We are already in Lima, Peru—our last stop for the year. And I know I haven’t finished the Santiago, Chile story and feel compelled to do so before we move on to Lovely Lima tales.
We continued our busy days in Santiago. Our apartment was wonderfully located in the Bellavista neighborhood, well known for its large number of restaurants. John does like to be close to food.
We had two Tours for Tips adventures both describing Chile’s turbulent political history. Originally, Santiago was part of Spain’s colonialism and declared independence in 1818 under the leadership of Bernardo O’Higgins (really!). In 1833 a Constitution created a centralized government and installed Roman Catholicism as the official religion; this constitution survived until 1925. Newspaper headlines over the decades since then would include reports of economic boom, an attempt to distribute riches more evenly, an economic decline, an inability to mediate a conservative congress, a military coup, an election of socialist President Allende who three years later appointed Pinochet commander in chief and 3 weeks later Pinochet leads a brutal coup and overthrows Allende on September 11, 1973. Chile also had a September 11; thousands died or were “disappeared.” We visited a museum outlining the stories of those “disappeared.”
We had another police encounter while in Santiago. We were exiting a tourist bus when a man approached and grabbed John trying to pin his arms down and reached for his IPhone. I was grabbing the guy’s shirt from behind and I saw another man approach thinking he was coming to help. I misread the situation. They got the phone and ran off. Luckily, there was a tourist hotel nearby so we went into the concierge for suggestions on what to do next. On his advice we went to the police station to report the loss for insurance purposes. That was another experience with many steps and confusions. The good news is there was no blood, no bruising, no knife wounds and nobody ended up on the ground. Lucky US. But I think the whole experience colored my view of Santiago. I found it very boisterous—in its art, its streets; it was an eyeful. See link below for nightly entertainment near our apartment. DRUMS a la Paul Simon on the Obvious Child music CD.
There is competition between the Chileans and the Peruvians OFF the soccer field—Chile for its wine and Peru for its food. We bicycled thru a Chilean vineyard and got smarter about wine. In Peru the competing drink is a Pisco sour. Next week I’m taking a cooking class which includes how to make the cocktail. Basic ingredients are pisco, sugar, lime juice and egg whites. And it’s really sip-able. Since both countries have similar histories—native people conquered by the Spaniards, we had expected there to be little difference between the two. But there is a lot. The Incan archeology and anthropology in Peru is ever present and fascinating. And more about that later with pictures from Machu Picchu.
Thanks for hanging in with our adventures. By the way I understand one of our candidates has suggested that we should all boycott Apple products. If you are planning on getting rid of your cell phones John and I could use one. Blessings!
Photo explanation: close but no cigar, chess playing on the town square, local grafitti x4, wine tasting, nightly entertainment near our apartment, overview of Santiago from above, proof of our whereabouts.