For all the running around they put me through at their Embassy in New York, the Chileans more them redeemed themselves at Santiago International! While American and Canadian passport holders had to slug it out in a serpentine queue at immigration, I simply walked into an empty counter that said ‘Others’, got my passport stamped, and was on my way in no time, leaving behind the more ‘privileged’ lot, and having the last laugh while doing so 😉
This was my third foray into South America, and just like the last two, a rather brief one at that! There were several reasons to justify such a ridiculously short trip – I had very limited vacation days left; I’d managed to get a steal of a fare (details of which are best left out ;-)); my friend Lino was going to be there at the same time; and last but not the least, it was spring in the Southern hemisphere!
The trip was short for sure but the sights, sounds, tastes and smells that I experienced over those three days were as rich and varied as I’ve come to expect of this amazing continent. Spanning a sleepy little town, a historic port city, and of course, the capital, Santiago, here are 10 highlights from my trip, narrated as they happened.
#1. The road to Limache. Like most other countries in South America, Chile too, sadly, shrugged off its passenger rail network over the last few decades. Instead, they replaced it with a super-efficient bus system serving every nook and cranny of their rather lengthy country. Turbus and Pullman were products of this development, and are today the largest nationwide bus companies. From the Pullman terminal in Central Santiago, we set off for Limache, some 100 km and 2 hours away, over the Andean foothills.