Bright and breezy, day 3 started. Breakfast, which I was told proudly, was a full American breakfast. Frankly, I've never heard of such a thing. Full English breakfast, yes. Continental breakfast, yes, but full American, absolutely not.
Eagerly I chugged down to the ground floor in the aging lift (at least here, unlike some of the stores in town, there was no lift attendant) to sneak my nose into the breakfast room to see a breakfast the likes of which I have never seen before and I'm telling you, I've seen many, many kinds of breakfasts.
First off, there was what later turned out to be pear juice and a violently orange, Orange juice. There was some kind of cake, which looked like a very gooey pecan pie, presumably this was to be washed down by what I assume was a fruit salad. Several types of rolls and sliced white bread where on offer with ham, cheese (I think) and what might have been blackberry jam. At least there was tea. Tomorrow I bring my trusty pot of Marmite, assuming of course that my backpack arrives, which by the end of breakfast it had not.
Figuring that it would be best to wait for my backpack to arrive, I went out to the tree shaded seats in front of my Hotel so that I could write up my journal. When the wooden bench became too uncomfortable I went back inside to see if my bags had turned up. Nope. So I figured that I'd give them another hour, so I went to my room and tried to get my computer onto the Internet. No joy there either. I decided to phone American Airlines to find out when s my backpack would arrive. Nobody answered the phone.
Sod this, I picked up my camera (with only five minutes of power left in it) and headed out for the metro and ultimately Estacion Mapocho on the south bank of the Rio Mapocho, a train station turned cultural centre, much like the Muse Dorse in Paris Across from here is the Mecado Central which, my trusty, though crappy, Lonely Planet guide book tells me a certain independence hero, Bernard O'Higgins (locally known as Bernardo) decided to remove the disorderly commerce around the area by creating the Plaza de Abasto, an open air market. Later, this was built over in 1872 by the currently fine Victorian structure, housing a fish and fruit market and many eateries, both down-market and very up market. What my crappy Lonely Planet (CLP) does not tell me is that the building was constructed in Birmingham, England (explained why the inside looked remarkably like Liverpool St. Station) and shipped in pieces to Santiago where it was put back together again. Pretty cool. I learnt this all off some guy trying to get me to eat in his restaurant. I didn't stay, but it did look good. For reference, it's Donde Augusto, right in the middle of the market, by the statue of the girl.
Walking south you come back to the Place des Arms after passing a huge shopping mall. Lets just say you would never have a trouble getting hold of your toys if you were to live in Santiago. There were Playstations everywhere, top of the line computers and digital cameras.
By now it was time for a sandwich and a siesta. Half way into my lunch, I decided to call American Airlines again. After ten minutes of spelling out my name, we had to do the Romeo, echo, tango thing and still it wasn't easy, I was given the fantastic news that my bag had arrived and they would send it to me. Why they had not already done so beats me. Anyway, I finished my lunch, watched Star Wars on my computer and fell asleep, just in time for the phone to ring. At least it was to inform me that my backpack was waiting for me outside the lift.
Joyous occasion! I can now apply sun tan lotion and recharge my cameras and read a decent guidebook.
I didn't do any of that; I went to sleep.
At four pm, it was getting cooler, though that is purely a relative term. I hoisted my daypack filled with my "proper" camera and extra film and headed for Cerro Santa Lucia.
Cerro Santa Lucia is basically a hill in the middle of Santiago that has the most fantastic views of the surrounding mountains; though you'll be disappointed by the views of Santiago itself. Until the late 19th century, Cerro Santa Lucia was basically nothing more than a hill and an eyesore at that, where the local bad guys would hang out. Now, after development in the late 19th and early 20th centaury, Cerro Santa Lucia is a beautiful public park, with fountains, walkways and a Japanese garden. You reach the very top by a winding and narrow stairway. Just before you reach the top, there is a plaque, hewn into the rock, which bears the signature of Charles Darwin. This is also where you bring your best girl on a hot summers day to walk through the terraces or smooch on the grass whilst eating ice cream - the Chilean people here love ice cream.
The only annoyance is that just before you get to Cerro Santa Lucia you get knobbed by a horde of "students" basically asking for cash. If they are students, then give them a buck or two, but after that make fun of them, that's what I did and they've been ignoring me ever since.
As the sun was setting, I rushed over to the Plaza des Armas to catch the light on the buildings. It was lovely.
The day finally came to an end in a very techie and then said way. First I went to an Internet cafe, but was only able to do email, they wouldn't let me put a CD-ROM into the machine to upload my photos and video. After that, I only just had time for a quick Mc Donald's - I can't believe I did it, but nothing else was open