Angular bldg

After our day on the hop on/hop off bus to visit San Cristóbal Hill and the Bicentennial Memorial Park we had just a morning to do a bit more exploring of Santiago.

After supper at McDonald’s and walking back to the hotel, we met Peter and Christine again and learnt that they had not got off the bus because he had a sore leg. We discussed sharing a taxi to San Antonio the next day which would mean a big cost saving for both couples and for us, an extra 2 hours to explore. We agreed to meet at breakfast to discuss the final details.

We decided on an early night after 2 hectic and stressful days which went down very well. We were up for an early breakfast and the others joined us about 20mins later. It turned out that both Peter and Trevor were scientists and had a love of astronomy while Christine and I were administrators in our working lives so we got on well.

As Peter’s leg was still sore they decided to stay at the hotel until the taxi arrived at 2pm while we went out for a walk in the opposite direction to the day before. This turned out very interesting as it was a business district with some beautiful modern buildings of glass. Besides all being made of glass, the designs were architecturally amazing. There were 6 or 7 blocks of these and many had gardens on them while others were built around lovely gardens, some with fountains. We just walked around taking in all the work that must have gone into designing and building of these skyscrapers.

Angular bldgAn angular building

Differen glass bldgsA group of different design buildings

Garden amongst the glassGardens between the buildings

Fountain in gardensA fountain in another garden

At one stage I remembered that I would like to buy some hand cream and that was like looking for gold. We stopped and asked 3 different people who were able to speak English and each sent us in a different direction so we decided to make our way back to the hotel. On the way we passed a passage which led into a courtyard surrounded by shops. The 1st we entered was a small supermarket but no hand cream there. We did buy some really nice chocolate biscuits and fruit there for a lazy lunch though. Across the courtyard was a pharmacy so, surely, they must have some, which they did, but it took some explaining as to what I wanted before they found a tube of Nivea for me. Then paying for it turned out to be quite a mission as the cashier didn’t speak English and I don’t know any Spanish. Another customer then explained that she was telling me to use my card and complete the transaction.

We sat on a ‘bench’ (side of a concrete garden enclosure) in one of the office gardens to eat our ‘lunch’ of chocolate biscuits and fruit before walking back to the hotel and get ready to leave. We passed a hospital on the way and were fascinated at how air conditioners had been fitted into the glass.

HospitalThe hospital

Vertical gardenVertical garden and pyramid shaped building

The taxi arrived at 13:45 and we were on our way to San Antonio to board the Coral Princess Cruise Ship for our 15 day cruise around S. America to Buenos Aires.

The trip from Santiago to San Antonio is usually approx. 90mins but today there were 2 delays due to roadworks so it took a bit longer. At about the halfway mark we saw thick black smoke rising into the air, then sirens following us and finally we saw flames from what appeared to be a rubbish dump. It was a huge fire and it was the highlight of our journey.

Arriving at the pier we were pleased to find that there was no queue so it took just a few minutes to check in, board and go straight to our cabin. Once we had settled in we went up on deck and watched activity on the dock. It was fascinating watching the precision and accuracy involved with loading and stacking containers. We live in a port city where we know thousands of containers move daily but we had no idea how precisely it had to be done.

Loading containersLoading containers

At 18:00 we gradually moved away from the dock and out of San Antonio harbour. As we moved away from the berth we saw first 1 and then another 3 Jellyfish floating in the water below. Interestingly, we didn’t meet anyone else who had seen them as they were looking up at the city on the hill. It was a beautiful day and so clear we managed to get some lovely photos.

Jelly fish floatingA large Jellyfish

A view of San AntonioA view of San Antonio as we left the harbour

Leaving the harbourVery similar to the Bluff in Durban as one leaves that harbour 

Tomorrow we spend a day at sea.