Yesterday was my first full day in Santiago, and I decided to venture into the city of Santiago de Chile for the first time. I'm still not very useful when it comes to communicating in Spanish, so I was fortunate to be with a couple of American guys who could make it easier for me, Josh and Myles.
Josh is fluent in Spanish, and his brother isn't far behind. I was really excited about feeling tall for the first time in my life – most people in South America are shorter than me – but these giant gringos managed to spoil that for me. They made up for it by teaching me how to buy an icypole later on.
As you may have guessed by the post title, we headed to Cerro Santa Lucía ('cerro' literally means hill) to take a look at the city from a 629m above sea level.
Santa Lucía was initially used by the Spanish conquerors in the mid-1500s as a defensive lookout. As you climb the hill there are various examples of colonial Spanish architecture and two beautiful miniature forts, one of which you can climb to the top to get a view of the city and Cerro San Cristobal.
It is a moderate walk with some tricky parts, as the wear over the years has made the steps smooth and slippery. There are vendors who sell their wares and snacks as you make the short climb to the top. It was mid-afternoon and there seemed to be a few tourists milling around. Josh and Myles took advantage of their accents and posed, gringo style, for a few photos.
All that is left to show is some views from the summit. Also as we reached the park at the base of Cerro Santa Lucía, look out for the guy who was washing the 'perro de ciudad' (dogs of the city) in the fountain!
Glad to see you packed your best Aussie hiking boots!
Sure did Jacqui! Currently sitting with 20 Chileans working hard on my Spanish!
Looks like a fantastic start to your holiday. Great photos! It’s funny how many cool people you meet overseas and how similar they are to you. Keep enjoying your time in South America.x
Getting to grips with constant Spanish has been exciting but also very exhausting. I’ve really been thrown in the deep end with the number of Chileans I have spent a lot of time with.