Goodbye Santiago!

March 23rd, 2010

Day 64.  Today we say farewell to Santiago.  We took the opportunity to mooch around town taking in the sights and sounds that we’d missed before catching our overnight flight to New Zealand.

Getting around town in Santiago is very easy thanks to the clean efficient and cheap metro system.  For the last few days we have been travelling using a bip card, the metro travelcard and Santiago’s answer to London’s equally oddly named Oystercard.  Unlike an Oystercard, we were allowed to share a single bip card.

Annie shows us her bip!

We centred ourselves around one of the main streets which passes East-West through Santiago, the grandly but amusingly named Avenue of the Liberator Bernardo O’Higgins.

Factoid: Bernardo O’Higgins was a wealthy landowning freedom fighter who was a hero in the struggle for Chile’s independence from Spain.

Annie at Bernardo O'Higgins

We returned to the main square, Plaza de Armas, where Old Santiago meets New Santiago.

Factoid: The capital cities of most ex-Spanish colonial countries have a main square called Plaza de Armas (Armament Square).  When the Spanish had finished conquering a country, they would place their weapons in the main square as a reminder to the locals not to cause trouble.

Old cathedral meets new office block in Plaza de Armas

We went to say goodbye to one of dogs of Santiago, but he was having his afternoon siesta on the steps of the cathedral.

Let sleeping dogs lie

We even said goodbye to an advert which we have seen on every street corner.  We’re not sure what a Zibel is exactly (it could be a clothing line) but we’re pretty sure they hired Richard Madely from the morning chat show Richard and Judy to pose for the advert.

Richard "Zibel" Madeley

It was finally time to leave Chile, and indeed to leave behind us two months of travelling in Latin America.  We checked in at a temporary tent ready for our 11pm flight to Auckland, New Zealand.

A handsome check-in tent

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