At the traffic lights, rather than the usual windscreen bandits, jugglers, ventriloquists and acrobats perform between the lines of cars then hold out their hands for tips as red turns to green. Looking for a car park? Some entrepreneur in a faded hi viz vest, possibly liberated from a work site, will guide you into a parking spot then stand over you until you produce monetary evidence of you eternal gratitude for his assistance.
Our first two days here in Santiago are an unseasonably warm 25 degrees Celsius, right in the middle of winter. We are not complaining. Our friend (of a friend) Ricardo meets us at the aeropuerto (note how fluent I am in the old espanol) and takes us to our hotel, a little boutique place in what he has recommended as a safe area.
Day three and we are cast, glorying in not eating dinner. I have never looked forward to not eating as much as right now. We've barely taken a break since we touched down and last night our dinner booking was at 10:30. I glance at my watch as our main courses are set down and it is just midnight. Seriously, when do these people sleep?
Mind you, our lunch the same day comprises a Chilean specialty - a small herd of bison and farm animals barbecued and served on a hot plate.
But that doesn't stop us from having drinks and lunch. The Hunter-gatherer exhibits addiction to Pisco Sours from the moment we are offered one on the plane. So do I it must be said. If you like a Margarita you will love a Pisco Sour. When you order one you have to state which brand or strength, like single malt whiskey. What is Pisco? Wikipedia tells me it is a distilled grape, so perhaps we need to replant our vineyard at home! Just an idle thought.