Day 17 – Winding down in Santiago

Friday, January 17th

Distance – 0km

This is it. The trip is almost over. All we have left to do is hang out and get our flights home. The lads are leaving around 5:30pm this evening. I’m hanging out until 6am tomorrow.

For those of us who have not yet bought gifts, panic buying at the mall is the order of business. Martyn has come down with George to cram us all into the back of a Hyundai Santa Fe.

Clowns lined up to get into the mini

Off to the mall we went and once inside, we could have been in any western country in the world – Food court – check, Armani Exchange – check, FroYo – check. MacBean’s kids made out like bandits. Some lucky ladies in Manchester got special treats – Chilean hot sauce. I got a bottle of aged Pisco to fill the spot left by the missing bourbon bottle.

Peruvian lunch spot

Like England, the best cusine is not local. In the case of Chile, Peruvian food is the businss. We stopped by a great place with outdoor seating. The pisco sours came in goblets better suited as goldfish bowls. Putting two down left me with quite a buzz.

Ceviche and pisco sours

After lunch, we dropped the Bolly boys at the hotel to get their cab to the airport. I went off with Martyn and George – picking up beer on the way – to their house to hang out for the afternoon. We spent it drinking beer as Martyn prepped his bike to go off and watch the last special stage in the Dakar.

The Howorth’s place in Santiago

Behind the house is a beautiful little stream that I bet is a raging torrent when the snows are melting in the spring.

The Howorth’s stream

That evening, the Howorth’s took me to dinner at a steakhouse in Santiago. We started with cocktails and I had to have a caipirinha. The food, wine and company were all fantastic. I had grilled short ribs, quiet unusual. I also introduced them to a new name for the bollocks they ordered – Rocky Mountain Oysters. George’s girlfriend Luna came along.

Luna, Kate, Martn, and George

The next morning as I dragged myself out of bed at 3am to get the taxi to the airport, it came to me that I’m really not very bright. Drinking all day and staying up late in preparation for 24 hours of travel is not very smart.

Sad to leave but ready to get home.