A new country always brings anticipation and excitement. Would Santiago be what I imagine?
Our flight across was very good though an hour late getting away so an hour late arriving. Even so our driver booked online was waiting for us and chatted away on our way to the hotel.
First impressions of Santiago: Not as big as I thought it would be, grey & smokey sky, big roads with not too much traffic, dry grasses, big hills – mountains by our standards, entertainment at the traffic lights, lots of street art, a little river running extremely fast, parks everywhere and a general feeling of laid back attitude.
We hit the ground running. I had booked a walking tour for 3pm and we only got to the hotel at 2 !
Our hotel the Il Tinto Boutique Hotel – http://www.tintoboutiquehotel.com is well located in the Bellavista area, a rather arty, restaurant area opposite the main areas of Santiago. So we dropped our bags and checked out the room – very nice black and white decor and overlooked the pool area. There was a commercial being shot around the pool so lucky we didn’t want a swim! We headed off to meet our walking tour guide.
Busking at the traffic lights – Santiago style
It’s the Free Walking Tours Co. Better known as Tips for Tours. You pay what you think they are worth at the end of the tour. There were about 15 in our group with a young local girl as our guide. About half the group were Australian including a couple from Newmarket (near us !) who also have a place at Caloundra.
We walked for about 2 1/2 hours and got a feel for the city and what it has to offer. I was surprised at how traffic-free the inner city area was – compared to other big cities. There are some lovely public buildings some of which were designed by Italian architects.
This time of year is usually still hot and until today the weather had been over 33. Today with the cloud cover it was a comfortable 27 which was great for walking. And walk we did so that by 5.30 we were getting tired and hungry. We had missed lunch after getting in late and heading straight out, so we found one of the many bars and I had my first Pisco Sour. Delightful and refreshing and probably very alcoholic! So to help we shared a plate of cheeses and meats. Delicious.
I’ll include the description and recipe here so you can try one at home.
A pisco sour is an alcoholic cocktail of Peruvian origin that is typical of the cuisines from Chile and Peru, considered also a South American classic.
Ingredients: 1 oz Lemon Juice, 1 Egg white, 1 1/2 oz Pisco, 3/4 oz Simple syrup.