Pueblito de los Dominicos

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December 2nd 2011
Published: September 18th 2014
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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 I was quite impressed by how clean the trains were. They are subterranean here also, and we were both quite relieved to see an escalator at the end of our trip. It was quite a hike back to street level. We missed the first train because I took too long to get down the stairs, but there was another one just a couple of minutes later. Quite efficient and convenient.

The Pueblito is the last Metro stop, and it is a market for some of the best local handmade crafts around. It is also a lovely old village that, from what I understand, used to be a Mission of the Dominican order at the foot of the Cordillera and now it is part of the City. Stepping into it is like stepping back into the past, and all the little adobe shops are filled with wonderful crafts of every kind. Some of the shops had the artisans who were creating the goods right there on the premises. Textiles, shoes, wood statues, you name it. I very much admired the lady who was carving the wonderful Mapuche Indians statues. Some crafts were modern in design, and some were not. Both Patricia and I went wild at one shop that specialized in Mapuche design jewelry. Replicas of Museum pieces! I must say, I did choose a silver pin to hold my shawls together in the winter as a souvenir.

At a tile shop, I took great delight in taking a picture of a large tile of Valparaiso, and right in the front of it there was a sign that read "Nueva Luisiana Hotel." I would have loved to have been able to put it in my suitcase and take it home. You all know how much I loved Valparaiso.

They also had an area where they sold baby chicks and baby ducks. They were so cute!

We could have probably spent a good portion of the day there, although after a while it just became a sensory overload looking through so many things. I could easily have walked out of there carrying heavy bags after me, if I had been able to buy everything I liked. Actually, I really wanted to buy something with Lapizlazuli, which is found here, but just could not make up my mind because I liked everything! I am very glad I got to go to the Pueblito.

After leaving there wishing a had a lot more money, and a couple more suitcases, we went to lunch (almuerzo). Santa Brasa is a fabulous grilled steak house that Laine has renamed "death by meat." It was aptly named. A good portion of my steak made it home with me, and I can put away a lot of steak! After pigging out, and my customary Pisco Sour, I was ready to continue on with my day with a little relaxation. That is, I was handed over to the masseuse at Patricia and Laine's Spa, which is located at the W Hotel.

Now, last Friday I thought that the massage I got was pure magic. Well, today it was more like experiencing a little bit of heaven on earth. Words cannot do much justice, but I think you'll get the idea when I tell you that after that wonderful hour and a half, I had to be assisted into the sauna because my legs were too wobbly to hold me up. I was practically in a daze! Absolutely fantastic!

I have one more day here, and I can't believe how time has flown! I am really going to be very sorry to be leaving, and will be hoping to be able to come back again.

My only difficulty has been avoiding the persistant attentions of Gordo (THE cat!) who has developed an inexplicable crush and insists on oozing his way into my lap at every opportunity and begging for attention. If I don't pay attention to his talking to me, which he does a lot, he will patiently use his paws to move my hand and position it in a way that he will eventually be able to fit his head under my hand to be petted. I kid you not. Patricia thinks it quite amusing. 😊

Chile, beautiful Chile! I will miss it.

PS: Did I mention yesterday that one of the areas we drove through to get to the vineyards was named Florida?

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