Hello everyone! We are alive and well in South America and are finally getting around to letting you all know what we’ve been up to for our first couple weeks. In this first post we’re going to let you know about our 1st week in Santiago with my sister Kelsey and her boyfriend Nacho.
First things first, LATAM. I am a terrible flyer. Every time I fly, I picture in vivid detail, my death by plane crash the entire time I’m in the air. That was until I took a LATAM flight from Miami to Santiago. I’m told this is an expensive airline, but we booked our flights through AirTreks, which made it more affordable because we purchased a bundle of flights all at once. It was the most enjoyable flight experience either of us have ever had (far better than any US airline we’ve flown!). There was unlimited, free movies, TV, and music. The inside of the plane looked like a wonderful space ship, and the flight attendants looked like they were walking in a fashion show. There was a lovely dinner that was served with unlimited wine. This was followed by unlimited whiskey – have you ever heard of such a thing? Long story short, fly LATAM if you can.

PLACES

When we got to Santiago (and the entire time we were there) we were so spoiled by my sister, her boyfriend, and her boyfriend’s family, and didn’t have to do very much for ourselves. We stayed in  Maipú with Nacho’s family, which is a suburb of Santiago. While exploring Maipú, we visited the Templo Votivo de Maipú, which is a Catholic basilica built on the site of the last battle against Spain in 1818 when Chile won its independence. This church was fun to visit because it’s one of the spots where you can see panoramic views of Santiago, the Andes to the east, and the Chilean Coastal Range to the west.

Templo Votivo de Maipu

We spent several days walking around different parts of Santiago. There were so many little districts that were very vibrant and funky. Downtown Santiago feels like most major metropolitan cities. The architecture in the Plaza de Armas (the main square downtown) was much more colonial than we expected (not sure what we expected?). Overall, Santiago is an exciting city with beautiful mountain views.

Museo (museum) in Plaza de Armas

Kelsey and Sydney in the neighborhood of Yungay

Man riding bike while police tear gas protesters behind him

FOOD

A day didn’t go by in Santiago without eating sushi. I don’t know why there is so much of it here, but it is phenomenal. We also had a lot of ceviche made with local, fresh fish that was to die for. The other Chilean delicacies that we had were empanadas, pan amasado (Chilean bread), chorrillana (meat, onions, and fried egg on top of french fries), and pisco sours. Also, the wine. We spent about 2-3 $US/bottle of wine, and the cheapest bottle on the shelf is better than almost anything I’ve ever had in the States.

Garlic blossom in our host family’s garden

BIRDS
A new bird (to us) we saw in Santiago was a plover called the Southern Lapwing.

The Southern Lapwing

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