Wonderful Santiago – South America Part 5

 

Flying over Santiago.

Hola friends and welcome back to the final part of my South American adventure!

Our last part of this wonderful adventure was spent in Santiago, Chile. We decided to spend two nights in Santiago before flying back home. I have to admit I was a bit sad to be at this point, we had been having a fantastic time and I did not want it to end.

We flew from Cusco via a quick stopover in Lima and finally arrived in Santiago. The views flying into Santiago were amazing, the city is surrounded by beautiful snow capped Andes mountains. The scenery flying over the city was incredible.

We arrived at our hotel by early evening, it was a beautiful boutique hotel in the Lastarria suburb. After we checked in we went out and wandered the streets and explored the area. We found a great place to grab dinner, José Ramón. It had plenty of craft beers on tap, delicious food and pisco sour of course!

The streets in Santiago at night were electric, people were out and about, friendly, happy and doing salsa in the streets. It just seemed so alive, I love this city!

The next day was a pretty wet and cold day, but we only had that day before we flew home. We were determined to see what Santiago had to offer!

View from the top of Cerro San Cristóbal summit, Santiago.

We hit the streets and walked up to Cerro San Cristóbal summit. The hike up was around 300 m. The summit offers beautiful views of the city and has a huge statue of the Virgin Mary at the top. Unfortunately for us it was pretty foggy and there was a lot of low cloud over the city, so the view was limited but it was still worth the hike up.

After the hike up we caught the funicular down and found a lovely spot in the suburb of Bellavista to warm up with delicious coffees and hot chocolates, accompanied by outdoor gas heaters.

Next stop was to the Gran Torre Santiago tower aka Sky Costanera. We caught the train to the Mall where the Gran Torre Santiago tower is. On the train we were treated to local buskers playing on the train. One man was really going for it, beat boxing with a microphone and another pair where playing with a violin and guitar. This was all happening in the one carriage, thankfully it was quite long.

The Gran Torre Santiago tower is part of huge mall, we explored a little bit of it, grabbed a bite to eat and then headed up to the tower. Up the top of the tower we were the only people up there apart from a couple of staff members. The staff were welcoming and very informative. The views weren’t the best with the low cloud but we could still see a bit and it was actually really nice being the only tourists at a popular tourist attraction for once. We enjoyed a good hour up the top of the tower and found that while we were up there the cloud had lifted a bit.

Next stop was to have a look around a few popular attractions. We headed to the areas of Paris Y Londres and Bellas Atres and found these popular sights; La moneda palace, Museo Historico Nacional, Plaza de armas and the Mercado Tirso de Molina market.

La moneda palace, Santiago.

Even though the weather hadn’t been the best day for exploring Santiago, we had had a great time seeing the city.  From all that exploring we had worked up an appetite and headed off to get some dinner. We found an amazing seafood restaurant in Bellavista where they had some of the biggest mussels I’ve seen. Ceviche is a must and was super delicious.

Back at the hotel, we heard the bike brigade ridding through the streets, cheering and ringing their bells. I wish I knew what they were celebrating.

At around 3:15 am local time, we were hit by an 5.4 magnitude earthquake, depth 80 km. It was the first one we had ever properly experienced and thankfully all was ok. Being in bed was probably the safest place to be during that time. I could hear people yelling out from the apartments around us. The shaking didn’t last too long probably only 40 seconds. After all that excitement it was back to sleep.

The next morning was our departure day (tear). We had a few hours before we needed to head off to the airport, so we had enough time to do some last minute exploring.

We had a lovely walk around Baquedano Square and down through Parque Forestal, past the Museo de Arte Contemporaneoand to Castillo Hidalgo. After that it was time to leave beautiful Santiago.

Parque Forestal, Santiago.

I loved exploring the suburbs of Santiago, they have a bohemian vibe and have a European feel to them. They say Buenos Aires is the Europe of South America, but I felt that it truly is Santiago.

I have to admit, I was close to tears getting on that plane and leaving beautiful Santiago. During the flight home I perked up a bit when we started to see spectacular views flying over Chile and then over the edge of Antarctica! AMAZING!!!

