Thursday 12/04 (2/2)
We arrive around 4:30pm at the bus terminal of Santiago. We reverse the roles: I go with the girls by taxis with the luggage while Jules and Isabelle take the metro.
A little anecdote: there is a woman selling portions of the 2 cakes that she made at home, at the corner of our street. Our neighbourhood teems with people. Santiago is a big city: there are 6.5 million inhabitants, which represents 40% of the Chilean population (17 million)!
We reach the Airbnb apartment, located in the very centre of Santiago (near Plaza de Armas), together, at 5pm. It’s not big but it’s clean and functional; we have 3 bedrooms (one with a bunk bed). It’s on the 11th floor. As mentioned, it’s ideally located.
Ludivine, Isabelle and I go to a Tottus supermarket nearby (1km). We have a supermarket (Lider) besides our building but I wanted to find something more “upmarket”. But it’s not the case: the Tottus is a plain supermarket. We do a major shopping since we stay 8-9 days in Santiago (until Saturday 21, when we fly to Lima).
When we come back to the apartment, around 7:30pm, Jules doesn’t feel well. After Florence and I, it’s his turn to feel the flu symptoms.
Isabelle prepares a good dinner: pork chops with apples and round potatoes.
Kids read till 9:45pm. Isabelle a bit later (but not much).
I work till 12:30am.
Vlog by Ludivine: see below.
After a good breakfast, we start the homeschooling sessions.
I realize that the battery of my Dell laptop is “swollen”. I go to a nearby repair shop but they unfortunately say that a new battery has to be ordered from overseas and it will take 2 months… At least I can still work but I must be connected with my power cable, which is ok when we stay in Airbnb but more difficult when we travel; it won’t help me to be up to date with the blog…
The weather is sunny, with a nice temperature (20C). The same kind of weather is expected during our entire stay in Santiago (sunny, with max 27°C during the day and 11°C during the night).
I also try to find a booth where I could buy ticket for a football game on Sunday but the one recommended by the Lonely Planet no longer exists. I search online. It’s an important match; it’s the “clasico del futbol chileno”: Universitad de Chile vs. Colo-Colo, the Santiago derby. Unfortunately everything is sold out! It would have been a great experience to attend such a game, mainly for the atmosphere in the stadium.
I continue my internet search but this time for nice restaurants in Santiago, for Isabelle and I. I book 2 restaurants for next week: Peumayen and Restaurante 040. I’m really looking forward to these experiences. I was excited to reach Lima to experience great restaurants but Santiago also have great restaurants and these 2 seem very nice.
We eat a salad at the apartment around 2pm.
We then go to the Tour4Tips walk, at 3pm. Similar to the tour we did in Valparaiso, we do the ‘highlights’ tour of Santiago. The guide is nice but doesn’t speak English as fluently as the one we got in Valparaiso. It’s nevertheless interesting to hear about the history of the country, including interesting parts about the Mapuche (indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile) people and about the periods of Allende and Pinochet, explained by a local. Santiago is not a nice city but the tour is nice. We also take the metro.
After the tour we go and eat a very nice ice cream at Emporio La Rosa, in Barrio Lastarria. They have unusual tastes such as rose but we stick to more usual ones such as chocolate and raspberries (with mint though). We then walk a bit in Barrio Arte, before going back to the apartment. On our way back, we buy the Panini album for the World Cup that is coming up. I think it’s the first Panini album that I bought since I was 12… Jules is super happy. Since he can’t play on this iPad today (he’s grounded), he reads each single page of the album…
I prepare some pasta. It’s the first time we try the gluten-free Barilla pasta (bought by mistake); not bad.
In the evening, I continue my search for restaurants, but in Lima this time; it’s the gastronomy capital of South America. Unfortunately, the 2 restaurants that I want to book, Central (one of the best restaurants in the world) and Maido are both fully booked when we are there (even during our second stay, in June…). I’m really upset when we can’t do what we want because a lack of preparation… And it happened twice today (the football game in Santiago and these restaurants in Lima). I will keep on trying to go and book on their websites (there might be some cancellations…).
I work till 1am.