Day 72 | Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Making the jump from temperatures in the mid 40s to the mid 80s is pretty extreme overnight. A bit like jumping from the refrigerator to the frying pan. Settling back into the work routine after having 10 days off is also a bit extreme. I can already tell that not too much is going to get done in the next couple of days except a couple of loads of laundry as I slowly adapt to being back in Santiago.
Fortunately, at this point we have discovered a slightly nicer area of Santiago to stay in and have found an apartment that is on the cusp of that area making it a reasonable commute to the Santiago office for Steve.
I just need to synchronize myself with the hectic, grimy, and raw pace of Santiago again.
Day 73 | Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Slowly, I am adapting to the heat and pace of Santiago again. On our walk tonight we discovered we are within a short distance of the Santiago Metropolitan Park from which we can access the zoo, ride the funicular to the Sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception on San Cristóbal Hill, and take the cable car that you can see stretch across the northeast skyline of Santiago.
Day 74 | Thursday, January 5, 2017
This morning we are getting out of the house early so that we can ride the funicular to San Cristóbal Hill. It runs daily from 10:00am to 7:45pm. You have the option of riding it part way up the hill and getting off at the zoo, riding it all the way to the top or riding back down to the bottom of the hill. There is a road that you can walk to or from the top of the hill. You can also access the zoo from the bottom of the hill but then you have to walk up hill instead of getting to walk down hill while viewing the animals.
Since it is already in the mid 70s and full sun I can’t convince Steve to walk up or down the hill so we are riding the funicular both up and down. So, while the funicular is cool I am not as excited as I was in Valparaíso because it is a modern version not one that was built in the late 1800s or early 1900s and been restored. What I am really looking forward to is that there are supposed to be incredible views of the city from the top of the hill.
Even though it is a bit hazy the views of the city below are still incredible. Also, at the top of the hill is a gleaming white 14 meter tall statue of the Immaculate Conception, there is a small chapel in the pedestal of the statue, an amphitheater for holding masses or other religious ceremonies which is currently showcasing a gorgeous carved nativity, there are several painted crosses, and a prayer chapel.
So, far this is my favorite experience in Santiago. I guess I should have trusted TripAdvisor when it came up as the second best thing to do in Santiago. Now it is time to escape the heat and head back to the apartment, Steve has to get to work.
Day 75 | Friday, January 6, 2017
Due to time constraints yesterday we were not able to ride the cable car so this morning we are returning to the Santiago Metropolitan Park so we can ride the cable car and further explore the 722 hectare park.
Even though we got here before 10:00am this morning there is still a line to ride the funicular to the top of the hill. After a brief wait for the funicular to open for the day the line started to move quite quickly. Once at the top of the hill we wandered until we found the entrance to the cable car. After purchasing our tickets we boarded the car and started our journey across the skyline watching as Santiago spread out beneath us. The Santiago Metropolitan Park is impressive it contains two open-air pools, the cable car we are on, the funicular, the national zoo, a botanical garden, the religious sanctuary atop San Cristóbal Hill, and Bicentenary Children’s Park which includes an amphitheater, treehouses, water features, interactive fence, and a cable car.
After riding to the end we disembarked and wandered a bit in the park. Then we boarded the cable car again and road it back to the top of San Cristóbal Hill and returned to the bottom of the hill via the funicular.
This area is such a deviation from the chaos of Santiago. A real positive note to leave Santiago on. Tomorrow we board a plane for Temuco so that we can spend a few days in the lakes region of Chile before we move on to Argentina.
It is hard to believe that today marks 2-1/2 months in South America.