I realised that being an early riser in Santiago gets you nowhere. Starbucks may be open at 9am, but there’s only so much you can do in the morning. Museums and tourist sights open at 10am at the earliest – representative of the culture and sleeping habits of Chileans. That being said, when I get the chance to sleep in on Saturdays you wouldn’t see me out of bed until at least 10am. Interestingly enough, the streets aren’t empty. There are people in the parks, in the squares and commuting to work.
These days Nathan and I get up before 6am, bum around until about 9/10am and we leave our home for the day’s activities. By about 2 or 3 pm the afternoon sun tires us and we head back to our apartment, only to “nap for an hour or so”… and wake up at midnight.
Luckily for me I can sleep for 12 hours without much difficulty, but Nathan on the other hand… On the first night he slept at 5am, only to be woken by me at 6am, raring to go and tackle the day. (This was the day we spent an hour looking for an open cafe for breakfast, to end up in a Brazilian cafe..)
On day 1 (proper, not the day of our arrival) we hiked up Cerro San Cristóbal. The hike was a lot more strenous than expected… especially since we hiked up a bike path (which was much steeper) than the actual pedestrian path. It was peaceful on the hill with hymns being played in the background and views overlooking the city. Due to the city smog and summer warm air we could barely catch a glimpse of the Andes foothills – the highlight of views over the city.
We hiked up Cerro Santa Lucía yesterday and it was much clearer:
The weather has been amazing – it starts off cool in the morning at about 15 degrees Celcius, and it warms up to about 30 degrees in the sun. Needless to say that contributed greatly to our desire to
nap sleep in the afternoons.
What was quite striking to us was the grind of the people in Santiago – and by that I mean their drive in doing their jobs. They seemed to persevere and persist in selling whatever they had to sell, despite how little profit they would make (cue man in a park yelling “helado!” [ice-creams], or vendors selling random knick-knacks.) When food on your family’s table depends on you, you would do whatever it takes to make that sale. This is not to say that this trait isn’t present in people from other South American countries – we just haven’t seen much of South America just yet.