Soooooooooooooooooooooooo…. not just the bus trip was amazing crossing thru the Andes and the Argentina-Chile border with the most amazing mountains and glacieres of the Andes…. Its like…. I LOVE EVERYTHING IN CHILE!!!!
We arrived Santiago a couple of days ago… and the sun can not stop shining and we can not stop smiling :). Evertyhing is a bit…. chaotic, i mean the metro (like a tin of tuna just full with people), the traffic, the shopping centers, the supermarkets and bars on the street… all seems poor and dirty but so close to our “childhood” that we kindof feel home – not uncomfortable at all. The city gets up after 11am – before that u can hardly find anything open (we were trying with turists offices and a turistic funicular… stupidly). Before nothing but after a lot: a massive structure of University life bumping all around the whole place.
The heart of the city is magical – still “recycled X-mas trees” decorate the main square, huge good looking buildings are surrounding the place, people are flowing everywhere. Its really hot. We were headed to a famous fish market – arriving late but still got the feeling and the picture of the tiny family restaurants invinting everyone with the freshest seafood and music alive… We planned to eat here but unfortunately on the corner we d found the place with “the best chilean empanadas” take away with a massive queueing outside…. and we needed to try. Easy and cheap lunch in the 40degrees.
Unfortunately my bank card still doesnt wanna work so i made a transfer to Gabors account: seems that his debit card likes much more the chilean system and he almost can pay everywhere by card. Awesome. But before we are heading to Bolivia def need to “milk out” enough money to survive there – even if there are no chance to pay by card or find a cash machine.
So we rented a little car – and we got all the freedom we need. But nothing can be perfect: the company ran out of GPS and cause we didnt have any car map (all the turistic offices were closed) … so we got lost. A few times.
After Santiago (with the car) we were headed to our new destination, Cuyo de Maipu Valley. Well, the trip without any map was a bit long but it really didnt matter cause the people who we did ask for directions were just SOOOOOO HELPFUL AND NICE that at the end of the story we didnt feel that unprepaired how we actually were in the middle of Chile. Really good experience when u stop in a gas station ask a truck driver and he starts to draw u a map with all the names of streets and schools and markets he knows by heart. It wasnt easy but after a couple of hours we were getting closer to our goal finally…
Gigi and Gabor had a plan already in their head – so we didnt check for the hostel at first – just went straight ahead to find a special hot spring bath at the end of the valley next to the vulcan… called Bano Colina. After like 3 hours driving we needed to stop the car – cause the road was not appropriate to our little Chevrolee. It wasnt prepaired to any of those river-crossing flood accidents whats happening here quite ofter. So we left the car in the middle of nowhere and started to walk… like another 50 minutes or so when we reached this very special thermal bath in this high ( 2500m ) altitude. Woooooooooooooooooooooooow…… just like a dream.
To pump the adventure-level a bit more up: we went for a rafting tour the day after. Non of us did it before – but here its pretty easy cause in almost every second camping they do climing, hiking, trecking, rafting etc etc… and the river Maipu is pretty much perfect for these activities. I can strongly reccomend our tour company: ISOTERMA. Young guys with lots of experiences and high level of organization. Even the price was awesome, 18000 chilean per person and they do goups like 2-4 times in a day. We ve been that lucky to arrive there exactly on time. Was a really cool stuff – however the river looks nasty – the guide makes it safe to go thru in this one hour rafting. WE LOVED IT!
SAN JUAN DE MAIPU
We found the only “restaurant” in this tiny village at 9pm which was still open… We though its closed cause there were a table of 6 sitting inside but nobody else with doors closed…. Suddenly an older women came out (probably the “MUM” of everyone and let us in with the warmest smile ever… she was the cook, the waitress and the kitchen porter, all in one. Real home food. We ordered a plate of grilled meat for 2 to share with vegetables… and some local pinot noir… the food was simple but perfect, the wine was smooth and the price was more than cheap. We had a very perfect end of the day.