Santiago you were a real treat, I didn’t expect you to be so vibrant and full of life. The restaurant scene was fantastic and the food did not disappoint. You were so friendly and welcoming, I loved the way we finished this trip off with you! Much love Santiago, I hope to be back!

That’s a wrap of my South American adventure friends, I hope you enjoyed and most of all, I hope this has inspired you to go check out some of these beautiful places! They truly are amazing!

Adiós my friends, it’s time to bring on the next adventure!

 

Lennae xxx

 

Hiking up the Cerro San Cristóbal summit, Santiago.
Virgin Mary up Cerro San Cristóbal summit, Santiago.
Gran Torre Santiago tower aka Sky Costanera in the clouds.
Up the Gran Torre Santiago tower aka Sky Costanera.
Gran Torre Santiago tower aka Sky Costanera out of the cloud.
Flying over Antarctica.

Bringing on 30 with Adventure!!!

Photo credit- Eagle rock adventures
Photo credit- Eagle rock adventures

 

Bringing in my 30th birthday like yeeoooooowwwwww!!!!

When I became unwell with ME/CFS aka Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (nearly 4 years ago), life as I knew it was no more and I was fighting for my health like I never knew I would have too. Fast forward to now and after a few years spent bed/ house bound, I am now pretty much well enough to live an active life at my normal pace.

So bringing in my up and coming 30th birthday with a bang, sounded like the only way to bring in a milestone birthday.

I’ve been pining over Machu Picchu, it’s the one thing that I have held onto and told myself I would do once I recovered from ME/CFS. I have hoped and planned to get there this year, the year I turned 30 and fortunately my hard work with my health has paid off. After months of planning, tantrums, talking myself out of it, then talking myself back into it.  I can confirm that myself and darling husband (bless him for putting up with this decision making process) booked for my birthday and recovery dream of course. My much awaited trip to Machu Picchu, in less than 5 months time!

Whoohoo, I am literally pinching myself!!!

Lets embrace adventure! My big goal is happening, so I am one happy lady. But come the day I turned 30 and the adventure didn’t stop there. Cameron took on board that adventure was on the cards, so he organised for us along with my younger brother to go canyoning.

Ummmmm……what’s canyoning? Yeh I had no idea! Let me tell you…….

Canyoning is an adventure sport where you endure a mixture of activities like abseiling, hiking, rock climbing, rock sliding and jumping through a water canyon.

Sounds a little extreme, climbing down waterfalls, jumping off rocks and plunging into fresh water holes and sliding down big rock surfaces!

Extreme? Maybe a little…..but fun? Absolutely!

We went with a Sydney based tour group called Eagle Rock adventures, they were wonderful guides. They fed us, were extremely helpful and kindly took a bunch of photos on our behalf as smartphones weren’t really ideal to take.

The canyon we ventured through was located in the Macquarie pass rain forest.  It was absolutely beautiful. I love rain forests and getting amongst nature is always good for the soul. We also saw bit of wildlife where we went, as we were off the beaten track. We saw a wallaby, huge lizards, frogs and a snake that was happily hanging out near the water keeping a close eye on us.

This adventure was an all day event, the weather was super hot, but the rain forest kept us nice and cool. The water was beautiful and fresh, I could have stayed in it all day.

I can honestly say it was so much fun, challenging and rewarding all at the same time. There’s nothing like staring down the rock face and feeling your heart racing as you think to yourself “OMG what the hell am I doing?! “This s**t’s way too high!”

Your adrenaline kicks in and then you start abseiling down the rock surface like a boss (or what you think’s like a boss). You’re only going snail pace, but hey your giving it a go and YOU’RE DOING IT and that’s all that matters my friends!!!

With that my friends, I will love and leave you. If you want to check out our Canyoning footage, check out the link below. GoPro was worn by Cameron!

Bye for now and embrace your inner adventure!!

Lennae xxx

 

 

Photo credit - Eagle rock adventures
Photo credit – Eagle rock adventures