made of mashed potatoes and pureed carrots and squash. It is a little different each place but it is great.
Of course Chile is famous for its wines. We got to tour some vineyards yesterday. They are quite large productions here but we were at one famous one that keeps its barrels in a room that is constantly playing music like chants and classic. This winery is all about Feng Shue and everything is kept in balance. K gotta go. Will update more later..IF I buy internet access on the ship.