It was Tuesday morning when we left Australia. A full day later, with many movies watched, meals eaten, and little sleep, we disembarked in Santiago, Chile, still on Tuesday morning. Perhaps it is repeating the day, but jet lag seems much harder to cope with flying in the westerly direction. We cleaned up, unpacked and pushed through our afternoon in our rented apartment, making it out to a cafe about 3 pm. Returning from our late lunch, we all struggled to stay awake till 5 pm, before collapsing into bed. Boy begging, “please, please can I go to sleep, now?” Not even extra computer game time could entice him to try to stay awake longer.
Up again by 3 am, we counted the hours till we could go out for sightseeing. By 9, fed, cleaned, and bouncing off the walls, we walked to the Plaza De Armas. Finding a cafe, we took in the morning commuters while we sipped coffee and juice waiting for the museums to open. Our first stop was the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolumbino. The museum has a fine collection of antiquities from all over Chile, with a fair representation of items from Easter Island, Peru, Ecuador, and Central America as well. It was not overly crowded and took us about an hour to see all three floors. We enjoyed the museum, but were annoyed to realize later we were shortchanged on our ticket purchase, more than doubling our effective entrance price. Our sleepiness was affecting our processing speed.
We were disappointed to find the Museo de Santiago and Museo Historical Nacional were both closed for remodeling this month. With many locals out of town on summer holidays, this is the time they close for renovations. The tourist office told us they would reopen again in a few weeks, but not until after we have gone. We did venture into the Catedral Metropolitana (also under renovation, but still open) and the Iglesia de la Merced before heading to the Mercado Central for lunch.
Refreshed, we used our burst of energy to climb the hundreds of steps up the hill at Santa Lucia for a view of the city.
The fountain at Cerro Santa Lucia
A statue of the founder of Santiago
Boy practiced his Spanish by ordering ice cream after our hike up the hill. He got the message across, and we all enjoyed a cool treat out of the hot sun.
Now, we just have to stay awake until, at least, 6 pm.