10 Days in Chile | 1 Week in Santiago: Day 6

Friday was a slightly more successful day compared to Thursday because the artisan's market was actually open and I did get to walk around, which was great. However, it was still rather drizzly and not the nicest weather which was pretty annoying.
Honestly though, it all worked out in the end because Saturday and Sunday ended up being gorgeous so I got to end my trip with sunshine and because it was the weekend, my friends didn't have to work and they got to enjoy that with me.
Since I hadn't been able to buy my little ceramic pigs the day before, I went back to Pueblitos in the morning and it was open, hooray! This artisan's village was formerly a monastery so it's got some great vibes and aesthetics and is worth visiting even if you're not in the market to buy anything.
The weather was pretty fickle that day; if you looked in one direction, it looked horrendous and in the opposite direction, it looked gorgeous.
Unfortunately for me, the two stores I really wanted to visit (the Pomaire ceramics shop and a local honey shop) were both closed for whatever reason. So, I just wandered around aimlessly, enjoying the other vendors, until I'd seen the entire village.
There were so many cute kitties everywhere. I'd seen street dogs all week but hadn't run into any cats so it was a nice surprise. I assume they live there and are well taken care of because they had food and water and seemed clean and happy.
This little cat was basically my soulmate. I mean, she looks just like me. I make that same face constantly.
Since this was basically my last chance to have a Chilean empanada in Santiago, I decided I had to hit up Zunino, which is known for its delicious empanadas.
You have to queue up and pay for whatever you want. You're given a ticket and you hand it over at the counter and then the staff provide you with your goods. I noticed that most people got an empanada and a coke and stood at the counters to eat so I followed suit. The lines can be a bit long but they move fast.
I got the pino, which is meat, onions, cheese, egg, and an olive. The olive is a weird touch, especially because it's not pitted so be careful when you're biting into the empanada. It was hot and fresh and delicious and there wasn't too much excess dough (it was the perfect ratio) so I can understand the hype around this place.
Since I'd been unsuccessful at Pueblitos, I headed back to the Santa Lucia market to pick up some piggies.
I got a bunch of the tiniest ones to give away as souvenirs.
The singular empanada, though delicious, was not quite enough lunch for me so I ended up going to a Peruvian ceviche spot in Las Condes.
I was given a little bowl of chips made of various types of potato, Peruvian corn, and dipping sauces. My waiter didn't know any English, but he spoke Spanish clearly so I could understand him and we had no issues communicating.
For my drink, I got a limonada con mente y jengibre (lemonade with mint and ginger) which was bright and refreshing and awesome. This is another drink I'm going to recreate at home.
I opted for the Nikkei ceviche which featured salmon, avocado, shredded radish, pickled onions, all swimming in loads of ginger and lime.
And then because I couldn't resist, I ordered dessert. I got the picarones, which are a puffed donut made with squash (similar to pumpkin) and potato. It was chewy and delicious. I couldn't finish it so I asked for a box to go ("una caja para llevar, por favor") and I shared with L and N when I got home.
While perusing my map, I noticed that this park was just a block over from the restaurant so I decided to have a little walk to help me digest and also because the skies had finally cleared and it was the first clear afternoon in days.
I didn't get to see any flamingos in Atacama but I saw plenty here. It made me a little bit sad that they'd been taken out of their natural habitat but I also figured they were being well cared for here.
While I was walking around, some guy came up to me and showed me how to feed the birds. He didn't speak a lick of English but he rattled off loads of Spanish, demonstrated, and then grabbed my hand to show me what to do. I thought he was being sweet but when I told L, her comment was that he was probably just trying to get with me, haha. She has no faith in guys but hey, she would know this culture better than I would. I actually do have footage of the birds landing on my hand, which I plan on including in my video diary (which will be included in Thursday's post).
The park was huge and beautiful and I think if I lived in Santiago, I would spend a lot of time here.
Another awesome free park in Santiago that I stumbled across was the Sculpture Park.
It's got a bunch of random, interesting sculptures and it was a nice place to just hang out.
This grass sculpture was my favorite.
For dinner, the three of us went out to Barrio Italia, which is supposedly like the Brooklyn of Santiago (so I guess the cool, hipstery neighborhood?) and had tapas.
We got the octopus empanadas, iberico ham (my choice and my favorite), the ceviche of the day, fries, and baby back ribs. It was a fantastic and delicious meal. We didn't finish the potatoes and wanted to take them to go but the server told us that their policy is to not allow patrons to take foods home for fear that they will eat the leftovers three days later, get sick, and then blame the restaurant. We thought that was so lame.
For dessert, we got the chocolate mousse which was served with little dots of delicious maracuja coulis. It was superb.
We contemplated going out dancing or something but because I'm an old fogey and knowing we had plans the next day, we decided to stay in and relax instead.