Chile Day 1
|R had no problem sleeping.|
We finally got to Chile around 8 pm Friday night. We were at the front of the customs line, but then found out you had to pay the entry fee in a separate window, and then go to customs. By the time we waited in the fee line, paid, and then went back to customs, the line went on forever. So we were a little tired and grumpy as we headed to the hotel. It was Friday night and Santiago was hopping. There were people and cars everywhere. It was a little overwhelming given how exhausted we were, so we decided to call it a night once we got to the hotel.
Our hotel, the Caesar Business was great! The rooms were clean and spacious, there was one of the best fitness centers I have seen outside of the US, and there was a great deck and pool area that no one else ever seemed to use!
The continental breakfast was great too, with something for everyone. I loaded up on fruit, yogurt, and cool cereals, while R enjoyed eggs, bacon, and the meat tray. They had fresh strawberry, pineapple, and orange juices that were amaze-balls. Oh and there was also a giant bowl of hot manjar, which is like dulce de leche. I put gobs of it on everything.
|Can he ever make a normal face in a picture??|
We started Saturday off with a walking tour done by Free City tours. We had a group of about 15 with people from all over the world. There are stray dogs everywhere, and they decided to join the tour as we went. So by the end we had a nice pack of dogs too. The tour lasted 4 hours and we saw a lot- the Cathedral; Plaza de Armas- the first square created in Santiago; Palacio de La Moneda- the palace where Allende committed suicide as he was being bombed during the coup that put Pinoche in power; and Pablo Neruda's house. There is a lot of contrast in Chile between really old buildings (which they have a hard time keeping because of all the earth quakes) and super modern buildings. We also learned a lot about Chile, from the native tribes, to the Spanish settlers, to food and culture in modern Chile. I would definitely recommend this tour.
We finished in Barrio Bella Vista, a funky artsy district, and decided to stay for lunch. We found an awesome little place, Viva la Vida, where we had a courtyard all to ourselves. We ordered a special drink recommended by our tour guide, called a Terremoto, or earthquake. It is white wine, pineapple sorbet, and caramel. It was amazing. I can totally see how you could suck down so many that you would no longer be able to stand, like during an earthquake. I had a quinoa risotto with mushrooms and R had a fish sandwich that had to have more than a pound of fish in it.
We did not love the metro which we tried to take to the Marathon expo. It was so crowded and confusing, but eventually we got on the right train. After we got off we walked back through some of the same streets we took on the tour. I couldn't believe how much more crowded they were. It was nuts. The expo was just as crowded. R and I had to hold on to each other to keep from getting separated. As a I checked in, I tried to ask about switching to the half. There wasn't anyone working who really spoke English, so eventually I gave up and figured I'd just do the half anyway. What were they going to do, chase me with a stick and make me run the full? The marathon shirts are okay- I knew to order a bigger size than at home after my Barbie sized shirt in Rome last year. But they are kinda cheap looking and the shoulders are really square.
We were both tired and in no mood for the crazy crowds at the expo so we headed back to the hotel for a break by the pool before dinner. We didn't want to go far for dinner so we went to a little tiny place around the corner. It was super authentic, so the menu was all in Spanish. I really couldn't tell what anything was and didn't want to get something strange the night before a race, so I went conservative and ordered the fettucine vegetariano. It was pretty bland and not that good, so as a consolation we grabbed a little ice cream on the walk back to the hotel. This is my kind of country- we got 2 cones for $1. We were in bed early to rest up for race day!
What is your worst airline horror story?
Have you ever ended up with something you totally didn't want to eat in a foreign country?
Have you ever changed your mind about a race distance and unofficially run a different distance?