Itinerary: Visit Photography Store, Walk around Santiago, Take a Tour of the City, Visit the Pre-Colombian Museum, Grab some cocktails with my shipmates….crash….hard.
You get a double posting today because I had some down time earlier. Since my last posting, I took a stroll for a few miles through Santiago in search of a small camera bag. The new camera bag is part of a diabolical scheme to save me more headaches in security.
I can say that Santiago, with 6 million people, is the safest Latin-American large city I’ve ever been in. People are very nice and seem to be excited about having gringo tourists around. I haven’t spent enough time here to say I could live here, but my initial impression is leaning that way.
After finding a camera bag at the Nikon store (now I feel dirty – like I just cheated on Canon), I grabbed some Thai food with a few of the more experienced Lindblad travelers. I’m very envious of some of these folks because it seems all they do is travel the world. Two of the ladies I had lunch with are on their 11th and 15th expeditions with Lindblad. One of them has also been to every photography workshop I have ever wanted to go to – I’m so jealous! She did say that the market is now halting her international traveling, so she’s going to concentrate on the US. Waa-waa-waa 🙂
After lunch, I hopped on a tour of the city with a lady I met in Miami who is also a very widely traveled person. She just got back from Afghanistan and Pakistan. The tour was interesting, I learned much about Santiago and Chile. We went by all the government houses, except the Parliament because it is not located in Santiago. I have a feeling Santiago is going to be a very advanced and large city within the next 20 to 30 years. It is already impressive, but at the rate they’re going it seems they’re on the verge of a boom like China. It is interesting to witness this while reading Tom Friedman’s “Hot, Flat, and Crowded” because the book is all about the rest of the world following the growth path of America and what it is doing to the planet. I won’t get into all the details, but the book is worth reading – especially if you’re going to a booming country.
As Americans, I don’t think we give enough credit to the indigenous peoples of Central and Southern America. The Pre-Colombian museum in Santiago isn’t super impressive, but there is enough to make one realize the complexities of these indigenous peoples before the Spanish came. It is making me look forward to visiting the Mayan temples on a future trip.
It is time for me to grab a cocktail with my shipmates, pack everything up, check my bags for Ushuaia, and schedule a wakeup call for 4:30 AM….uggghhh. We start the journey to Argentina, and our ship, at 5:30 AM.
Tomorrow, we’ll be on the National Geographic Endeavour!