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    South by South America Tour – Chile Part 18

    Saturday, September 7, 2019
    Santiago, Chile

    A young couple performs a traditional Cueca dance at the Plaza de Armas in Santiago, Chile.
    A young couple performs a traditional Cueca dance at the Plaza de Armas in Santiago, Chile.

    Another young couple performs a traditional Cueca dance at the Plaza de Armas in Santiago, Chile.
    Another young couple performs a traditional Cueca dance at the Plaza de Armas in Santiago, Chile.

    Horsey photo ops at the Plaza de Armas in Santiago, Chile.
    Horsey photo ops at the Plaza de Armas in Santiago, Chile.

    The flag of Chile flies over Parque O'Higgins in Santiago, Chile.
    The flag of Chile flies over Parque O’Higgins in Santiago, Chile.

    Dinosaurs galore at the Museo Paleontológico de Chile in Santiago, Chile.
    Dinosaurs galore at the Museo Paleontológico de Chile in Santiago, Chile.

    A pterosaur at the Museo Paleontológico de Chile in Santiago, Chile.
    A pterosaur at the Museo Paleontológico de Chile in Santiago, Chile.

    The Plaza de Armas is one of the main squares in Santiago. It plays host daily to all manner of interesting characters, including artists, dancers, musicians, hawkers of snacks and trinkets and many others. There’s also a seedy side to the plaza as scores of prostitutes hang out there all day long, taking their johns up into the rooms they rent in the same building as the Hostel Plaza de Armas. On the southwest corner of the Plaza de Armas today, I witnessed a really nice display of a traditional and seductive Cueca dance put on by two young couples. They were really talented, but too bad they performed to recorded music instead of live musicians.

    A saber tooth tiger skull at the Museo Paleontológico de Chile in Santiago, Chile.
    A saber tooth tiger skull at the Museo Paleontológico de Chile in Santiago, Chile.

    More dinos at the Museo Paleontológico de Chile in Santiago, Chile.
    More dinos at the Museo Paleontológico de Chile in Santiago, Chile.

    A street market in Santiago, Chile.
    A street market in Santiago, Chile.

    A plate of veggie pasta at the Central Market in Santiago, Chile.
    A plate of veggie pasta at the Central Market in Santiago, Chile.

    A homemade cake vendor near the Plaza de Armas in Santiago, Chile.
    A homemade cake vendor near the Plaza de Armas in Santiago, Chile.

    Next, I took the subway south a few stops to check out a skatepark at Parque O’Higgins. After I snapped a few photos there, I chanced upon a small paleontology museum called the Museo Paleontológico de Chile in Santiago, Chile. Housed inside one tiny room, it looked more like an amateur collection of fossils, casts, models and other stuff. It was pretty funny and fun to look at, though, and especially rad when a nice older gent showed up to give me a “tour.” We ended up chatting for a good half hour or so. He said he’s taking an online course in paleontology and asked if I worked in the field. I told him no, but that I had read a lot of dinosaur books throughout my life, starting when I was little. I ended up the day by taking the subway over to the San Borja bus station to buy a ticket for a long distance bus to San Pedro de Atacama in northern Chile.

    Words and photos ©2019 Arcane Candy.

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