Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Santiago, Chile

The trip to Santiago was my first experience in South America. In this post I have broken down, some of the neighborhoods and sites that were visited in Santiago. Plus I am including my wildly random thoughts that I jotted down as I toured around and listened to the varied tour guides. There is no rhyme or reason to these notes which beautifully sums the Chile trip - full of contradictions.

London Paris Neighborhood

If that neighborhood exists any where you know I am there! Even in South America I can find a bit of Europe.


The Chilean flag is almost identical to the Texas state flag. Red is for blood,  blue is power, white is purity and the star is an Indian symbol.


Chile has the largest middle class in South America and on average only earn around $15,000 a year.
For this reason Chilean people seem to create their own jobs earning more money from people passing by then at a formal and or normal desk job.
Like the band above which walked, played and asked for money.
There are also many jugglers on unicycles that pop out into the intersections and perform during red lights which was entertaining as the traffic in Santiago is horrendous.

El Centro 

Chile has had a female president.
During the tour at Pablo Neruda’s house the tour guide didn’t want to talk badly about the United States as to offend me about communism in the 1950s.
Random Street Art
 Homeless Dogs
Everywhere in Santiago there are homeless dogs. They sleep in the middle of the sidewalk or follow you if they like the look of you. I questioned everyone I came in contact with about these poor dogs. Apparently every street (residential or commercial) adopts a few and feeds them. As the people of Santiago will tell you - they have the best life.
Castle Hidalgo

Chilean engineers are world leaders in earthquake building as this hilltop castle is still standing after numerous earthquakes.
During the massive 2010 earthquake one of the wineries we visited only lost two bottles of wine - now that is some Chilean engineering!
We had one tour guide that would not stop under a certain bridge in traffic as it had not been built by Chilean engineers. It has already collapsed once and was non-earthquake related!


Chile is isolated by a desert in the north, the Andes Mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
Chile has been most active volcanoes in the world.
I can now say I have been on the Pan-American highway. It can take you from the south of Chile all the way to Alaska!
An absolutely fantastic bottle of red wine went for four dollars US in the grocery store.
We had a taxi driver who sang along with the Spanish version of Route 66 Ruta 66.



  1. Fascinating post and great photos!

    My parents drove down the Pan-American highway from the US to Panama when they moved there in the '70s. :p

    The homeless dogs were a common thing in Mexico too.

  2. Thanks! Yeah, the homeless dogs really bothered me. We had one follow us for a good 20 minutes!

    1. In fact we couldn't leave the trash out on the street to be picked up by the garbage truck because of the dogs! We had to keep it at home and keep our ears open for the ringing of cow bells which was the sign the garbage truck was on our street and then rush out with the bags before they left... :p

  3. That's exactly what the guide showed us. Everyone had their trash hanging from the tops of their gates!