The day defore my departure to Chile, I still have something to do.
Due to these easy routines, I fly a day later after my friend to Santiago.
The journey this time is a group travel but also includes individual trips.
We both have our private time in Santiago and personal trips for a week for different interests.
Because of this special plan, the schedule for applying Visa is a hard job for me.
However, I like this kind of journey. You are not forced to follow someone's interest if you really don't like it or you have something you really want to try.
Even you travel apart from you friend for a short time, you don't have to worry her because you're sure that she is capable of travelling by herself.
That's what a vocation should be. I don't like to be an unpaid guide while travelling with my friends and famaly.
Saturday, I depart from Kaohsiung Airport to Hong Kong.
Though the flights are more frequent at Taipei, it's much easier to catch the flight from Kaohsiung.
I arranged a long time in Hong Kong airport so that I could look around the airport leisurely.
Flying to Chile, there are some routes: via USA, Europe, Canada and etc.
Because I had a bad experience of transferring via CDG and applying USA Visa is a hard job, I chose to fly via Toronto, Canada.
(The USA VWP is not confirmed when I bought the tickets.)
It takes about 12 hours to arrive at Toronto. By the way, all the tourists (even you don't enter Canada) have to write the declaration card.
However, there is no security check for the transfer flight.
Due to the long waiting time for my next flight, it's a little boring while the boarding area is small, but something in one of the restaurant catchs my eyes.
iPad ? Yes, all the seats in this restaurant are equipped with an iPad.
It's the first time that I get such great experience to access to internet in this way. I really like it.
The flight to Santiago from Toronto is another 10-hour long journey.
Before landing, I'm looking the scenery through the window.
Andes is so special that I'm quite looking forward to start my trip right away.
Arriving at Santiago, the weather is pretty hot just as the summer in Taiwan.
Though I have studied a lot about the cheap transportation to the city, I catch a minibus for 5000 pesos.
Actually, the bus of Tur-bus is only 1900 pesos, but I don't want to drag my big luggage is such a hot weather and the minibus could sent me directly to my hostel.
The mood is always my first consideration.
La Casa Roja, is the hostel we stay today.
The name means "Red House" just as the looking of this building.
Except for the recommendation of other tourists, the house is quite classic with a nice pool in the yard.
After the check-in, I walk toward the Plaza del Armas but meet my frined, Shan, in the half way.
We go back to the hostel and then depart again toward the República metro station.
In Santiago, such a big city of Chile, the metro is a good way for transportation.
No matter where you go, the price is the same and cheap.
According to the tariff, the price is only different in three different periods.
Transferring the line twice, our goal is the Parque Quinta Normal. Parque means "Park".
Because of the hot temperature, many people lie under the trees and the children are playing water happily even the pool is so clean.
There is a national museum of nature history in the park.
I don't like to see the specimens (or samples) of animals and the information is not my favorite choice.
However, it's a good place for escaping the hot weather for sure.
Except for some special animals in South America, the big strange animal which looks like a combination of elephant and giraffe catches my eyes.
Looking around the museum briefly, we return to the hot park again.
There is another outdoor museum in the park for 800 pesos.
The pipe inside is running with water that the locals drink it quitely naturely, no matter the water is drinkable or not.
Many old trains are placed in this area though some of them are the same type.
You may find some unknown birds in this park.
The park is quite big, therefore, some people might choose to ride and the train-like vehicle is running around the park with children and parents.
It seems to be a very popular park in Chile, but the public toilet is quite stinking.
Maybe today is a special day for the local group, we see many men wearing suits speak something in Spanish that we don't understand.
This group is also singing around the park while we were visiting the train museum.
Before we leave the park, we watch them singing for a while. Although we really don't understand Spanish, it's quite special.
Our destination is the Mercado Central (Central Market) where we might find lots of seafood for our dinner.
The tourist information brochure also introduces this popular crowded market as the biggest seafood market in Santiago.
However, you have to be aware of the pickpockets inside the market.
Remember to keep your bag and belongings safe with your eyes.
Unfortunately, the market is closed on Sunday. So, we take the taxi directly toward San Cristobal Hill.
This hill with a statue of Virgin Mary is the landmark of Santiago city.
Actually, Shan has visited here yesterday but found that the Funicular malfunctioned.
What is funicular? That is a cable car that could carry you to the top.
If you want to walk toward the top, it might takes about 1.5 to 2 hours.
As for the taxi, it's not a good choise for only one person.
The entrance fee for the taxi is 4000 pesos (Only vehicles have to pay)
Of course, the taxi fare is also high for a round trip.
Even our taxi driver is not good at English, he is quite kindly.
San Cristobal Hill was named by the spanish- chilean San Cristóbal family that held a quarry on the hills south side.
It´s original name is "Tupahue" which means "place of god or gods".
When arriving the top, the Virgin Marry is near.
Actually, there is another small statue nearby which is still under construction.
Except for watchin the Virgin Marry, the best thing on this hill is enjoying the scenery of Santiago city.
San Cristobal Hill is the second highest mountain in Santiago that is an excellent place for the city view.
At this moment, you just know that Adnes is behind the Santiago city and you may not find this spetacular scene as you walk among the buildings in the city.
Thanks to the kindness of the taxi driver, we could take photos in the haflway as we return.
Due to different roue for leaving the hill, we try hard to let the driver understand where we want to go.
Though the language is a problem, the driver seems understand our purpose magically.
Even when we arrive at Baquedano metro station, he still makes sure that we find our way.
This gives me a good impression of Chile.
We find a pizza restaurant near the station entrance.
This bread-based pizza with pineapples, hams and cheese is a little special that I didn't eat in other places.
It tastes fine and is large in portion.
Returning to the hostel, the weather becomes cool. I finally could enjoy a good sleep.
For me, Santiago is not my start. I'm looking forward to go to the south Chile tomorrow.
P.S La Casa Roja is an old house, so the waste-pipes are also old and jammed easily.
Remember something not to do (even it's fine in your country):
(1) Don't not throw the kitchen waste into the sink unless you could pick up these disgusting wate by your hands.
(2) Try your best to avoid your hair from the waste-pipe.
(3) Don't not throw the toilet paper into the toilet.