Santiago, Chile

After being in Mendoza for a few days, we asked our CouchSurfing host from Santiago if we could stay with him again. When he replied he said that we could stay with him as long as we needed to, and after staying with him for five nights we were all a little sad that it was time for us to go.

When we arrived that first night, we were supposed to be arriving in Santiago at 9:30pm, but because the border crossing into Chile took so long we didn’t end up arriving till 10:30pm. Then the time it took to get our bags from beneath the bus took us another 30 minutes!! In all, we weren’t on our way to Luis’ house until 11:15.

We didn’t know that the subway closed at 11pm till we got to the closed gate saying that it will reopen the next morning at 6am. We were banking on getting our bip! card (Santiago’s metro card) recharged with some money and take it to the Quinta Normal Station just a few blocks from Luis’ home. And because we didn’t have money on it, we weren’t even able to take the bus. Then the other option would to take a taxi but it would have been way too expensive! Since that didn’t work out the way we expected, we used the app on Jason’s phone to figure out where we were and how far we needed to go to get to Luis’ house—it was 2.4 miles away and decided that we could get to the house before midnight. It was city walking/trekking (with all our stuff), so that’s why we thought we could make it there that quickly. In actuality, we made pretty good time, got to his house at 12:20am.

After our long hike from the bus station, Jason's sweat lines form a smiley face!

After our long hike from the bus station, Jason’s sweat lines form a smiley face!

{Traveler’s Tip.. Getting around Santiago can be a bit difficult due to the size of the city. If you are planning on only taking the metro as public transportation, you can just pay for metro tickets each time you want to ride. If you are planning on also using the bus you will have to buy the bip! card. Other travelers gave ours us, but you can buy them in the metro station if you need one!}

Upon arriving, Luis was hosting two other guys, both from Israel! They were really nice and friendly. Since we had been traveling for over 12 hours that day, we really hadn’t eaten anything other than a boglone sandwich the bus company provided. So when the guys offered us dinner, which was an Israeli native dish, we couldn’t refuse this deliciousness! We really enjoyed hanging out with everyone that night.

A nice church in Santiago

A nice church in Santiago

Santiago

The view from Lui’s house at night.

The next morning rolled around the two guys had left for Patagonia and Luis was at work. It was nice being able to sleep in and spend the day relaxing. We watched a couple movies, made food, and spent time with the Lord.

Santiago

Luis took us out to some traditional Chilean food.

Santiago

Parliament Building: Front side

A cool building in Santiago

A cool building in Santiago

Santiago

Probably one of the largest flags we have ever seen!

The pools behind the Parliament Building in Santiago

The pools behind the Parliament Building in Santiago

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Selfie with the huge flag

On the next day, things got interesting. As we made our way into the city trying to find wifi, we ended up staying at a Starbucks for about 5 hours reading and doing internet work. This is where the Lord revealed to us what we wrote about on our blog, No Coincidence. Only God. While we were there, we kept hearing loud banging of drums and an abnormal amount of people—everywhere. We decided it was time to go back to make dinner and beat the after work rush hour. So we walked the block to the main square where the metro station was and what was going on here?! There was a full on riot happening!! Jason is saying, “this is awesome, let’s stay here and see what happens,” while Heather is saying, “lets get out of here, even the police officer said to get out of here!”

Santiago

Another cool building, but at the Plaza De Armas

There were tanks with big kid water guns spraying people, the whole police force was dressed in riot gear chasing protestors, and every single shop in the square was closed! Jason was fascinated, Heather was anxious!

Another view of the church in Santiago

A sweet church with nice sun rays falling on it.

There was a small opening to make our way down into the metro station, there: we were safe!

The rest of the week we spent hanging out, exploring a little more of the city, trying new foods, and ended our week with a hike to the top of Cerro San Cristobal to see the statue of the Virgin Maria.

Santiago

Another view of the church in Santiago

As we were ascending the mountain, we totally winded, not because of elevation or lack of being in shape, but rather it was a scorching hot day. It was nearly 100˚. But after reaching the top, Luis treated us to a traditional Chilean drink. The drink was called Mote con Huesillo—a drink that has a whole peach with corn kernels in it. This wholesome drink was a perfect fix to our minor dehydrated bodies. Once we took in the views, took some pictures, and rested we started heading back to town.

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Mote con Huesillo

Santiago

Virgin Maria

The inside of the church at the top of the mountain in Santiago.

The inside of the church at the top of the mountain in Santiago.

We had two options, go back to Luis’ house or go to South Americas largest mall and tallest building. So we chose the latter even though we only had a couple more hours before we had to head to the bus station and catch our bus to Pucon.

Santiago

Landscape view of the city

Santiago

Come in close!

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Another view.

Tallest building in South America

Tallest building in South America

The mall was huge, made us feel as though we were back in the states with all the American chain restaurants and clothing chain stores around. We decided that we had enough time there and that it was time to start heading back, but one thing in particular stood out as we were leaving: Cinnabon! We didn’t have the time to make Luis another American meal, so we decided to introduce him to the deliciousness of the cinnamon rolls. He absolutely loved them and we were basically in heaven while eating them. It was a nice treat!

Heather enjoying her martini ice-cream sundae.

Heather enjoying her martini ice-cream sundae.

Santiago

Cinnabon!

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