On June 9th, I finished my month in Buenos Aires and took a plane to Chile’s capital, Santiago. As sad as I was to leave both my friends and system of comfort in Argentina, I welcomed the calmer environment that awaited me in the new city.
Before leaving Santiago for a nearby coastal town, from where I currently write, I was able to spend five days sightseeing, visiting cafes, and soaking in the beautiful views. In that short time, I noticed a couple things (besides the huge mountains). First of all, both commerce and transport seem very efficient and developed. As an orderly person myself, I particularly enjoyed this feature. Too, I perceived a certain determination or ambition in the faces and comportments of the locals. Whereas in Argentina I felt that the environment was more social, Santiago seemed to have a greater drive to achieve and get things done (can you really tell that through facial expressions? Maybe not, but it certainly seemed like I could).
Probably going hand in hand with the efficiency, development, and work-minded atmosphere, Santiago did strike me as more boring than Buenos Aires. It definitely lacks the vibrancy of the Argentinian capital. Though, since I’m more of the coffee shop type traveler versus the late-night party-er, I didn’t entirely mind it.
It was wise of me to take it easy in Santiago and enjoy the relative tranquility, because now, in Valparaiso, I feel that I’ve been thrown once again into chaos. While here, I’ve heard the seaport city referred to as the “poor San Francisco,” a name I have to agree with. To me, it seems the hills are both more numerous and steeper than those in SF, but that could simply be because I’m staying at the top of one of said hills and have to trek up it and roll down it every day. Whatever the case, it offers some pretty sights, intense walking, and a decent cup of coffee.
In another post I’ll follow up with my thoughts and experiences (which have been interesting, to say the least…) in this city.