Chile, officially the Republic of Chile occupyies a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west in South America.
It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far south. It has given it a varied climate, ranging from the world’s driest desert—the Atacama—in the north, through a Mediterranean climate in the centre, to a rainy temperate climate in the south.
Although relatively free of the coups and arbitrary governments that blighted South America, Chile endured a 17-year military dictatorship under ‘Pinochet’
(1973–1990) that left more than 3,000 people dead or missing. Currently, Chile is one of South America’s most stable and prosperous nations but has high income inequality. Chile is a founding member of both the United Nations, the Union of South American Nations. Chile is a member of the OECD, being the first and only country in South America with that honor.
I arrived in Santiago
at 9:30am after flying from Barcelona
and then another exhausting 15hr flight from Paris and a wonderful chat to my Chilean cab driver (YES – IN SPANISH!) Until arriving at the beautiful hotel
SEEING MY PARENTS! YAY – it had been about 1 1/2 months more or less
After a quick catch up and bite to eat (i hadnt eaten on the plane and was RAVENOUS i went to my room, slept, had a massage to undo the damage of sitting upright for 15 hours, read in the sun by the pool on the top level of the Ritz Carlton and basically – Chillled.
That evening (Its light until 8:30 which is really weird) we got a cab – had another very informative chat to the taxi driver, a lovely chap named Claudio- and cruised along Santiago’s main street to Ichiban,
a great ‘Japonese’ Restaurant which is one of the many stand alone buildings along the road.
We stayed for ages, chatting, catching up and laughing about shared family memories – not heading to bed until about 12! This wasnt an issue though as we would be spending all of the next day sitting in a car traveling through the spectacular Andes!