Written by quinius on 27 Jul, 2005
When telling people about my adventures in Chile, they are always asking about the transportation, so I thought it would be helpful to tell a little about the insanity of transportation. It is probably not like most transportation you experience where you live. Most of…Read More
When telling people about my adventures in Chile, they are always asking about the transportation, so I thought it would be helpful to tell a little about the insanity of transportation. It is probably not like most transportation you experience where you live. Most of the time, you will be able to walk wherever you need to go, but in the case that you do need transportation, there are three basic kinds: 1) taxi, 2) collectivo, and 3) micro.
Taxis are the same in Chile as they are wherever you are from. They are the most expensive (which still isn't very much) but are nice if you want privacy or need to get somewhere really fast. Collectivos are mini-taxis that will collect up to about four people and travel to and from a general area. They are less expensive than taxis but still get you where you want to go in a hasty manner. The cheapest and most interesting way would be the micros. They are mini-buses that drive insanely fast and make for quite the adrenaline rush if you are in need of one. I realized their hastiness of getting from point A to point B when one day the driver pulled the emergency brake going around a curve so he could keep maximum speed around the tight turn...and oh was that necessary. Needless to say, the micros are a fine choice of transportation and I encourage you to use this option.
The micros are what I used to get around and they cost around 20 cents (U.S.) a trip. The micros are generally slower, although it doesn't feel that way because of the way they drive, but they can get crowded and they make more stops. I would suggest riding the micros because it will give you a better experience of the Chilean culture. However, I should warn you that the micro system might be a little confusing if you don't know where you are going or which micro to take, but all you need to do is ask someone, and they will be happy to help.
It was a regular Thursday night. We just loaded the bus, off to our next adventure, when my buddy Charles offers me a gift wrapped in brown plastic. As I opened it, it seemed to have the same magificent aurora produced by the…Read More
It was a regular Thursday night. We just loaded the bus, off to our next adventure, when my buddy Charles offers me a gift wrapped in brown plastic. As I opened it, it seemed to have the same magificent aurora produced by the golden ring as Smeagol tried it on for the first time. No, this gift may not be powerful enough to write a trilogy but it was a moment of discovery I will never forget. I enjoy writing about the things you won't read about in any guidebook, which is why I'm writing to you about a topic that you simply must know about before going to Chile. The topic is manjar. You probably have no idea what it is, but once you try it you will never forget. Manjar is a caramel-type paste that they put on desserts in Chile. Now, when I say it is like caramel, I'm just saying that because that is the closest thing I could compare it to. In reality, the mouthwatering sensation and craving you will get for any manjar desert is unlike anything else--at least, that's how it was for me and all my friends. Any bakery you go to will have all types of assorted treats that have manjar in them. In Vina you can find most of the bakeries all up and down Called Valparaiso. If you are in Valparaiso then there are some bakeries located along Av. Argentina and around Plaza O'Higgins. You will be amazed at the prices in the bakeries. Most of the treats only cost around 25 cents each, and they all kinds of variety (try anything with manjar). Manjar is excellent with apples and bananas, but the absolute best is what they call an alfajor. An alfajor, besides having just about the coolest name ever, could possibly be the best sweetness that ever hit my mouth. I'm telling you, if you have a sweet tooth, you might want to think twice before you try one of these, because you seriously will get addicted to them. An alfajor is basically like a cookie sandwich with manjar in the middle and coated with chocolate. You can get alfajores at any bakery in Chile, but if you are in Vina del Mar then I would suggest going to the special bakery on the first floor in the mall to pick up some of their alfajores. The bakery is located on the first floor at the end of the bus stops. They aren't expensive at all. They sell them individually and in bulk. They cost around 75 cents individually and about $7-8 for a box of twelve. They also have different assortments of alfajores with various chocolate and fruity coatings. I suggest getting the plain jane chocolate coating. You might think I'm crazy for going into such detail for a such a simple little item, but just believe me for now, and once you have tried them, you will know why. Close