28 Aug Street Clocks and Santa Lucía: Chile Day 7
Even when I’m up until 5am I still feel a little guilty about sleeping in. Less so on vacation though…
I’m not sure when we got up, but it was later than breakfast time. I stumbled down to the bar and ordered a cortado, some empanadas, and then waited for the intertubes.
The plan for the day was fairly loose. In the guidebook there was a downtown walking tour mapped out. I modified it a bit so we wouldn’t have to change subway lines. We packed up, grabbed the super 8, and headed towards the nearest subway station.
It was a bit of a walk. The subway didn’t really run out in our direction. If I ever go to Santiago again I’m not going to stay in Vitacura. It was like we were staying in Beverly Hills. A couple blocks away from our hotel was a street w/ expensive boutiques. The house and apartments were all really nice. The whole area was pretty new. Too far away from the action.
It makes me wonder about the girl that recommended this area…I wonder what she’s like?
Anyhoo, as we walked we stopped to film a fountain and some street performers. We got a snack at a “Big John’s” convenience store. My small bottle of coke was like 30 cents. See! This is what I’d been missing. At the ski area everything was basically “American” prices. It must have been pretty expensive for regular Chileans.
The subway was pretty easy to figure out. Get your tickets at the window. Feed the ticket into the machine (kinda like in Japan). Stand on the platform and wait. One side went downtown, the other went…um…not downtown. The cars were clean and bright. As we got further towards the city center the car filled up, but never to an insane amount. It was a Saturday after all.
We exited the subway and stepped out into the low evening light. I LOVE winter evenings downtown. The yellow glow shooting between buildings, the erie grey of the shadows, the crisp air.
This area was old. I mean, the city has existed since 1541. (holy crap) I just looked that up. Wow, I was guessing 1700’s. The buildings had that solid rock look with ornate cravings that you could imagine a craftsman working on.
I started us walking in the correct direction and we started to wander. If we saw a street that looked interesting we went down it. We stumbled upon a major walking street full of shops, vendors, performers and people.
And not only that…it had…the very first…public…CLOCKS. And more than one! (wait for the film…)
We passed several different young ladies singing to pretty large crowds. I think they were selling CDs too. And they had their own gas generators to power their PA’s.
Will bought a churro…I warned him against it. Who knows when they last changed that fry oil? Apparently it was delicious…and he paid for it later.
As we headed North towards the river we entered a slightly seedier part of town. It was interesting how quickly that became apparent. It wasn’t dangerous, but the character of the area changed. Then in front of us we noticed an elevator up a hillside. Yeah…an elevator up a hill.
People were going up it, and we decided to join it. It looked like it might lead to a park or something…if my memory of the guide book served me correctly.
It did. The elevator opened up to this strange mix of a garden, park, and castle. It was pretty amazing…and the views were out of this world.
We were wandering around at the top, taking pictures, trying not to stare at the couples making out when the first Chileans talked to us. It was two young guys, probably in their late teens or early 20’s. We talked about why were were in Chile (snowboarding), how beautiful Chile was, and then they tried to sell us drugs.
At least I thought they did. Will thought they were only making conversation about how cheap and awesome Chilean Joints were.
This hill top is called Santa Lucía Hill.
By the time we made it down the hill it was night. We walked down the nearest largest street to get our barring and just happened to come across the subway stop we needed. But we were both wicked hungry and decided to look for something to eat downtown.
We ended up at what can best be described as a Chilean Greasy Spoon. It was a little tiny diner. As you walked in there were cubes on either side. To the right was the chef’s area, to the left was the cashier’s. Then in the back 20 or so seats were crammed in a strange mix of tables, booths, and counters.
The proprietor was very friendly. He spoke to us in English and asked us about our trip and what sort of food we liked.
“Carne y queso” was Will’s response. The man laughed.
We both ordered the “Lo Pobre”…Will with steak, me with Chicken. It’s a grilled piece of meat, topped w/ a fried egg, and served with fries. A pretty dang good meal. Will had a Coke (which are as good as “Mexican” coke) and I had a Chilean beer that I’d tried at La Parva.
The food was awesome. We headed back towards our hotel full and happy.
After naps we headed out. It was almost 2am…but people were out until at least 4:30 last time, so we should be good right?
We took a cab to a new area, one that seemed to have more bars. The first place we went to – totally empty.
So we walked to place number 2. Along the way we stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts for a snack. And there were NO donuts.
No donuts in a Dunkin’ Donuts. WHERE WERE WE, CRAZZZZY TOWN?!?
The club area was pretty cool. 4 or 5 places in one little courtyard. We sat down in an outdoor area and ordered some nachos. Will got a redbull and I tried to order a redbull and vodka.
Backstory on redbull. If you order a “redbull” you get a blank look back. They have NO idea what you are talking about – even if you point at the redbull fridge. This happened multiple times to us. So we’d learned to pronounce it “rehd-büll.”
I shit you not. “Redbull” nothing. “Rehd-büll” prompt drink delivery.
So here I ordered a “Rehd-büll con vodka.” Nothing.
I said “Rehd-büll” and the guy nodded. I said “con vodka” and I got a blank expression.
The waiter motioned to hold-on and he went and got a woman. She said to me in broken English “I’m sorry, but we don’t have Vermouth.”
uh what? Will and I looked at each other with a WTF expression.
I repeated myself “Rehd-büll con vodka” and she said “ooooh vawd-ca.”
It was like no one had ever ordered this drink before. Between the two of us, we’d probably had this drink in 6 or 7 countries. But in Chile, they were completely confused by it. And they had other redbull + ___ drinks on their menu.
After our drinks and snack we headed to another club for more libations. But they just had last call. It was barely after 3am. Oh well. The whole night was pretty much a bust, but at least we tried.
We headed back to the hotel…tomorrow we’d be leaving for the US.