21 September 2014

Chile - Day Five - Cerro San Lucia

After the long day in Valparaiso, lovely as it was, I swore off hills. FOR GOOD.

So the very next morning, Molly took me to the pretty park just a block away from our hotel. Cerro San Lucia. Understand that CERRO is the Spanish word for HILL.

My biggest problem at this point was shin splints, so going UP the hill (sore as my feet and muscles might be) wasn't really the issue. But I didn't think of that as we were going up, because, I mean... JUST LOOK...

It was sort of like some type of medieval castle built into the hill. And STAIRS EVERYWHERE. So much UP!

But this too - - - LOVE. <3

It was so odd being right smack in the middle of downtown Santiago, with the large buildings, traffic and noises, but at the same time somehow transported back through time into an oasis of beauty and mystery.

Finally, we reached the summit.

And lo and behold, another stray dog. He was quite the trooper to come ALL the way up here!

For my sweet husband back home...

Looking back up toward the summit, we stopped in an area with statues and fountains, and there was even a snack stand, where we bought some Chilean Cheetos. Somehow they were different from American Cheetos. The bag looked the same but the Cheetos were more yellow than orange and tasted - less salty, perhaps. Just different.

We sat on a bench to rest with our water and Cheetos. As we chatted, we heard a low, guttural meow. Yes, we're cat lovers, but this was weird. And a little scary. Looking up, we saw a cat heading our way, trotting right toward our bench, meowing in that strange way. It jumped right up on the bench and began demanding Cheetos.

So we gave it some. We didn't really like them anyway.

After the Cheetos, Molly poured some water into a small indentation on the bench, and our friendly cat had a drink. And yes, it WAS very friendly. Not just a beggar, but an entertainer, as well.

After a while, we said good-bye to our new feline friend and headed down the long DOWNHILL path to the park entrance.

That view!

And this is where our photos end. After the park, we got pizza and went to the big fish market across the river.

Our last day.

It was bittersweet as we packed up to leave. Molly won't be back home in Maine until Christmastime. But what a privilege it was to see this place and to spend it all with her.

Saying it was unforgettable is an understatement. It changed me. I'm reeling from the things I learned and saw, only a fraction of which is in these photos and pages.

I imagine it will take months to unpack the information and sights swirling around in my head. And the time will be well spent.

Good-bye Molly and Good-bye Chile. I will miss you both.

Copyright © 2014 - Paulla Estes

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