Grand Tour Report
A report on the South American part of the Grand Tour
I'd expected Santiago to be a dirty, hot, smoggy city; it is the complete opposite. The climate was cool and all the smog had blown further inland, nestling amongst the Andes obscuring them from view.
Chilleans are very friendly and, more importantly, very paitient with poor-Spanish-speaking gringos. Outside of Santiago, we've met a couple of locals that can speak a few words of English, but that's it.
We've only run into one other gringo, Matt from Manchester, in Chillan. He seemed very pleased to meet us as he'd been two weeks without speaking English to anyone!
Every memorial, school and gallery we visit is plastered with murals depicting past struggles, which you could be forgiven to think are still taking place. In Chillan we were made to pose for a photo to use in their new tourist leaflet. I think we were the most distant visitors they'd had!
Alarmed that we were getting close to our budget for the seven months,Chile has come at exactly the right moment. Accommodation has worked out on average less than a fiver each per night, including breakfast.In addition, the fat-laden food is both exceptionally good and filling. Street vendors sell pasties for 5p each.
Alex and Lovell