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Santiago – Cont’d

Aug 29th – Today I woke up and pretty much bummed around the hostel for the better part of the day.  The girls went off to Vina del Mar, so I stuck around Santiago solo.  It was my final full weekend here, and I had yet to be admitted into a South American Footy match.  Chile’s big club (Colo Colo) wasn’t in town, so I had to venture a bit out to the outskirts of Santiago (roughly 45 mins on Metro) to Estadio Municipal de la Florida to catch a match between the hometeam Audaux Italiano and rivals O’Higgins.  It would turn out to be the first AND ONLY time in my life I will ever root for Italians (the team’s named in pride of area’s large Italian community.)

Scoreboard

From the metro stop it was a 20 minute walk to the stadium.  It was really easy to get seats to this 12,000 seat stadium, and relatively cheap: my “Andes” tickets cost 12,000 Chilean Peso’s, roughly $25.  There are no assigned seats, and I got there less than 5 minutes before kickoff, but I was 3rd row, right close to the action.  Both teams had their supporters section (obviouysly Audaux’s outnumbers O’Higgins) and streamers were flying BEFORE either team took the field.  The stadium seemed just over 1/2 full, but it was a pretty good atmosphere.

Supporters section

Me + Supporters Section

Teams taking the field

The experience on the whole I enjoyed.  The supporters section for Audaux kept up their chanting for pretty much the entire game (only breaking for halftime.)  The only downside I could think of was the fact it was a dry stadium: no beer served during the match (plenty of coffee though!)  It was really more peaceful than I had thought… After Brazil I had this vision of my head of a stadium filled to the brim with  crazy anger-filled fans.  It was anything but.  Mainly a family atmosphere.  In fact I was seated next to an older couple who were having chuckles trying to converse with me in our attempts at Spanglish.  The only violence was a brawl between the two teams in penalty time at the end of the match.  It was so bad the Chilean Police had to come on the field and break apart the teams… The refs even come out at the end of the match (and half time) to escort the referee’s out.  It all turned out pretty good, with the home team winning 2-1.

Green Satans

Medel taking a freekick

Two men down

Straight red card

Ref's police escort

Teams fighting

Aug 30th – We split up this day after breakfast.  Charley went to walk around by herself my Coco + I went to check out the giant market at Estacion Central.  My bag was filled so I really didn’t buy much.  Alot of the stuff was repeat things you’d maybe consider buying for fun, but nothing you’d go out of your way to purchase (e.g. party stuff, or Halloween outfits.)  The only thing we bought was food from the supermarket.   We ended up picking up some packets of soup for dinner.  We ended up having to microwave it because our hostel didn’t have a stove.  It was so bad I ended up having to go out to McDonalds to pick me up a 10 pack of McNuggets to hold me over for the night.

Aug 31 – For our last full day together the three of us went to Valpariso for the day.  It was roughly 1.5 hrs by bus from Santiago to get there.   It’s basically a port town, that is said to be the cultural center of the country.  There really wasn’t all that much to see here, and I think we all agreed that it did NOT in any way live up to the huge hype surrounding it.  The ‘culture’ is merely graffiti… Which don’t get me wrong, is really cool (in fact I have a weird obsession with taking pics of graffiti), but I wouldn’t warrant that as enough to label a place the ‘cultural center’ of the country.

Port - Valapriso

Colonial Building

Valpo

Me + some grafitti

We walked around for a bit before having fish for lunch at a pleasant restaurant.   The girls wanted to go out for their last night in Santiago. We originally had planned to celebrate in Valpariso, but it turned into such a letdown we decided to head home right after we ate and just go out in Santiago.  We had a nice Italian dinner before heading to seperate bars for a bit then reconvening just after midnight in our dorm.

(I will post more grafitti pics on my Flickr when I get back home)

Sept 1 – This was the girls last day in here so it was spent for the most part lounging around the hostel.  They finished packing before heading out to grab some last minute things.  I walked them to the airport shuttlebus before nabbing lunch for myself.  It seemed like alot of flights went out this day as the hostel was pretty much empty.  Not helping matters was the fact my dorm (8 beds) now held 2: Me + a deaf French guy who kept signing to me.  I couldn’t even communicate with him by writing things on paper since I didn’t retain any French from school.  All my friends were gone, and with no sign language I had nobody to talk with.

Sept 2 – Today I went to Santiago’s big mall.  It was a bit of a relief seeing such a quality mall (me and Paul were always saying it would be nice to find one of these to hang out at for a day in South America.)  I had to limit my purchases though as my bag was already filled to the brim, so I picked up 2 footy T-shirts.

This will be all for the blogging on the trip, as I’ve seen all there is to see here in Santiago and am pretty much going to busy myself getting ready for school + work as soon as I land in Toronto (the morning on the 6th.)

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