Reflections on Santiago

As we are going to be in Chile for a month, we are trying to do things at a sensible pace. We are going out for dinner with friends this evening and have a 4am start tomorrow, so we came back to the hotel after lunch to relax. Our next stop is trekking in Torres del Paine. I expect that there will be no Internet connection there, so there will be no more posts for a few days.

Our initial impressions of Santiago and its’ people has been very positive. The people have been friendly and helpful, though we did become the victim of a pickpocket on our first day. That could happen in any large city in the world.

There is less of ‘colonial Santiago’ than I expected, largely because of the earthquakes which regularly hit the city. The last of these was in 2010 and the initial impression is that it did remarkably little damage, despite measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale. But on the other hand there is more modern development and much of Santiago looks like a well-planned modern American city. It is a city of extremes though; the tallest buildings in South America but still it’s fair share of shanty towns round the fringes.

We have spent about two and a half days here, and that is probably about right. We have seen a lot, but we are now looking forward to heading south for the hills.