Sunday, 5 July 2009

My First Day in Santiago, 15 June 2009

My plane took off from Sydney airport at 10am on June 15. My plane landed (after a quick stop in Auckland) at 12pm on June 15. So in theory it took 2 hours to reach Chile. But of course it didn´t, it took 16 hours.

16 hours.

And I didn´t sleep at all on the whole flight.

I was exhausted when I landed. And Santiago airport is not a great place to land when you are 100% tired.

You emerge through baggage reclaim and customs to a barrage of people asking you for a taxi.

I didn´t want a taxi. I wanted the TurBus Shuttle directly to my hostel. But first I needed cash.

A nice man showed me the way to the ATM and I took out some cash. I knew that the Chilean peso is 1,000 to the pound, but in my tired state I couldn´t quite work the cash out.

I started to make my way to the TurBus area when someone offered me a shuttle for 40,000 pesos. I knew that the TurBus Shuttle was supposed to cost 9US$ but I couldnt quite work out how much that was supposed to be in pesos. My tired mind figured that 40,000 was reasonable so I put my bag into the back of the shuttle and sat in the car. I pulled out my diary where I had written down the pound/peso conversion. Shit. 40,000 pesos was like 40 pounds.

I quickly woke up.

Thankfully, the taxi had only just set off and hadn´t even left the airport. I told the taxi driver to turn around and take me back to where he picked me up. Luckily he did. I jumped out of the shuttle bus and grabbed my bag.

The poor driver was a little confused, but I didn´t care. There was no way I was paying 40quid for a taxi.

I found the TurBus Shuttle that I had originally intended to take and handed over a mere 6,000 pesos six pounds! That was much better.

45 minutes later I was in the middle of Santiago and was dropped off at the doors of a hostel.

The hostel was fairly nice, and I was shown to my dorm which I had to myself. By this point it was 2pm in Chile and I figured a power nap was well deserved.

I slept right through until midnight.

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