Blogs from Santiago, Santiago Region, Chile, South America


South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago August 20th 2021

Interesting about Chile, where Mr. Mike and I did some serious wine tasting a few years back. Chile is the only major wine country in the world where no phylloxera exists. A lethal insect, phylloxera devastated most of the world’s vineyards in the 19th century, after which vines were necessarily grafted onto resistant rootstock. But most of the vines in Chile today remain ungrafted. Phylloxera’s curious absence is not fully understood.More zin than cab?? Cabernet Sauvignon plantings superseded Zinfandel way back in 1998. Today there are 94,854 acres of Cabernet; but just 40,061 acres of Zinfandel. Most of the Cabernet is planted in Napa and San Luis Obispo counties. Most of the Zinfandel is planted in San Joaquin and Sonoma counties. (Winespeed) PS, I am not a big fan of most zinfandel.... read more
Some Chilean carmenere
Try some Lodi wines

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 3rd 2021 3rd February- Santiago - Chile We started our virtual tour today in front of the Palacio de La Mineda (Palace of Mint) The seat of the President Chile. It also houses the offices of three cabinet ministers: It occupies an entire block in the area known as Civic District. We heard how Chile’s armed forces stage a coup d’état on 9/11 1973 against the government of President Allende, the first democratically elected Marxist leader in Latin America. Allende retreated with his supporters to La Moneda, this fortress-like presidential palace which was surrounded by tanks and infantry and bombed by air force jets. Allende survived the aerial attack but then apparently shot himself to death as troops stormed the burning palace, reportedly using an automatic rifle given to him as a gift by Cuban dictator Fidel ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago March 15th 2020

It's a beautiful Sunday morning here in Santiago, Chile. Most of our small group arrived on Friday morning, looking forward to a lovely trip through four countries in South America, and for me, another chance to escape some of the winter's colorless cold in Maine. Our group numbers only ten intrepid travellers; eight had already cancelled for fears of the coronavirus or of the unknown. As it turned out, they were the smart ones. I hardly expected this trip to go forward because of all the shutdowns, but after calling Vantage and the airline multiple times (including on the morning I left home), I was repeatedly told that there were no problems in South America. So I travelled most of the day Thursday, and after arriving on Friday morning we met our Vantage leader, Nadia, and ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago November 11th 2019

So how to explain the last few weeks…and you may not be aware, but starting October 18th, Chile saw the beginnings of a massive social movement against the current state of the social system. And I don’t want to be flippant with this situation, as what people here are fighting for, is important, and the situation is complex. Now, not that I was predicting this would happen, but in hindsight I can see how the issues Chile faces with inequality, as well as the current structure of the social system, could lead to problems such as this. The best way to put it is that in the last few weeks when it comes to us and our lives, is they have ceased to have a rythym – each day is now different, each day is unpredictable. ... read more
Plaza Italia rally October 25th
Smoke over Santiago - Friday, November 8th
View of the same fire from a helicopter

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 21st 2019

It’s our last day in Chile and we’re going to Cerro San Cristobal; a park on a hill on the edge of the city reached by a funicular railway. First, breakfast from the mini market over the road. The old man buys a cake tossed in a thick coating of icing sugar and coconut. He puts it into a bag, then picks the bag up by the wrong end. The cake falls, he executes a miraculous catch, saving the cake and covering the next lady in the queue in sugar and coconut. After we’ve finished juggling/eating breakfast, we walk to the funicular which operates from its own castle and takes you 500m up the hill for great views over the city. You can then climb past a series of decorated crosses to a 22m high statue ... read more
Cerro San Cristóbal Teleférico
Cerro San Cristóbal funicular
Cerro San Cristóbal funicular

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 20th 2019

Today we’re sightseeing in Santiago. We’ve passed though it underground 3 times but not surfaced yet. We start with a tour of the Palacio de la Moneda (the seat of the President) where we visit the ground floor; courtyards, the press room, state rooms and the chapel. Then on to the main plaza and the cathedral, finishing at the hillside park of Cerro Santa Lucia. Here you climb several hundred steps through various gardens to a turreted lookout, where we are confronted by the rather surreal scene of a family taking their cat on an outing, while a man plays the soundtrack to Grease on a harmonica. The afternoon consists mainly of chores; I do 12 days worth of laundry while the old man gets a haircut and buys a new belt (following a rather embarrassing ... read more
Palacio de la Moneda
Palacio de la Moneda
Palacio de la Moneda

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 19th 2019

We awake to the inevitable sounds of rain and cockerels. It’s been an uneventful night, apart from the old man waking to find a cat on his chest. Today we are returning to civilisation, which is an exciting prospect, although I have developed a cough and chest infection and am terrified someone will notice and deny me boarding. We check out of our hostel. The bill is quoted in dollars then converted to pesos at a very creative exchange rate. The old man stands his ground and eventually she backs down and agrees to use the official exchange rate. It’s another long day of travelling; a 5 hour flight backwards through time zones, then a bus and a tube, finally reaching our apartment in Santiago at 8 pm. It’s such a relief to be somewhere clean ... read more
Waiting in the rain at Easter Island airport
What’s under here?

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 13th 2019

The trip is all but done now. All that’s left is to head to the airport and fly back to Sydney. This entry will cover what I’ve been up to for the last few days, and a summary of trip (best and worst, biggest surprise and disappointment). As I mentioned in the last blog, we checked out late at Vina Vik. We had a couple of hours to drive to my next hotel in the Maipo Valley (just south of Santiago). The GPS that we had been given for the car is extremely difficult to find destinations. Once you have the destination in, it works fine but I keep struggling to find the destinations. This time, I couldn’t find the hotel but I eventually found the winery Santa Rita. The drive was uneventful, thankfully. Although we ... read more
Casa Real
Vineyards of El Principal
Andean Museum

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 11th 2019

La Calma de Rita is a strange place, balanced precariously between rustic charm and just plain dirty. Our Romany caravan in quaint and the bed was really comfortable but I could do without the mouldy shower curtain. After breakfast, a similarly strange mix of tasty freshly baked bread and nothing else I’d care to eat, we head for Pirque. Our plan to tour several wineries in our fantasy hire car has been pared down to just one, but it’s the biggie; Concha y Toro, the 5th biggest wine producer in the world. We book the basic tour which includes a glimpse of the founder Don Melchor’s villa and gardens. Then on to a small vineyard, each row containing a different type of grapes. We’re invited to wander round, trying the different varieties. I’m surprised how different ... read more
Concha y Toro
Concha y Toro
Concha y Toro villa

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago January 15th 2019

A busy 2018 is done and it’s time for the holiday I began booking before I left on the last one. When my father mentioned the only place overseas he is interested in visiting was Antarctica, I began investigating how to make it happen. As it turns out, to get there you pretty much have to go to South America. So back to Chile I go! This time, with dad. Leaving on Monday morning, the flight to Santiago went very smoothly and actually felt quicker than last time. I’m not sure if the Dreamliner is faster, or if it was just my imagination. It was definitely worth paying extra to get a seat with more legroom though, and I actually got a pretty decent sleep for a change. I did think the food portions were a ... read more
New and Old

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