Page 7 of Campingmat Travel Blog Posts

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago December 2nd 2011

As far as today, all I can say is what a day! I will try to give you a recap of today's activities, but it has been a long day and we just came in from having wine on the balcony and having a lot of laughs. A lot of fun! Ah, and there was a big party at the Golf Club across the street. Lots of fancy people going in. In comparison, the residence of the American Ambassador, also across the street, was quiet as a mouse. Today we still had time to sqeeze in a little more sightseeing, paired with an opportunity to do some damage shopping. We took the Metro (subway) to Pueblito de los Dominicos. Taking the Metro was quite a fun adventure. It was the first time for Patricia also, and ... read more

South America » Chile December 1st 2011

After lunch, by the way lunch here is traditionally around 1:30 PM, we continued on to the Concha y Toro vineyard which was further out of the City. This experience was totally different. Here we were not shown quite in such detail the steps of the production, but we did tour the cellars which were gigantic compared to the doll sized Vina Aquitania. Although the tour was very thorough and informative, the schedule and pace was pre arranged and fairly impersonal. But I am not sorry I went because it is quite an impressive enterprise. The grounds there are also beautiful, in a fairly majestic way, and here too a lot of care goes into the quality of their grapes. They have an area where they cultivate a patch of every type of grape, for quality ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region December 1st 2011

What a fun day! I must say, today's route to Valle del Maipo left no doubt that I was in Latin America. On the skirts of Santiago, the foliage, architecture, and view in general left no doubt. We drove through an area that reminded of my own home town in Cuba. It was quite warm also. Our first stop was Vina Aquitania. What a delight! It is named after the Bordeaux region of France because three of the four partners are French wine producers. It is what is called a boutique vineyard due to its small size and the exquisite quality of their wines. Just driving in I knew we were in for a wonderful experience. The driveway leading to the small but perfectly manicured grounds with a beautiful patio of flowers and benches and trees ... read more

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Viña del Mar November 30th 2011

From Valparaiso we went to Vina del Mar. These two cities are almost next to each other, but where Valparaiso is a busy port, Vina del Mar is a beach resort. Absolutely beautiful beaches, but rough surf and, from what I understand, the water is ALWAYS cold. The temperature also was cooler there than here in Santiago. We had lunch across from the beach at a seafood restaurant called Los Pomairinos, not fancy and very lively with typical music playing. I had a fish topped with sauteed shrimp and the shrimp were very small, although tasty. Lots of salmon dishes. Of course I had my usual pisco sour. The best I've had so far. We also stopped at a museum that featured artifacts from the area indians, the Mapuche. They were ferocious to the point that ... read more

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Valparaíso November 30th 2011

Today I went through a mountain! I also went under a river, and this tunnel is several miles long under the city. The other one took us under one of the mountains to get from Santiago to Valparaiso. I understand not having to climb through the mountains has shortened the trip considerably. It was very impressive. I LOVED Valparaiso. It is an impossible city created up and down the hills that surround the bay. Colorful, a little shabby in areas, and with incredible views, the houses are built on streets so steep that some feel almost vertical, and a lot of them so narrow that two cars don't fit at the same time. If you get to the beginning of one street and another car is coming the other way already, you stop and wait until ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago November 29th 2011

Another wonderful sunset last night. It doesn't get dark until after 9:00 PM, even later in the South, so the days are long. They have a very charming habit here of kissing everyone. I was rather startled my first day when I was introduced to co-workers of Patricia's husband and I was immediately kissed hello and goodby by these perfect stranger gentlemen. I am now getting used that it is expected and I am even getting used to kissing back instead of just going through the motion of letting my face skim their face. So far, today, I went to a really fun City Tour. It was just Patricia and I with the driver and a guide, a young woman who was very nervous at first and then just decided to have fun with us. I ... read more

South America » Chile » Los Lagos November 28th 2011

This afternoon we got back to Santiago from the South, Sector 10, the Lake District. We flew into the capital, Puerto Montt, and then continued to Puerto Varas which made me smile just driving into it because it reminded me of an Alpine village. On the shores of Lake Llanguihue, this area was settled by Germans and Austrians, and their influence is everywhere. We were picked up by Patricia's cousin, Isabel, and taken to the charming bed and breakfast owned by her in-laws, who are straight descendents of the colonizing Germans so the place was very much inspired by German architecture. I have to mention that I ate more during our trip than I thought I could ever eat. Our German inspired breakfasts consisted and different kinds of home made breads, tea, coffee, juice or all ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region November 24th 2011

The flights getting here were long, but walking into my bedroom took my breath away. On the 24th floor, one wall is glass with an awesome balcony overlooking the City, and the other wall has a large glass window with a mock balcony overlooking more of the City and the mountains. Just awesome! Patricia lives in the Las Conde area, a couple of blocks from the main Avenue, nicknamed "Sanhattan" because of being such a Cosmopolitan area resembling Manhattan. We did some walking around and ended up having lunch at a wonderful restaurant which is also a gourmet shop, La Coquinaria. One pisco sour and I was VERY mellow! On the way back we stopped at El Mundo del Vino and bought a bottle of a Chilean cabernet sauvignon that the seller made sound absolutely delightful. ... read more

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