Sunday, October 20, 2013

Bucket List: #2 Get A Stamp On My Passport

Two years ago or so I made this blog about me getting my first passport: Upgrade Me! And I was so excited. I basically just decided to get a passport. I had no real reason to get one other than if the opportunity arose to go out of the country I wanted to be as ready as I could be. Besides, I feel like all adults should have a passport. But I won't judge you if you don't. 

Anyway a year later Saveur magazine chose me to go to Chile for a week. Again I was beyond excited and invited my PNC Pam to go. Months later she still hadn't gotten her passport because she didn't believe me. In her place I took Bubbles, who was tied as my first choice. I didn't care which one came with me, I just knew one of them would love this opportunity. This was the second item on my bucket list (remember when I said I was gonna make one then use my blog to document these things I am doing? YUP, I didn't forget). Back to the story, Saveur was paying for my airfare and the hotels. That's it though and I didn't realize that until a week before I went on the trip. Like I knew I had to pay for meals but I didn't realize how much traveling I'd do once I go to Chile and I am gonna tell you right now...Chile is NOT cheap. It's a two for one exchange rate, basically $2 in Chilean money is $1 USD. Just to put it in perspective, a $1.50 soda here in America cost me $4 USD in Chile. 

First off my last blog was about being on a plane for all my life...and let me tell you, it wasn't that bad. We flew there and back overnight so most of the time I slept on the plane (or tried to). The worst flight I had was coming back from San Pedro to Santiago (yes we flew in Chile also to San Pedro for a few days). It was so rocky and shaky. And somehow we ended up having seats in the back of the plane each flight we took (a total of 6 airplane rides in 8 days). Anyway I'll just do a quick overview of our time there:

  • Day 1 (Santiago): We arrived in the am. Stayed at Hotel Noi. Stumbled upon a food festival called Echinuco. Had some good food and then slept because we were super tired.
  • Day 2 (Santiago to Casablanca): Had to travel to the vineyard at Matetic vineyards. We took a bus which was interesting and super cheap. Shout out to the Wiki Travel site. No internet or cable working when we got there, and it's in the middle of nowhere so basically we were stuck doing nothing. However, our dinner  (which was included) was amazing. Free bottle of wine too.
  • Day 3 (Casablanca to Valpariso): Go up early. Had breakfast (they do NOT cook eggs all the way in Chile. I don't even mean they are soft but there is no reason scrambled eggs should still be runny).  Tour  and wine tasting then back to Valpariso.  We stayed at Hotel Casa Higueras. This is where I discovered the greatness of Pisco (a delicious brandy which became all I drank while there). More rest.
  • Day 4 (Valpariso): Sight seeing. We attempted to go to La Sebastiana (home of one of Bubble's fav poets) and all of the museums in the city were closed due to water problems on the hill. We did some shopping. Ate some food. Drank more pisco.
  • Day 5 (Back to Santiago to go to the airport): We flew into Calama. No disrespect but it smelled funny here. Plus the air was super thin. It took an hour and a half to get from the airport to San Pedro. We rested and ate dinner at the place we stayed (Hotel Kunza which was amazing).
  • Day 6 (San Pedro): We went on a tour at Valle De La Luna. AMAZING. Tiring because we had to walk up and up and the air got thinner and thinner. I was struggling. Granted I'm not in the best shape but simple things like walking two blocks made us tired. We also went to the city and purchased some items. Had some food. Went to a church and prayed. 
  • Day 7 (San Pedro,fly back to Santiago): I had a spa day. A dead sea body scrub. I had to get butt ass naked in front of a lady who looked like my crazy ass roommate. But it was nice. We went back to Santiago and by this time we were ready to go back to America. 
  • Day 8 (Home): We stayed in Santiago overnight then woke up early to eat, shop (Cuban cigars...oh my. 3 bottles of pisco to take home: YES PLEASE). And then we went to the airport and came home.
That's basically it in a nut shell. I had an amazing time. It was beautiful. I did get homesick because 8 days is a lot but I'm glad I went. I wasn't a big fan of the food there, so I resorted to drinking a lot and eating random things: soup, fries, just basics. The food there was expensive even in cheap places. Like a basic burger and fries ended up being $14 US and you don't realize it because it's $7000 pesos and its like oh that's not a lot. YES IT IS. It was nice coming home. I came and slept! LOL. I was so done that I took a cab  home from the airport. I swear I spent no less than $400 on transportation so let this be a lesson to everyone: When planning travel, always check out transportation options and costs. This was my first time out of the country and so while I did my due diligence, you can't always account for reality. 

See more pics on my instagram: Steph_Bmore
Follow me on twitter: @StephBMore
Are you going anywhere amazing? Let me know.
Also...I'm working on some other things on my list. One I'm hoping to finish in November. I'm so focused. P.s I'm sorry I didn't add a lot of pics but if you follow me you have already seen a lot. I just don't want to make this blog way longer than necessary. LOL. But trust there will be many more added on my instagram later!

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