We got a reasonably priced flight from Santiago to Arequipa in Peru and were instructed to arrive at the airport at 5.30 am, three hours before our flight. Rudy from Blend Hostel was very kind and drove us to the airport.
When we arrived, we waited for an hour before the good people at Sky Airlines turned up for work. I’m pretty sure they were the only counter that wasn’t open and it was fairly insulting to watch them slowly get ready to start serving customers. Urgh.
The flight was fine, even if we did stop at Antofagasta to let passengers off and then again in Arica to clear Chile’s customs.

We got a reasonably priced flight from Santiago to Arequipa in Peru and were instructed to arrive at the airport at 5.30 am, three hours before our flight. Rudy from Blend Hostel was very kind and drove us to the airport.

When we arrived, we waited for an hour before the good people at Sky Airlines turned up for work. I’m pretty sure they were the only counter that wasn’t open and it was fairly insulting to watch them slowly get ready to start serving customers. Urgh.

The flight was fine, even if we did stop at Antofagasta to let passengers off and then again in Arica to clear Chile’s customs.

Santiago street art is still frigging amazing.

We finally got to Santiago after three days of driving and were really happy to catch up with Rudy, Marie Isobel and Julietta at Blend Hostel. It was almost like being at home. We were also pretty excited to go into Original Green Roasters and see Chamo and Claudio. The food and coffee were amazing still and so were the hugs.

Over the week in Santiago, we were able to sell our sleeping bags to two nice young guys heading to Torres del Paine but I suspect they’ll get too hot.

We also had the good luck of selling Carlos the Suzuki to a nice vet from the Los Lagos area who drove all the way up to check him out. He didn’t want to barter and didn’t even really ask any questions and I suspect he’d already bought the car in his mind before he got there.

The process of changing it over was a bit of a nightmare and notorias as swiftly becoming my least favourite Chilenos as it seems near impossible to tempt them into doing work. We eventually turned up at the Civil Registration office which was much easier and slightly cheaper (although they do not accept cash, so Jaime had to go into a bank the next day). The day was punctuated by conversations with Jaime about God, the Mayans, atom blasts 10,000 years ago so you can probably guess it was eye opening if nothing else. He did say grace before eating an empanada so I think he’s pretty serious about this business.

He rang us two days later to tell us that Carlos had made it back to Los Lagos without any problems. I hope he loves Carlos as much as we do. Poor bugger put up with us for 35,000kms without too much of a fight. Not bad for less than two grand.

Other sights along the drive from San Pedro de Atacama to Santiago.

Finally all the stars aligned and Frank and I made it back across the border to Chile. Within 24 hours we were back in Santiago and our first port of call was the boys at Original Green Roasters for some hugs and really good coffee.

They were pretty happy to see us and with the new arrival of vegemite on the shelf and Powderfinger on the stereo, it was almost like being home.

Next stop was Rudy at Blend Hostel. He was really happy to see us and it didn’t take long before we were sitting around the map, pointing to all the places we had been to. Lucky for us, he also had a room so we had somewhere nice to stay. Julietta was glad to see us too, even if she had recently eaten the remote to the tv and therefore not allowed inside.

We had a brilliant time in Santiago. We got more car parts for Carlos and even the parts guy remembered us from three months previous and was interested in how our travels went. We also got a chance to visit the Museum of Memory and Human Rights which was well worth the visit - although a bit depressing.

Other highlights of Santiago were meeting Adrienne, an DCer with a positive outlook on everything, being able to buy Costanuss again (chocolate is expensive in Argentina) and having a beery bbq at the hostel.

After a week, we were off again and sad to say goodbye to our friends Rudy, Julietta, Chamuk, Pamela and Claudio.

Barbeque on the top of Chris’ brother’s apartment building. Mmmm meat!

A Santiago park with our little Carlitos - a 1985 Suzuki Forza with ultrabig 1.3 litre.

Colo Colo fans know how to get noticed, Santiago Chile

GAM - door features. Santiago, Chile

The Original Green Roaster team say goodbye. We’ll miss them and the food and coffee.

Ramón Carnicer 77-79, Providencia, 7500000 Santiago, Chile

Mon - Fri:08:00-19:00Sat:08:00-16:00