Australia to South America:
After being spoiled with generous hospitality and delicious home cooked meals by our good friends, Vincent and Michelle in Margaret River and Yasha, Asha, and PieBoy in Perth, Australia we headed to Santiago, Chile to begin the next chapter of our trip.
We departed Perth at 11pm on Sunday Oct 21st, arriving at Hostel La Chimba in Santiago 25 hours later. It was noon on Monday when we dropped our luggage in our room and curled up on a twin bed to catch up on the z’s we missed. We forced ourselves to get up at 8pm, shower and have dinner, attempting to get on the new time zone. Our hostel was in a barrio called Bellavista, Provencia. It had a funky layout, but modern, clean private rooms and bathrooms. The staff were all friendly and helpful, offered 24 hour security and cost $42/night. We found a cute plaza with restaurants a few streets over that was full of Chileans eating late like us. Abe chose a few tapas items for us and a bottle of local wine called Terremoto. To our surprise it wasn’t a bottle nor was it wine. It was a liter of a pink, fruity and frothy local drink. It tasted a bit like pink sangria with liquor. We are still unsure about exactly what we ordered and will most likely not try it again. We people watched and enjoyed the local culture and music until our eyelids began to fall again. The next day we explored a bit across the bridge and around our neighborhood with Chileans coming up to us and asking us where we were from? The blonde hair must have given it away. 😉 We we’re told about a great cheap empanadas spot around the corner from our hostel for lunch, but ended up in a restaurant that didn’t even serve empanadas. Since I couldn’t read the menu, I let Abe order for me. He ordered the ‘menu del dia’ for himself and the ‘lomo con pimientos’ for me after telling the waiter that I can’t eat beef. He said it is a delicious pork dish he had in Spain. When the Lomo arrived it was covered in sauce and resembled a pork chop. But after a few bites it was questionable to whether it was pork or beef. It was so delicious that I ate it anyway, knowing that I may not feel well afterwards. I asked one of the employees at the Hostel what Lomo was and he said pork. Phew! Abe’s lunch didn’t resemble what he ordered either, but we just had to laugh about our first lessons in South American travel.
We departed late that night for Quito, Ecuador with a four-hour middle of the night layover in Lima. As soon as we got to Aleidas Hostel, they made us breakfast and we crashed in one twin bed for the next 14 hours. Wide awake at 1am, my stomach growled until breakfast was ready. By lunchtime we saw a menu with English translations, which said lomo was actually beef steak. So it looks like I might have had my first steak in 7 years. Oops! I did feel sick on the flight to Ecuador, but it could have been any number of items we digested in the last two days. We spent most of the day exploring the old historical part of Quito before re-packing for our trip to the Galapagos. Our excitement for the next part of our adventure was through the roof!