Sunday 30 August 2020

Santiagio Chile-Had Lost Its Charm



This was the sixth visit to Santiago over the years and it had definitetly lost its charm, which is a pity because it is an interesting place with nice people. On this occasion we were there mid to late November 2019, a few weeks after the riots that commenced  on th 19th October when a curfew was introduced. Riots continued and groups vandalised buildings, burnt train stations and generally destroyed infrastucture in their demands for President Pinera's resignation.Over a millio people took the streest non October 25 and into February 2020, there were some 36 dead. We arrived en-route fro New Zealand on our way to Brazil so we entered South American in Santiago and two or so weeks later exited for Sydney. The whole area down-town was boarded up and unattractive , although we saw few actual demonstrations. We did see some in Valparaiso.

We stayed at:  Four Points by Sheraton  on Santa Magdalene and the hotel was pleasant, the staff good and the surroundings safe and quite. This area has some reasonably good restaurants.The Four Point was Very Good.



The tour desk at the Four Points did not give us a good impression.The person mamaning the desk was fine (it was not a Marriott operation and clearly a contract arrangement). We took a fairly expensive tour of Valparaiso expecting all would b OK with a driver and a guide.It was the worst tour ever and we saw very little of Valparaiso (yes there were sone disturbances but that was not the issue). We saw the port and one of two other locations butmost of the time as spent in the more moder and less interesting area of Vian del  Mar. We were taken to a reasonable restaurant (know obviuosly to the driver and guide) where we spent and hour and half while they had lunch (obviously free). The guides English was poor and he had little interest in showing us Valparaiso.It can be a little rough but no effort was made and the whole day wasted.Avoid if you can as there has to be much better.

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