We were nervously excited and short on sleep. We were on the plane to South America and what we thought we clouds in the distance outside our window were actually mountains. The Andes swept across our view as we came into land.
We navigated Santiago’s efficient airport bus and then subway to find our accommodation, the Andes mountains peeking (or perhaps peaking) out between boring buildings before shyly evading our view again.
There was little else to interest us in Santiago, Chile tries hard to distance itself from its South American roots. Walking around Santiago seems like any other European settled city. Gone were the flutes and ponchos, the colours and characters and everything else we expected to see in South America. In its stead we found western music and wide smooth roads and rain and jeans. We were bitterly disappointed that this was our first experience of South America.
Until we decided to ascend San Cristobal hill just for the fun of it.
And just like that we found South America.