Entry #9

Santiago, Chile

I only spent 24 hours in Santiago, but it was jam packed with excitement.

As I exited the airport and boarded the bus, I met Amanda, and 18-year-old girl from the UK that is traveling for 4 months by herself. I have met other solo female travelers, but she was by far the youngest. She also has no plan and was flying by the seat of her pants...and she seems to be loving every minute of it, despite being drugged in a Quito bar, and held by the Ecuadorian police for lack of proper passport stamps. Her bag had been stolen and she'd taken many bus rides that had breakdowns. But she seems unfazed by these setbacks and semmed to be enjoying month 2 of her 4 month journey. I bumped into her randomly on the street later in the day and we climbed to the top of the tallest hill in Santiago where the Virgin Mary looks out over the city (see photos.) I’m very impressed that she was traveling solo at 18; I barely have my act together at 31, never mind 18!

Amanda on top of Santiago- with my Red Sox Hat

Santiago reminds me a lot of Boston. Think of it as "Boston South". It has an old market similar to Faneuil Hall, a subway (but Santiago’s is faster and cleaner,) and an old colonial heart (Spanish rather than British, obviously.) And you can see all the must-see sights in a day. It really felt like home.

My cousin Karen hooked me up with Lauren, who lives in Santiago teaching English at a Catholic school. I was able to stay with Lauren's teacher friends, Maggie and company (see picture). They took me out for a great meal in the Los Cordos area of Santiago, which is rather swanky. It was nice to talk with other Americans and not have to translate. Not to mention the hot shower, warm bed, and no fear that I was going to get robbed.

Thanks to Lauren and Maggie for taking the time to show me the best restaurant in the city.

go to Sean's Santiago photo album to the photos referenced above

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