The blog is not finished! But after the Theft (yes, capital letters), the want/need to update the blog took second fiddle to dealing with the Theft and just finishing the trip sans computer. Since being home, it's been hard to get that motivation to complete it. But I will. Ever so slowly. Please be patient!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 91-92, City of Healthy Living

The following takes place on Saturday, February 26 and Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ok, just be patient with me for a quick little second as, once again, I’m talking about geocaching. Before I came to Santiago, I downloaded what is called a “Pocket Query” of geocaches in the area. Among those that came up was an Event Cache which is a special geocache in which people get together to share stories, eat, drink, and just have a good time. This was also the very first Event Cache ever set up in Chile(which is interesting as Chile was the second country in the world to have a geocache). While I wasn’t sure I would be in Santiago for the event, I let the organizers know that I would try.

Lucky for me, I happened to be in town on that day although, admittedly, I woke up late because of the previous night. I woke up around 11:30am, an hour and a half after the event was supposed to start. You have never seen me get out of bed so fast. Not usually a good thing as the bunk beds are a bit lower than normal so I ended up hitting my head on the board.

Great start to the day.

The event was being held at the top of Cerro San Cristobal so, knowing how far the furnicular was from where I was staying, I flagged down a taxi and, Amazing Race style, told him where I need to go.

IMG_2436The furnicular to the summit of Cerro San Cristobal is a remnant of the 1920s, when it first opened. I believe it was one of the first in latin america. It was a slow ride, but the views from the cars as it ascended the small mountain in the heart of Santiago were amazing. And for only $1600 Chilean Pesos for a return ticket, it’s a steal and a definite must for anyone.

Here is where my lack of preparation skills really affected me. As I was in a rush, the only clothes I tossed on were what I was wearing the night before: jeans and a black t-shirt. Then I set my GPS to direct me to the event, being held in a picnic area near a swimming pool. 1.46 KM away from my current location. Ok, not bad. I took off. I finally arrived . . . to a parking lot. Confused, I looked around. I knew what the picnic areas name was so I checked one of the giant maps in the area. It was still a far ways away. While grumbling that the coordinates were wrong, I took off down the road for another 1.6km. As I was climbing the steps to where the picnic area was it dawned on me. I set my GPS to take me to a geocache. . . not the event.

I. Am. An. Idiot.

I arrived at the event three hours after it started. I was the first one to arrive. The two guys there, the organizer of the event and his “friend,” were just about to pIMG_2441ut the burgers on the fire. They explained that Chileans have a tendancy of saying they’ll show up and then not so they weren’t entirely surprised that none of the local geocaches were there. It was nice that I showed up though. We talked for a ton about moving to Santiago(the organizer was originally from the United States) and about interesting geocaching stories. His takes the cake though. . . when he and three friends went for a geocache hidden in a storm sewer near Lake Eerie. Ten foot wide concrete storm sewer, with water only up to their ankles. At least, until a flash storm happened. Needless to say the water rose incrediably fast, and the water speed rose dramatically. They all ended up being washed out of the drain and into a small pool.

As we finished eating, another group of geocachers from Wisconson showed up. It turIMG_2449ned into a great afternoon. And lucky for me, the Wisconson geocachers were not aware that one of the cache info sheets on the picnic table was for a geocache that had just been activated that day. After the event, and saying goodbye to everyone, I raced towards the site and claimed my third First to Find of my life, and the first one in a different country.

And, much like getting lost on the way to the event, I got lost on the way back to the furnicular. I ended up taking a wrong turn somewhere and walking the entire way down the mountain. I was not a happy camper. That still didn’t stop me from going out drinking with The Santiago Crew once again.

Sunday morning, hungover, Ben, Erin, Stefan, and I decided to rent some bikes toIMG_2481 explore the city. As we had to wait for the owner to come to work to get the bikes, we decided to walk down the street to pick up some water and such for the ride. Across the street from the store, we noticed music playing and people dancing. Curious, we crossed the street into the park to see what was going on. It was a free Zumba class! I’m not one to pass on doing Zumba, which is one of the funnest exercise classes I’ve ever taken. You don’t even realize you’re exercising because you’re having way too much fun.

After half an hour of laughing through the routine we went back to the hostel and got our bikes. We started by going through the huge park that follows the river in the city. IMG_2487Our first stop, before anything else, was the ice cream store we had passed during the City Tour. It is so amazing. I ended up having Tiramisu and Chocolate Nutella ice cream. I am definitely claiming it as orgasmic inducing.

We got back on the bikes and stopped in at the Bellas Artes Museum and wandered around the huge building looking at the different exhibits and sculptures on display. Most museums are closed on Sundays and Mondays, but those that are open are free to enter. The exhibits were quite interesting to look through, and the fact that the building was air-conditioned is a major plus as it was upwards of 33 celcius outside at the time.IMG_2496

We navigated the streets of Santiago to make our way to Cerro Santa Lucia in the centre of the downtown area. This hill houses a huge fountain called the Neptune Fountain because of it’s huge statues of the Roman God Neptune, God of the Sea. It is a beautiful fountain and the views from the very top of the hill is definitely a rival to those seen from San Cristobal.

Whether by unspoken unanimous decision making or out of necessity, we never did hit up any other museums that day. We rode our bikes nearly 5K to a huge park where we IMG_2507lazed around and ate some food. With the day quickly coming to a close, we had to start heading back to the hostel. The ride back was calm and so nice. It’s definitely an amazing way to see the city and lose a bit of weight at the same time.

All of us were so exhausted though when we got back to the hostel that we never did go out on the town that night. It was Sunday after all. Not that that matters much when you’re traveling and in a hostel. And in Santiago.


  1. I laughed when I read you were late to the event. Remember the very first event held in Sk ages ago & you missed that one too b/c you slept in? Although you did meet up with Stagsroar after. LOL. This sounds like such a neat city. Glad you're having a great time!

  2. What can I say? I like sleep! Who in their right minds sets something to happen before noon?? Crazy people, that's who!