Sunday, 25 April 2010

Settling into the Las Condes area

I don't feel jetlagged but my body isn't quite on Santiago time yet - hence a new post at 5am! I spent yesterday in Santiago. In the morning I managed to connect with my husband and children in a video call via Skype - which was lovely. Then I went to the Laundrette around the corner with a small load of washing; took clothes I wore on the flight over as a 'test' run of the laundry prior to using it for my work clothes next weekend. The lady spoke no English and I speak very little Spanish - but we got there in the end! I can collect my things after the WFOT Council meeting on Monday evening and at $3000 pesos it is much cheaper than the laundry service at the hotel.

I also found somewhere that would exchange my sterling travellers cheques on a Saturday. That took more broken Spanish and some negotiation too!

I asked the reception staff at Time Suites where to buy stamps and was able to pay there and they take the post-cards to post for guests - now that's service!

The local suerpmarcado is less than 10 minutes away and quite big. It was my second visit so now I know I have to take my bread rolls to be weighed and priced and where to go to do that before I go to the check out. The first time I hadn't weighed my rolls or fruit, but the staff were very kind. They closed the till (becuase half my shopping was already scanned) and sent the lady who was packing my shopping bag to ecsort me around the store and show me who to go to for getting things weighed and priced. I also bought some washing powder and washing up liquid. I have a very good daily maid service in the apartment I'm staying in and the left dishes were washed up when I returned from my tour yesterday, but it doesn't feel quite right leaving my washing up for a stranger (odd really as I have no compunction leaving it for my husband or mother-in-law to do at home!!!).

I sat out on the balcony of the apartment for the first time yesterday for my lunch - it is quite a quiet street with lots of trees so felt peaceful. The best bit is that from the balcony I can see the Andes mountains in the distance.

So by lunchtime yesterday I felt settled in the area and orientated to the main parts of Las Condes I need for my stay: I can buy food, get cash, launder clothes, and have seen the farmacia and the British Embassy (I have registered with the FCO on-line Locate service for this trip so they know where I am in an emergency).

With the local area 'under my belt', I decided it was time to venture further afield into downtown Santiago - and of that - more later...

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