After crossing the border from Bolivia into Chile, we ended up in San Pedro de Atacama. I’m sure it’s a nice town, but after so much time in backhills Bolivia, we were in need of some infrastructure. We hopped on a one hour bus to Calama where we would hopefully catch a plane to Santiago, but knew it would be a stretch. We found out immediately that our bus was continuing on to Santiago and for a quarter of the price of a plane ticket. We stayed put and rode that bus for 23 freaking hours. It’s ridiculous to think that we spent an entire day on a bus. Not only that, we made the mistake of thinking they would give us food on a 23 hour bus. When we were stopped in Antofagasta, we found out there would be no dinner so we hurried to grab a hot dog, a Chilean staple. Once at the front of the line the server told us they were all out. Back on the bus with a bag of chips for the rest of the ride.
One day after we arrived in Santiago, we had important business to attend to….eating gringo food and watching the Steelers lose the Super Bowl. We ended up at the most gringo place we could find, California Cantina. Unfortunately, it was standing room only, but we were able to secure a spot standing at the upstairs/outside bar. Our mission was successful. What’s interesting is that there were only a few losers with terrible towels in attendance. Everyone else was on the Packer’s side, if only to be against the Steelers.
While enjoying gringo food and sports, why not make some gringo friends?
Stephanie (pictured with Wendy) and Stephen (pictured to the left of Dusty) are from Atlanta, GA and just moved to Santiago. Freaky thing is that Stephanie attended Xavier University in Cincinnati for a year. She had to escape, though. I can’t imagine freshman year in college with a curfew due to rioting is much fun. I’d bounce, too!
We had a great time that night. Maybe too much fun! After the Super Bowl, we ended up at hostel where I discussed the Middle East with a man from Israel and learned how to play cricket with Chileans. Why not? Dusty can’t remember what he did. The following day was spent at the hostel. Santiago would have to wait awhile.