Upon arrival at Santiago Airport, we face our first language challenge. We do not have a pen to fill customs forms. How do you say pen in Spanish? No idea ! Thanks to a mix of Spanglish and sign language, we manage to find one. That’s it, we are in Chile!
We find a backpacker in Brasil, the student district of the city. It is new, very well decorated and the people who work there are very welcoming. We feel immediately at home here. There is even a terrace with wicker armchairs, perfect to sit down and enjoy the small Chilean wines.
In the city we feel good, despite the traffic and the pollution. Unlike Australia, here people know the concept of terrace. Our neighborhood is full of small bars and quiet restaurants. The atmosphere is a little reminiscent of southern Spain. We are definitely Latin, we feel much more at home here, even if I exceed everyone with a head on the street and it’s a bit of a joke at first. It is true that the Chileans are not very big.
We meet Nancy and Romain, a Swiss-Colombian and a Frenchman, with whom we spend a day wandering around the city. We climb to the top of a hill at the top of which is perched a giant statue of the Virgin Mary, a little like Christ of Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, but in less big anyway. From the top we have a beautiful view of the city with the Andes in the background, but they are a little clouded by a thick cloud of yellowish pollution. After three days, we decide to go for a walk in Valparaiso, the coastal town near Santiago.