Wednesday 14 December 2011 = 40 hours. How come?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Santiago, Chile
Simple in fact. I left Auckland at 4.30 pm. Lan Chile A340 flight LA800 crossed the International Date Line and took 11 hours 15 mins arriving at Santiago 11.45 am local time on the 14 December ... and that makes for me 40 hours for the 14 December. And no, I can't sleep on planes but the 'No Jet Lag’ tablets seem to work for me.

One hour to clear the airport - the immigration queue was oh soooooo long. Got a 15,000 pesos (nearly US 30 or NZ $40) taxi chit from inside the terminal and 20 minutes later was at Galerias Hotel and room 804 was waiting for my presence. Not long there as 2 pm was off to see the city as I have only today and a full day when I return to tick off Chile’s capital city. How much can I see today? It may be raining on my return.

It was already 22 degrees C when I climbed the many steps of Cerro Santa Lucia to have an overlook of the city.

Down passing the hanging bears to stop outside Museo de Arte Contemporaneo and enjoy an ice cream and water stop ... First lesson is look at the label and get ‘still’ (sin gas) not ‘sparkling’ water!

With the shade of the green Parque Forestal, it took me to Parque Venezuela and with the water fountains outside Mercado Central markets, the fish heads beckoned me but it was a bit early for me to stop and eat, then across the fast flowing muddy river to the veggies, flower market and the usual clothing and little nic nacks trader stalls.

Plaza de Armas and the varied street life in this plaza. The key building attraction was the Cathedral de Santiago. Also surrounding the Plaza was the Correo Central, next to the Museo Historico Nacional (perhaps I will see it when I return) and the Illustre Municipalidad de Santiago.

The guys celebrating with the red and blue flags were the supporters of the wining U De Chile (Club Universidad de Chile) soccer team who just had a win.

South to Templo de San Agustin, Inglesia de San Francisco and a wander through the winding streets of Barrio Paris Londres. This got me to the big Chilean flag overlooking Plaza de Ciudadania opposite Plaza Libertador with the photo of the 2 policemen on horses.

Back through Plaza de Armas to Templo de Santo Domingo. By now it was 6.17 pm and 33 degrees according to the 2 photos that I took. The TV said the city had a high of 28C. It wasn’t that bad as a cooling wind was around all afternoon in the city centre. I headed back to Mercado Central for a fish dinner but they were just closing. Oh well. Late lunch it will be on my return in 6.5 weeks.

Christmas Chilean style is all around the city shops and markets with the usual Christmas carols and hymns but sung in Spanish.
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