Chile was fantastic. I really felt that I’d had a vacation. Generally I go home to Australia and although I love it and really look forward to it, I spend my holiday rushing about fitting visits to all my family & friends into a short time and when I come back to work I don’t have a lot of stories about new experiences.
I took over 1,000 photos! When I saw the number it made me wonder if I’d just walked around absorbing everything through my viewfinder! But no, I really did soak everything in and loved every minute of the experience.
I landed back in DC after midnight on Wednesday and by the time I got home and to bed it was after 2am; I spent most of Wednesday-day on the couch! I bounced into work yesterday and have barely shut up about Chile since. I now have to do at least 2 more trips – one to explore the north and another to explore the south and I’d readily retrace where I’ve just been. I have been saying to people – “it’s only 11 hours of flying”. Doesn’t seem like anything when you compare it to flying DC to Australia.
If you are very lucky you will get a postcard but, if you don’t, it’s not because I wasn’t going to send you one (though it might be that I don’t have your address). I’d intended to do two rounds of cards but after my first trip to the post office those 2nd round cards were never purchased. The hotel concierge directed me to what seems to be the only post office in downtown Santiago.
Inside I discovered rows of people sitting in plastic chairs as one finds when visiting the DMV here or RMS (Roads & Maritime Services) in Australia. It was obvious that you had to take a number (Business or General) and sit.
The counter display showed there were 42 people ahead of me! . … Surprisingly, the wait was only 20 minutes and during that time I noticed that no-one was actually leaving the counter *with* their mail. Looking around I could see no obvious mail boxes or slots in which to put your stamped mail (and I never saw a post box on the streets).
At my turn I handed over my postcards and uttered some mangled half-Spanish. The clerk then did a lot of writing before telling me a total which I didn’t understand but which my 10,000 Chilean pesos more than covered. The receipt came back with each postcard itemized and I was thus dismissed. Hopefully someone out the back is in charge of licking the stamps and that the cards are eventually delivered….
The Edificio del Correo Central (Central Post Office Building) was designated a National Monument of Chile in 1976. Construction began on the building in 1881, designed by Ricardo Brown it is on the Plaza de Armas on a site that held the Presidential Palace until 1846. It is a lovely building:
I’m looking forward to spending the weekend playing with my photos and labeling them before I forget what they are. I might have to straighten up any taken after our daily ritual of Pisco Sour sampling….