Our second day in Santiago was set aside to get a Chilean RUT (a tax number needed to buy a car) so we organised a local from Couch Surfing to help us, however he didn’t turn up, fortunately for us Claire from Canada with her much better Spanish did! We successfully got our RUT’s and in the process met Julianna also from Canada who was like us getting a RUT to buy her own car. She had been in Santiago a few days and had already found a car she liked so we tagged along to watch the process unfold, in broken Spanish and English between the four of us we made it happen. As her boyfriend wasn’t joining her until later she appreciated Wills help in checking out the engine and Will even drove the car (breaking no less than 5 road rules) for its first trip to the gasolina station. Who knew to fill up would be so hard as at first no petrol came out, then after some investigation we found a lever you have to flip up, all good! Later that afternoon we felt like we hadn’t achieved enough so we went to look at a car we found on the internet, instead we walked about 7km in the wrong direction, turns out Americano Vespuciso is a very large loop road!
Next day we booked a service for the Dodge and finally by 6pm found a place to tint the windows. We went for the darkest tint they had and moments later five guys were taking all the panelling off the doors and disconnecting electronics in our newly purchased truck. We needn't have worried as they made a quality job and all the windows still go up and down! Meanwhile Will had used his powers of persuasion to convince some cheap grease monkey to change the engine oil and filter with the one's we had bought that day. So there we were at 9pm as all the other mechanics were closing for the day having the oil changed, but it did save us a bit of cash on the proper service.
Between all this we made time for an excellent free walking tour of the city, climbed San Cristobal Hill for an amazing panoramic view of Santiago, went out for drinks at the coolest roof-top bar Zully and made friends with Patricio and Véronique. Later in the week with the dodge ready for action they took us up a suspension destroyinly rough gravel road to a remote village in the Andes where we stayed in a local Cabana, drank Pisocolas till midnight and the highlight of the weekend was climbing to a 3000m glacier in the Mountains.
This post has come to you via the free Wifi at the old casino now museum in the sleepy surf town of Pichilemu.
Rochelle & Will