|The Perito Moreno glacier from the air (centre)|
|Santiago from our apartment window|
|The Presidential Palace, Santiago. It was in front of this building on 11th September 1973 that 4 tanks appeared and bombed the entrance at the start of General Pinochet's revolution|
|The statue of Postales outside the Palace|
|And the bullet hole in his face|
|This is Gary, one of many stray dogs that live in the park and are cared for by the locals. He joined us on our city tour walk|
|Locals even provide kennels for them|
|Walking through the Plaza de Armas|
|One of the 'coffee with legs' cafes|
|Dancing in the street in Santiago|
|Brian wearing his 'Sooty on tour' T shirt while waiting for the Indian restaurant to open in Santiago|
|The Museum of Fine Arts built in 1910|
|Argentina's gift to Chile for the 1910 festival. They called it 'boys playing', but Chile is being pushed into the water by Argentina, Peru is on top, but only with the support of Bolivia!|
|Sunset from the apartment window in Santiago|
|The quirky Hotel Espanola in Lima|
|The old but charming interior|
|The Presidential Palace Lima. Better than the Santiago one we think!|
|The Plaza de Areas, Lima by night|
|Jackie meets Santa outside the palace|
|The Plaza de Armas, Lima|
|One of the 8th December parades through Lima|
|An Egret paid us a visit in Lima (thanks Helen S for identification)|
A little bit further on we came to the presidential palace which, on 11th September 1973 was where the coup started after 3 years of Salvador Allendes left wing socialist government that left the economy struggling, mainly due to non-compliance by the right wing. At 09:00am the army, led by General Pinochet positioned 4 tanks in front of the building and issued an ultimatum to the president. Sniper fire from the surrounding rooftops was followed by the tanks blowing out the front door. All the staff left the building by the president decided to stay, he made a last radio broadcast in which he said: “Tengo fe en Chile y si destino” (I have faith in Chile and its destiny). He then went into his office and shot himself. At 11:00am the air force came over from the north and bombed the building and later the president’s body was found inside. Thus began the dictatorship of General Pinochet, much liked by the UK’s Margaret Thatcher because of the help he gave her in the Falklands War, that lasted until 11th March 1990. During that time many opponents disappeared, but nothing concrete was ever pinned on him. He died in 2006 after being treated in the UK for cancer in 2003 just as a case was being brought against him. In front of the palace is a statue of a chap called Postales who was a 19th century reformer and widely disliked, eventually he was killed by a shot in his face. During the gunfire on the 11th September 1973 a bullet hit the face of the statue, so you could say he was shot in the face twice.
|A Heron (thanks Helen S for identification)|
What else, the president’s palace is not the president’s home, only his office, the president’s home is his private house, wherever it is so, if you lived next door to someone who subsequently became president, you would have him as your next door neighbour.
|The San Fransisco Church by our hotel|
Walking round the back of the palace we came to a huge flag flapping in the wind. In Chile it is illegal to fly a flag outside your house and you can be fined if you do so. However, 18th September is Independence day in Chile and on that day it is illegal not to fly a flag outside your house and you can be fined if you don’t!
|Here's a close up, not sure I'd fancy climbing that ladder!|
The other interesting thing occurred in 1910, that was the centenary of Chile’s independence so a lavish festival was planned and lots of world leaders invited. The very impressive museum of fine arts building was built and a lot of parks were laid out and everything was ready for the big event. 7 days before it all started the president died so when the world leaders arrived they all had to attend the president’s funeral first. At the funeral the vice president caught the flu and died 4 days later so all the world leaders had to attend a second funeral and after that no-one really felt like celebrating anymore.
|Jackie finds a cat in the park...|
Coffee in Chile never used to be popular and the only sort available was instant coffee. A company however decided to open a chain of coffee shops and to make them more appealing he had the coffee served by scantily clad women wearing very short skirts and revealing tops. So as not to offend passers-by the windows were darkened glass so you couldn’t see what was going on inside. The coffee was still pretty bad by all accounts, but the girls took the customers minds of the bad coffee. With the advent of Starbucks one company went a stage further in trying to compete and for one minute during the day the girls would remove their tops and do a dance routine, but no-one knew when that minute would be, it could be any time during the day. The police decided this was a step too far and shut them down, but the scantily clad girls and darkened windows are still going today and we took a walk past a couple of them on our walk. This is referred to as ‘coffee with legs’ and is only available in business areas in business hours!
|But look who's lap it wanted!|
|I think the one in the middle is to be careful of!|
|A guinea fowl in a park in Lima (thanks Helen S for identification)|
|Saw this statue in a park, but look at its raised hand...|
|This bright red bird was sitting quite happily|
|More shots from the quirky Hotel. This is the rooftop breakfast and further bedroom floor, with peacocks and tortoises|
|This guy really enjoyed a head stroke|