We had an evening flight out of Santiago which gave us the whole day to explore the city. Our first stop was the sculpture park located just across the river from our hotel. I really enjoyed seeing the pieces from both Chilean artists and international sculptors.
We continued up Pedro de Valdevia Norte through a quaint residential area to the base of San Cristobal hill. As we passed the visitors center we grabbed a map and started our climb to the top. Within minutes, we were joined by a dog we affectionately named ‘Pedro’.
Pedro stayed with us during the entire 40+ minute hike to the top. When we stopped to catch our breath and take a drink of water, he found a shady spot and rested. When I had to figure out a less muddy route, he would wait for me to catch up before continuing on. He even hid behind Eric for protection when we encountered two larger stray dogs near the summit. It pains me to admit this but Pedro was a much easier dog to hike with than our own! There are a lot of stray dogs in Santiago but all seemed pretty relaxed and non-aggressive.
The hike up was reasonably strenuous and we were thankful for shady spots and the breeze as we rose higher up the hillside.
Coincidentally, at the top of San Cristobal, we ran into a Swiss couple we had met a few days earlier at Tierra Atacama. It’s a small world after all. Having guided us to the top, Pedro decided to escort this couple back down the hill and we proceeded along the ridge to the Sanctuario de la Inmaculada Concepcion.
The views from the top were well worth the hike to get there. We took in all the prayers left for the Virgin and panoramic views of the city below.
The hike back down would have taken the rest of the day, so we opted to pay the $2 fare to ride down in the funicular. Some would argue that we did this backwards, but from our starting point, hiking up made the most sense… plus, we wouldn’t have met our friend, Pedro.
very, very steep
At this point we were in the University district along Pio Nono street, so I consulted our wiki and found a bar I had noted was only a few blocks away. We were on the hunt for a Rothhammer brew as the guide from the day before mentioned his friends owned the brewery and that is was very good. Cuidad Vieja had a few listed on the menu but after ordering empanadas, we realized in very broken Spanish/English that they were out of many of the listed beer choices. Thankfully, we settled on two other cervezas artesanales that were quite tasty. However, while we were eating Eric noticed that the bar across the street had a sign advertising Rothhammer on draft as the daily special, so after we finished eating we walked across the street. The beer was quite nice and we’re glad we had the chance to try it.
We really enjoyed our last day in Santiago and can’t wait to come back again to do more exploring and taste-test more Chilean beers.