Saturday, November 12, 2011


Santiago and its 5 million people have hit me square in the face and its just what I needed. This city us huge, clean and vibrant, something Toronto might have been in the past but is absolutely not now. I forgot how much I love being in a real city and have concluded that I am a city guy as much as I fight it.
I took the subway from the bus station to La Chimba, the hostel in Bella Vista. It was fast, smooth, clean, safe and cheap. 580 (C $1.18) pesos for anywhere in the city. The cars were brand new and the designs were perfect for maximum capacity and the flow of people. The car doors themselves are at least 50% larger than the newest TTC Subway car.

Bella Vista touts itself as a bohemian and colourful neighbourhood with signs everywhere. Bohemians can be wanderers, vagabonds or adventurers. I think I just like the word vagabond, not to be one I just like the word. Great hood all the same. Wide tree lined streets filled with cafes and restaurants. There is a huge open market with the best tasting bananas I have ever had, and that is one of my dietary staples (along with cereal).

The hostel here is alright and it was easy to sit down and have a few beer with some of the people hanging around. However, this was my first real Hostel sleeping Experience and it was shit. I had to get a bed in an 8 bed dorm as this place was full and since I had nowhere else to go so I decided to quietly settled in. There was a huge BBQ and party that started at 10 which was good of fun. I went to bed around 1 and all was quiet as the BBQ was in the back courtyard. Now comes the A Typical Hostelling experience. At 5 am (ish) four partiers returned to the room (nationality not important but thier rudeness if f***ing typical where ever I have been). On goes the light without any regard and the conversation is as loud as in the party. They are banging into stuff and just not giving a crap about any one else in the room.

Usually this will last about 5 minutes and then all will go quiet. No sir, this goes on and on until I sat up and looked at them, they just stared until I said "come on guys, really?". Thier response and I can not make this up, "You have to get use to this if you stay in hostels, its normal". I could have started a huge logical argument about in Not being normal and just ignorent but they were pretty smashed and I just said "well ok, see you in the morning". As I write this they were still in bed but revenge is pretty sweet. I got up and opened my locked, accidently dropped a few things, the bathroom door was difficult to close and needed to be tried a few times (you get the picture). It was childish I know but it made me happy.

There are many interesting people here. I am recieving lots of tips on places to go and stay, places to avoid and how to travel in Pantegonia which can be a bit difficult by bus. I also get huge wide eyes stares when I say I am spending a month in Pantagonia then off to Antarctica for 10 days. That statement seems to constantly draw alot of attention. I am finding that so many people are trying to do so much in such a short period of time. They have 3 months and go from Brazil to Argentina, Boliva, Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. That is alot of travel to experience and then try to fit in tours, treks, sights etc. Its very cool to try to see and do as much as you can but for me I find it better to slow down. Experience as much as you can in a country before you move on. The number of stamps in your passport is not that important.
** I have the luxury this opinion because I have no time constraints
Another instant coffee to start my day. It is still god awful and I will never get used to it

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