We arrived in Chile around 6am yesterday morning. The bus ride was great - lots of leg room, food and drinks, well heated (we were bundled up in preparation for passing through the snow capped Andes). We've been taking red eye buses to not waste a day/avoid paying for a night at a hostel but this would have been a cool one to do during the day so we could have really seen the mountains. They looked crazy in the dark. The stars were so pretty too, only time I've ever seen, a better night sky was in Namibia literally in the middle of nowhere.
It was a relatively short bus ride.... left at 11 got there at 6, and that included like an hour stop at the border which was pretty smooth. It was freezinggg when we got off the bus. We grabbed a taxi and took it to stars friend Joel's house. We passed out in the living room, but switched to Joel's bed when he left for work a few hours later, it fit the four of us perfectly.
Got up around noon then went with joels roomies pau and mauricio to get groceries from this open market vendor place similar to our farmer markets (but apparently they have farmers markets twice a week also). Wish I had brought my camera (not that would be able to post the pics anyways). Maddy was stoked to finally be around some vegetables, I spent most of the time trying to make sense of the exchange rate.
Came back to Joel's to chill and make some food. It was a pretty lazy day but it was nice to relax and be with locals again, Joel and his roomies aare all really nice. We didn't get everything we needed from the market so we needed to make a mission to the supermarket. There were only two bikes so maddy and I ended up going. Confidence levels of success were not high.... especially considering I could barely get on my bike because it was too tall. We were literally given two directions, and we couldn't find the first street so we started asking people within five minutes. Progress was sketchy as the directions we were given appeared to be the exact oppsite of those we were originally given, but after maddy gave me a tutorial on how to ride a bike that was too big for you, and we found the bike path.things were looking up. We finally got there, grabbed what we needed and headed back. The whole thing took us a while but we made it back successfully to a nearly ready dinner. We chowed down on some salad and pasta with a delicious sauce made by mauricio. There were 9 or 10 of us surrounding this little table, it was a good meal. Stomach full, heart happy.
Hung out for a while longer then made our way to this club to meet jona and javis friend Leo and his girlfriend Chelsea. We didn't stay for too long, it was pretty small and dark and we weren't really feeling it.
Trying to figure out a plan now... gonna check out a craft market and museum today, do something scenic tomorrow, maybe do the canjon del maipu or save it for friday. We're thinking about heading south and also towards the coast to.get to the beaches. Other than that its all up in the air, still debating whether we are goingbto make it to Bolivia, if we do it will be about 2 weeks in each country, if not it will be about 3 in each.
Chile is really pretty, seems similar to California geographically... cities beaches mountains. Santiago is a really nice city, lots of open community space, beautiful weather.