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Day 23 - Preparing for Chile - March 21, 2013

This day was an off day for events and activities.  We needed to get our laundry done, update the blog, check emails, get bus tickets for Santiago de Chile, and also figure out where to stay from Friday night onwards.  The breakfast at Casa Lila was sumptuous, with lots of options.  Our hostess Mariela is impressive with her attention to detail.  Everything clearly labeled in English, everything spotlessly clean, every amenity covered from umbrellas to a loaner iPad.  Very cool place.  Room is large and comfortable, and the bath is larger than average too.  So we relaxed and worked on the computer throughout the morning, sending out a couple of inquiries via AirBnB to see about places to stay in Vina del Mar on the coast of Chile.  At 11 we took the laundry to the nearest place, and they flatly refused to do it in the same day.  Begrudgingly they directed us to another place.  They were not happy about same day either, but said we could come get it after 7PM.  No problem.  We stopped by the Andesmar bus place, and confirmed price and availability.  I did not have the cash on me, so we had to come back later to buy the tickets.  Back to the B&B for more research on places to stay in Chile, including alternate plans for overnight in Santiago - just in case.  About 2:30PM we were both starving, and we found a really nice place to get salad and a pizza.  And a good Malbec.  With a couple of waters and tip, total was about ARS $240, or US$30.  Not bad at all.  Both gorged, we returned for siesta.   

Afterwards we went to get the bus tickets, then the laundry.  The SOBs threw out my good laundry bag from the Ainsworth spa in British Columbia.  "No tengo," and a half-assed shrug.  She took the money and turned away. "I want my damn bag."  Loudly, in English.  The other lady there went to the back and found a substitute from the Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel.  The bag was not quite as nice, but adequate, and arguably from a more upscale place.  We took our leave and walked out. 

Back to Casa Lila for a phone call to Mom.  We also were able to verify and book a place in Vina del Mar for 5 nights, beginning tomorrow.  It's a big place, about 7 blocks from the beaches, and right next to a Lider superstore.  One block from the bus station.  Perfect!  

During our outing we also picked up some "Caramelos duros con Propóleo," a sort of large lozenge containing propolis, a product bees make out of tree and plant sap.  It has a lot of reputed health benefits, one of which is to ease coughing, fight viruses, and relieve chest congestion.  All natural, and they seem to work pretty well.

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