Greetings! About two weeks ago, I published my well-received post titled Give it a whirl. Today I'm joining my blogger friend Leslie who just started her Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone series to share one of my recent new whirls.
Earlier this month, I travelled solo to Chile. I have done solo travel many times and have been to South America before. However, it was my first time visiting Chile where Spanish is the official language. Santiago, the capital of Chile, has seven million people, about 3.5 times more populated than my home city. So it's kind of daunting to think about how I'm going to navigate in and around the city without getting lost.
arrival at Santiago's Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International
Airport, I decided to get into the city centre in a frugal and
adventurous way, i.e. Riding Santiago's airport bus and metro (subway). Most tourists would use a shared van service or a taxi which, for the convenience, of course, costs several times more but does not save the passengers any time since Santiago traffic is heavy everywhere.
I had read about Santiago's airport buses and metro system before leaving home. I have also used various public transit systems at home and abroad before. Still, when there was no English-speaking staff available, it was out of my comfort zone to converse with them using my basic Spanish. I managed to buy a Centropuerto bus ticket to ride from the
airport to Los Heroes terminal, then got off the bus, went underground,
bought a Bip card to ride the metro (subway) to Baquedano station, and
walked a few blocks from the metro station to my hostel. It took me about
an hour door to door. The airport bus ticket was 1800 CLP, the Bip card
was 1500 CLP, and the metro ride cost 750 CLP. Total 4,050 CLP or about
The Centropuerto bus stop is outside the
airport terminal at exit #5. Tickets can be bought from the bus driver.
There is a small luggage area behind the driver, or staff will stow
luggage in the bus belly. There is a second bus company named TurBus
that runs similar route and charges the same for the ticket. The Bip
card is mandatory since the beginning of March 2018. It's named after
the sound it makes when scanned at the turnstile. Card holder can load
the card with the ticket costs as needed, for one rider or more on the
I made it to my accommodation safe and sound! I was pleased with myself for being able to use another foreign transit system without getting
How useful was my new experience? The next day, I helped an American couple from San Francisco to buy a Bip card and tickets. I also loaded my Bip card and hopped on and off Santiago's metro like a pro :)
What to do with the money saved? Well, how about treat myself to a nice glass of Chilean wine, maybe two, and enjoy the view of San Cristobal Hill from the roof top patio of my hostel? Bring on another new adventure!
Your turn... What's your most recent new whirl? Please share.