Well, here it is just days before our departure. It is like finals week in college and we are cramming for the test. This week we have been focusing a bit on Santiago our first stop. We have been getting familiar with the neighborhoods, the metro, the airport, the restaurants, etc.
Our flight is an overnight from Dallas. We'll get into Santiago around 9:30am. I've done some websearching on the airport and found some good information although it seems to have disappeared. When we arrive, we will first go and pay our fee and then go through passport control. Next, we'll get money and a map of Santiago. Then find the bus to downtown. There are three options from the airport, bus to downtown, a shuttle directly to your airport and taxi. You can reserve a shuttle or get one after arriving. We're there early so we're going to take the bus to downtown and then the metro to the hotel. We'll probably be there before check-in so we'll dump our bags and head on back out.
We are there over the weekend so we have a few items to take care of right away. The main item is to go to Conaf to get some information about the parks and flora. They are only open M-F so we need to do it on Friday. We will also need to eat. There is a vegetarian restaurant near the hotel El Huerto that sounds okay so we'll probably eat a late lunch. Other items for Friday is to just walk. Maybe another bookstore.
Saturday we have a couple of options. One is to go to Cerro San Cristobal and the botanical garden. Another is to go to the Pre-Columbian museum. We are planning a lunch at Aqui esta Coco, a fish restaurant. Sunday, most everything is closed and many of the restaurants are also closed. We are thinking that we will go to the Mercado Central and have lunch there. There is also the Cerro Santa Lucia. Unfortunately, when we return it will be a public holiday so probably much will be closed on that Monday.
We have at least organized most of our clothes and started to pack. It is hard to do this time. We will be going from 80 degree weather in Santiago to the cold high desert, then on to the warm rain and finally the cold wind. We also have to pack a lot of hiking gear so it is definitely tough to get this into two bags and two day packs.
I have been reconfirming our hotel arrangements and finalizing the one last reservation. I'm still waiting to for confirmation of a room in Arica. We are going through a broker, ChipHotels, since I didn't find very many of the hotels had web sites. I tried emailing one and got no reply. We picked up our IDL on Friday.
We went and saw "Master and Commander" today. We needed a break and distraction. I enjoyed it a lot. I've never read any of the books so I didn't have to be disappointed because they were not true to the book. It was good but lacked one item, a good enemy. They were always chasing the French ship but you never got a person associated with the ghost. Actually, the movie was a lot like Star Trek. Strong charismatic captain facing battles.