“Can you touch it?”
“NO! You touch it!”
“I can’t, I’m taking the picture Mark, please…?”
“Uh … no. Gimme the camera. I take the picture.”
“Mark, I’d rather you touch the cactus than take a picture with my Nikon.”
Quick look around. Nope, no English speaker around. Hopefully no one understood what I said and witnessed this great parenting moment of mine.
“It did NOT hurt!”
“Of course, he doesn’t. I wouldn’t hurt you! I think it would only hurt if … like, if you sat on it.”
“That’d be silly.”
“Yep. Okay, let’s go down. Hold my hand, it’s slippery.”
“Mommy … can you tell me a story?”
“How about after we go down the hill?”
“Okay, I’ll tell you a story then. It’s the story of the lion and the … the … cac…”
“YES! So, the lion sits on the cactus. Ouch! That hurt! That was silly!”
“What does the lion’s mommy say?”
“… Don’t sit on the cactus! This is not a toy, it’s a cactus!”
And this is how we climbed the Cerro Santa Lucía, a small hill just a couple of blocks from where we are staying. Stairs are slippery and it’s taller than it seems but the view on downtown Santiago is nice.
For a better view and a fun experience, we headed to Cerro San Cristóbal, home of the Parque Metropolitano. The cable car is back to service after a long seven-year hiatus, so we were finally able to ride it to the peak of the hill, where a 22-meter statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary stands. Mark absolutely loved the two-kilometre ride from estación Oasis to estación Cumbre and back and Feng likes the fact that for once, we didn’t have to walk downhill under the sun.