So obviously I am back from Jesus, were we ever going to STOP!!!!
We started our trip on Friday 9th November, taking a late afternoon flight from
It took about half an hour to walk through the centre of downtown Santiago from our hotel and my first and as it turned out, unfair, impression of the city was that it was a bit run down and not very pretty. I think I was a little spoiled with my first trip to South America being to
I quite enjoyed the ride at first. It was a lovely day; the breeze blew through my hair, it was really very pleasant, but then the damn thing just kept going up and up and up and up and up…
I looked down at where we’d come from and whew, omigod it was a long way down. I felt dizzy as I envisaged a freak accident with the funicular tumbling off the side of the cliff – seriously it didn’t feel like a hill anymore, it was definitely cliff-like – and us plummeting to our deaths. The fact that the funicular had functioned perfectly well since 1925 did nothing to appease the knots in my stomach and I was close to hiding on the carriage floor until we reached the top. However there were children riding alongside me quite happily in the funicular, many many children, all of them acting a lot braver than me, and…well I have my pride, so I gritted my teeth tried to focus on our destination rather than sure fire death onto the ground below.
Oh yeah, so in case I’ve never mentioned it before, I’m afraid of heights and it was on shaky legs that I finally escaped the funicular to soak up the spectacular views of the city.
Breathtaking!! I’m so glad I was so brave :-)
As for the summit, well the place was hopping. Cerro San Cristóbal is clearly the place to be of a Saturday afternoon in
After a jamon y queso sandwich and a café con leche at the café atop the hill we headed over to catch the teleférico which connects the two sides of the park for a visit to the botanical garden, a trip that nearly didn’t happen since I almost bottled it when I noted the two to three hundred foot drop beneath the egg shaped cars as they swung off the lip of the teleférico station and made their way over the hills.
However I did it, not with any dignity this time though since there was only Melissa to witness my fear. I clung on to that little pole inside the car for dear life as Melissa quite happily moved around in her seat to take in the views all around us. I felt the little car sway on its wire each time she moved. It wouldn’t have been the best start to our vacation had I shouted at her to sit still, so I kept my mouth shut, but I have to say I was close.
Anyway here are a few photos from my journey of terror. From top to bottom: The view of
After descending from the summit we wound our way through the streets of Bellavista, to visit La Chascona, the former
Jesus, were we ever going to STOP!!!!
Neruda built La Chascona ("woman with tousled hair") in 1953 named in honour of Matilde Urrutia his secret lover until 1955 and later his third wife. Her hair was so crazy her friends nicknamed her Medusa according to our guide. La Chascona is a quirky, but charming house built on a steep piece of land and full of knick knacks Neruda collected over the years such as sea shells and giant advertising props, such as the shoes and the clock you can see in the photo on the far right.
These aren’t my photos. Melissa took quite a few, but we’ve yet to regroup and exchange pics, so I nabbed these from Flickr and from the Neruda Foundation website. Credit where credit is due, from L-R: Rogellex, Buitycakes, Kunstmann & fundacionneruda.org
Less lengthy posts on