Tuesday morning we woke in our hostel, Andes Hostel at 4am and could not for the life of us get back to sleep (remember this was 6pm Sydney time…). Breakfast wasn’t until 7:30 thus we lurked around our hostel and tried not to wake our new German room mates, Mario and Patti.
On our first whole day in Santiago, we started with a free city tour, run by a company called TOURS 4 TIPS.
As the name of the company suggests the price you pay for the tour is entirely up to you depending on what you think of it. I.e. if you were a total dick head you could do the whole 3-4 hour tour, get the free snack and free alcoholic beverage at the end and then decided to not pay... But like I said, that would make you a dick head.
Our first tour was run by Jose Miguel, and boy did he know his city. This was the “Off the beaten path” tour of Santiago and included stops at the local fish, butchers and fruit & vegetable markets as well as the local cemetery.
The tour included heaps of information on modern life, as well as Chile’s history, the good and the bad. If you want to know more about Chile’s political history google Salvador Allende, it’s one hell of a tale, but Wikipedia can probably tell it better than me.
During the tour we also got a free snack called a sopapilla, a delicious pumpkin bread with chile sauce and a free Terremoto cocktail, which tasted like goon... but hey, it was free.
In Chile terremoto means earthquake, and since Chile is THE MOST seismically active country on the planet it is a VERY relevant drink, and apparently very popular.
After the tour we had our own explore around the city and went to a local cafe for coffee in the afternoon to fight jet lag. That night we had dinner at a Peruvian restaurant, boy were the menus hard to decode, who knew champion meant mushrooms in Spanish?
Next stop… Valparaiso!