travelling the seven parts of the world
Mar 20th, 2008

The first thing to say about our trip to South America is that LAN has the best airplanes I have ever flown in my life. Their service shares first place with Qantas, who had a great service, but often had planes that were quite old. You got to have a personal TV with a great movie selection, in fact, the movie selection was so great I didn't sleep through the night in favor of watching the TV. The seat reclines back really far, but, to top that off, the bottom part moves forward, making your seat more bed like. There is ample leg space, so you can sleep in a straight position (though you are not entirely in a horizontal position, to get that you need to be in business class).

And so, armed with great Spanish knowledge that included 3 phrases ("Gracias", "Buenos Dias", "Quanto Custa?"), we arrived in Santiago at 6:20 AM and were at the hotel by 7:20. We were disappointed to hear that we couldn't check in to our room until 2 PM, so even though we hadn't slept at all the previous night, we were forced to do sightseeing until we could go to sleep. We walked all the way from the Providencia district to the old city center, and I have to say there was a bit of a culture shock. First problem is that people liked to stare at us a lot, which made us uneasy. Second problem is the surroundings - the place does look a bit like a shithole when compared to developed countries, with lots of houses on the verge of collapsing, graffiti drawings everywhere, and lots of people who seemed to be hanging around the streets doing nothing.

The old city center was a bit nicer, maybe because there were lots of people and you could easily get lost in a crowd.

We walked back to our hotel and were there at 1 PM but they still didn't let us check in. So we sort of passed out in the seats near reception. WE spent the next day sleeping... there wasn't much to do anyway as it was the Friday before Easter, so everything was closed.