After waiting in Mendoza for an extra day so the pass over the Andes could open, we finally set out towards Santiago, Chile. The ride was a little more than seven hours long with two of the hours at the border crossing. It was a slow process but the views made it such an enjoyable ride. We usually zone out and watch movies on long rides but this one I just looked out the window the entire time. In the end we were really glad we chose the shuttle instead of flying (also saved a ton of cash since the bus was $25 vs. $600 plane flight).
Once in Santiago, we booked an Airbnb apartment in the center of the business district for about $35 a night. We spent the next couple of days walking around the city and seeing a few of the sites (Catedral Metropolitana de Santiago, hiking up San Cristobal Hill which as great views of the city, the fish market/Mercado Central, etc). One really unique thing we witnessed while at Catedral Metropolitana was the public viewing for a past president of Chile who died at the age of 98. We stumbled upon it as we were there for pictures and saw a line literally a mile long of people waiting to pay their respects.
While there wasn’t as much “epic” stuff to do in Santiago, we really enjoyed the few days to catch up on laundry, trip planning and sleep. We’ve started to realize we can’t be on the “go” all the time and need breaks now and then to reset ourselves. We also got the chance to take a break from traditional cuisine and had some delicious Indian curry, Peruvian ceviche and sushi.