Yesterday was our final sea day and this morning it was time to get off the boat. After 16 days on the cruise we are all quite excited to start the next part of our adventure. Aimi started to feel a little better today but because she saw the doctor we were quarantined and not allowed to get off the boat with the rest of the passengers! We took the sick bus they provided (with a couple of other ill passengers) to the port in Valparaiso and then arranged a taxi to Santiago.
We now have 10 days to get from Santiago to Peru, and haven’t planned how we are going to do this yet. So when we got to Santiago we went to the bus terminal to find out our options. We really want to see Mendoza, San Pedro de Atacama and Machu Picchu, but we’re not sure how realistic all of these are at the moment as 10 days is not that long considering the size of South America.
To give us as much time as possible we decided to get a sleeper bus from Santiago to Mendoza tonight. It leaves at 10.30pm tonight and arrives in Mendoza at 6am tomorrow morning. The cama (bed) seats were unavailable so we booked the semi-cama option – not sure if this is a good idea yet but we will find out soon enough!
After sorting out our transport we decided to go and see some of Santiago so booked a tour around the city. We went to the main square (Plaza De Armas) first, and then headed over to Bellavista, which has loads of trendy bars and restaurants. We were planning to take the funicular to the top of Cerro San Cristóbal but the traffic was so bad we ran out of time and decided to head back to Bellavista to get some food and drinks.
We didn’t have long as we had to get back for our bus by 10pm, which was a shame as we were really enjoying the atmosphere, however the food was really good and we made the most of our time in Santiago.
At 10.30pm we left Santiago and headed to Mendoza. The seats were not as comfortable as we’d hoped and it looked unlikely we would be able to get any sleep … maybe we should have stayed in Santiago for the night instead!