Ahh..... Santiago. I finally arrived. I've been here for two days now, and I find this city rather pleasant and temperate. Its good to be back in a climate that doesn't chill you to the bone.
I'm staying at a hostel called "La Casa Roja" its a colonial mansion that has been turned into a hostel. Its rather nice boasting several courtyards, a pool, hot tub, and enough young backpackers like myself to fill one's conversation threshold. It's in a bohemian type neighborhood called Barrio Brazil. Its a rather "aged" area scattered with brightly colored homes mixed in with turn of the century colonial architecture. Its homey, trendy, and I like it. It's right down the street from "El Centro" or the city center, which is modern and cosmopolitan as any I've been in. The fashion is high, the architecture grand, and it has an energy that all good cities should.
I've spent my time wandering the city, taking in the sights, and trying to get a feel for my command of the Spanish language, which is exactly what I thought it would be; I can communicate my points well enough, but understanding the rapid barrage of spanish coming back to me is another story. No fear, I'm here for a while and I can't wait till I can have a real conversation.
Santiago is nice, but besides the local land marks, and museums (which I've seen) it doesn't have much else to do. No matter, tomorrow I'm off to Vaparasio, which is said to be the " San Francisco" of South America. This port town is said to have tons of character and visual stimulus. I'm ready to be off.