Since today was only a travel day back to Santiago, I woke up at my leisure before heading to the bus station. This time I opted to walk there to save the hefty cab fare. Good thing I did, because I stumbled upon the Post Office on my way there and I was finally able to get some stamps. Woo Hoo! I sent myself a quick postcard from Valpo before jumping back on the bus to the Capitol.
Back in Santiago I booked a B&B in Providencia. Upon arrival I was a little confused. It simply looked like a regular apartment building. There was nothing to distinguish that there was a B&B in there. Nothing. I was quickly beginning to doubt my choice, but my taxi was gone and I had pre-paid. I spied a weathered piece of paper that gave instructions for Marilu's Bed and Breakfast so I rang the bell. Turns out Marilu was a wonderful hostess. She was running a small B&B out of her apartment on the first floor of the building. Her living room had been turned into the reception area, complete with a dining table and a community computer. She offered three rooms with a shared bath but the rooms were spacious, private and clean. The bathroom was also immaculate. Marilu was also eager to tell me where to go and what to see in the city, offering me a map and directions.
It was my last day in Chile and I really didn't have an agenda so I took the metro to the end of the line where Marilu suggested there was a pretty mission and artist colony with a great view of the mountains. The artist colony was very touristy but it was interesting to walk around and look at the stalls filled with various handcrafts. I sat down for a beer and an empanada since I was famished.
(Lunch isn't complete without a cold cervesa.)
From there I just started wandering. It felt like I walked ten miles. I just walked and walked and walked some more, snaking my way through the outlying neighborhoods in Santiago. Eventually I ended up at another metro station and I hopped on, bound for another neighborhood Marilu had recommended. It was close to where I dined the first night and it was happy hour so I popped into the busiest bar for a cocktail. Turns out the most popular bar in that neighborhood was called "California" and they offered "California Favorites", none of which I've ever know to be a favorite in my state. But no bother. I had a fabulous glass of Sangria and free wifi so I was able to check email and call home.
(Pil Pil Shrimp)
I know I should have tried a different restaurant, but it was my last night in the city and I had such a good meal my first night in this neighborhood that I ended up in the same place for my final dinner, sitting out on the sidewalk and watching the world go by. I really like Chile and Santiago in particular. Yes, it's a huge city and cloaked in smog, but there is an energy here and the more I explore it the more I realize there is to find here. I'm sure I'll be back again someday, hopefully soon.