Archive for the ‘Santiago’ Tag

Santiago to Chillán   Leave a comment

Wednesday 15th October 2014

Our next main destination is the Chilean Lake District, 770 kilometres further south on the Ruta 5, the Panamericana. Without our own transport we have to stick to the main roads where the coaches run and can’t meander along the Pacific coast as I did the last time. The town of Chillán lies halfway between Santiago and Villarrica on the northern end of the lakes, it is described as picturesque place and it’s also the birthplace of Bernado O’Higgins, one of Chile’s founding fathers and leader in the country’s struggle for independence from Spanish rule. A perfect overnight stop.

We enjoy the last freshly squeezed raspberry juice in the Happy House Hostal, use the last credit on our BIP card for the metro and arrive early at the perfectly organised Tur Bus terminal near the Universidad de Santiago. The bus is only 15 minutes late, we drive conveniently through the fertile Central Valley and arrive early afternoon at our destination.

The sixth hotel where we ask for a suitable room is ours and we set off to explore the apparently slightly boring town. Rarely has a contrast been so unexpected – from our tranquil neighbourhood we stumble into buzzing community life on the other side of the Plaza de Armas, the main square, with chaotic traffic, mercados, shopping malls and life music everywhere.

We spend a very pleasant evening in Chillán and are glad we have chosen this somewhat hidden gem as our stopover.

Cathedral of Chillán, built to withstand earthquakes

You can get literally everything in this department store

All pictures from today here – #380 to 447.

Santiago de Chile   Leave a comment

Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th October 2014

From Valparaíso we take the bus to Santiago, a comfortable 90-minute journey through green valleys and along the Ruta del Vino. It’s under three kilometres from the Terminal Alameda to the Happy House Hostal, recommended in various travel guides and close to the city centre, so we walk along the Avenida Bernado O’Higgins to gather first impressions.

We like the accommodation and check in for two nights; then we use the excellent metro and bus network to visit a fellow traveller, who I met in 2010 in Buenos Aires, in the district of La Reina. Mick, originally from Denmark, travelled the continent on his VFR750, got stuck in Santiago and is now running a motorcycle touring company (Ride Chile www.ride-chile.com) and service & repair workshop (Moto Service STGO www.motoss.cl) together with his friend Tomás. Both of them give us a warm welcome and invaluable advice for our journey south.

We then spend the evening and the following day exploring the sights and delights of the Chilean capital – here are just a few impressions.

Ruta 68 between Valparaíso and Santiago

Estación Central

Street exhibition: foreign elements in the Cocina Chilena

Our modest alojamiento

Room with a view

With Tomás and Mick

La Moneda – the presidential palace

Cerro Santa Lucía – Huelén in the language of the Mapuche

Cerro San Cristobal

Mercado Central

Museo Histórico Nacional on the Plaza de Armas

Catedral Metropolitana de Santiago

Spot Johannes…

Absolutamente. All Santiago pictures here.