Friday, 10 May 2013

Smog-watching on the Cerro San Crístobal, Santiago de Chile

If you ever look up 'Things to do in Santiago de Chile', chances are you'll find the tip 'Go to the top of Cerro San Crístobal' pretty near the top of the list. Having just returned from there, I'm not at all sure why. The level of pollution in Santiago is no secret and the fact is all you can really do once you've taken the cable car (or walked or cycled, yeah, right…) to just below the summit is get a cup of Nescafé and admire what you imagine must be a great view, save for the fact you can see nothing except the buildings nearest to the bottom of the hill.
Here's an artist's impression of what the Santiago Tourist Board would like you to be able to see:

…and here's what you really will see:

Take a deep breath, now…

Still, you can always take pictures of the statue of the Virgin Mary, Santiago's very own Corcovado:

…or try to see the Andes from another vantage point:

No, fine, give up. It's OK. Take the cable car back down and walk back through Bellavista:

Much more entertaining than standing gazing at the muck we breathe every day in this city.

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