Today is my last day in Chile, before returning to the US. As described in an earlier post, I came to Chile as a last-minute substitute after my Antarctica tour suffered a boat engine failure. Chile has turned out to be great!
I'm staying with a friend's cousin. He runs a shop in Santiago selling Taiwanese gift items. It's a refreshing novelty talking to an entrepeneur who owns a physical shop with tangible goods.
Speaking Mandarin for many days has also been nice.
Daily special in the Santiago fruit market. This only cost two US dollars.
One thing I've found disappointing is the restaurant service in South America. The waitstaff don't bring the bill until you ask. Even after you flag them down, it takes half an hour to complete the process of getting the bill, collecting your money, and bringing change. The average restaurant service here is on par with the worst service I've ever received in the US.
Impressive sand castle on the beach, at Viña del Mar.
This Chilean drink is called terremoto, which means "earthquake". It's a slightly sour alcohol, mixed with pineapple ice cream.
The inside of the main cathedral.
I went on three tours with the Santiago tour company La Bicicleta Verde (more photos later). My tour guide Glenn is one of the co-founders of the company. They started the company with eight bikes at the start of 2008, and have grown to 40 bikes within two years.
I was fascinated with his business tale. I spent a good part of the tour asking him questions about how he handled marketing and bootstrapping.