I like how when you´re walking along the streets in the centre of the city and suddenly you look in the distance and you get a quick glimpse of the immense Andes looming over the city. The streets in the centre of town are so European, and the area I´m staying in comes complete with cobblestones et al, but it´s an artifact, it only lasts two streets. The view from the Big Mary statue atop the San Cristobal hill is odd, the view of the sprawling megapolis of Santiago almost distracts you from focussing on the Andes. There is a poor little garden dedicated to Darwin, with a plaque embedded in a rock and almost worn out by the wind. The museums are full of pre-columbian weirdness, and even the most faithful imitator of ancient artifacts in the various artisan shops cannot come close. And the churches are filled with grim statues and paintings of Christ and assorted saints, but the one that caught my eye was a crucifixion scene done with a local model, ie the Christ has the facial features of a (no I wont say Indian) indigenous tribesman. An indophile selling incense and cds of meditation music accosted me with a Namaste, and more bizarrely, Do you eat meat? Chile is cold, at night the cold wind tries to take away your soul, but failing that, it is vaguely satisfied with all the moisture in your body.
I’m off today, leaving to Sydney, shall skip a day and arrive the day after.