Sun in the Capital

So, we are about to go through security at Heathrow and I say to Jane, “You’ll need to take out the mobile phone.’ She searched her bag.

“I don’t have the phone. Did you put it in there?”

“No. I didn’t pack it. You must have it.”

“Well, you must have it. Look in your bag.”

So, we searched our day sacks, but no sign of the phone. But then; “What’s this?” she says and pulls out a 5 inch vegetable knife, hidden within the depths of the daysack. We both looked at each other with a sort of dumb horror. We had been about to go through security with a lethal weapon hidden in Jane’s bag. Now, wouldn’t that have been interesting. Hours of questioning, strip searches and how could we account for there being a knife in our luggage. We couldn’t remember how it had got there – presumably we’d taken it on some picnic lunch, lord knows how long ago.

We ditched the knife in one of those bins provided at the entrance to security, hoping no-one would see us. Jane then found the mobile hidden in one of those pockets which the manufacturers of day-sacks seem to love putting in the most unlikely places, especially so that you can lose things in them. We both breathed a sigh of relief as we got through security without being stopped.

Our flight to Santiago de Chile took off on time, which was just as well given that it was over 14 hours long. We did, however, manage to sleep for about 50% of the time so arrived in reasonable shape.

Our apartment is in the centre of the city and is called Sun in the Capital. It’s certainly sunny in Santiago with temperatures pushing 34C at the hottest part of the day. As we flew in we got some great views of the mountains which surround the city, many still snow topped. The tallest is Tupungato at more than 21,000 ft. Sadly, at this time of the year the haze is so bad that you can’t see much of the Andes which surround the capital when you are actually down on the ground, even from the top of San Christobal hill which towers above the high rise flats and office buildings.

Our apartment was just a few blocks walk from the centre of town so it was easy to do a walking tour of the main sights – Cerro Santa Lucia, Barrio Paris-Londres, Plaza Armas, the Cathedral (being got ready for the Pope’s visit in a few days time), the marvellous fish market at the Mercado Central and a host of other sights.

The major tourist areas of the capital are easily accessible and, like any major city, it is packed with tourists and residents alike. There’s a lot goes on in the streets, with street sellers selling all manner of goods – food, clothing, electrical goods, the usual plethora of questionable tat. But we found the streets to be best at night, especially when we discovered the bars and restaurants around Barrio Lastarria. Here, we stumbled across a fantastic wine emporium which served a huge range of excellent Chilean wine and a wonderful restaurant, Lucia, which served some of the best seafood we have tasted.

Add to that the street entertainers – a mad ‘one man band’ who drummed and danced like a maniac, a brilliant three piece who played Cuban style music and even a quartet of young classical students who attracted a crowd, and made for a great atmosphere. And being able to stroll about in the warmth and bright light in January is the reason we get away from the UK in winter.

We’ve mostly enjoyed our three days in the capital, basking in the brilliant sunshine, but it’s now time to head away from the noise and bustle and up to the desert.

4 thoughts on “Sun in the Capital

  1. I thought I saw a kitchen knife in the bin at Heathrow…..what numpty brought that I said to Jane….
    Have a great time, look forward to the blog’s.
    Needless to say we are in luxury heaven.


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