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Published: November 14th 2019
We had a great day today in Chile! This morning we were picked up at our apartment by Hector, our driver, and Francisco ("call me Frank"). There were six people already on board and we stopped to pick up four more tourists. They were from England, Toronto, Australia, and Switzerland. Frank did a superb job of guiding us around and giving us so much background, history and just fun facts about Chile. Hector did an outstanding job of driving us around since in the city many of the traffic signals are torn down or nonfunctional because of the demonstrations. He maneuvered around very well. On the road we made a stop to enjoy a chicha, which is a Chilean drink and a caramel like dessert. Both were quite good. Our first destination was Valparaiso , Chile. It is a port city on Chile's coast. It's known for its steep funiculars and colorful, clifftop homes. During the 19th century many European immigrants left their mark on the city's architecture. Once we arrived there Hector dropped us off at the top and we did a walking tour coming back down the steep hillside. This city is known for its street art, most of
which was beautifully done. Many of the painting tell a story about current events or past history. A current painting shows Donald Trump holding a ship in his hand after issuing tariffs on trade. The beauty is the scenic views of all the homes descending the hillsides. The next stop for us was in Vina Del Mar which is a resort town where many Chileans and others go to vacation. We stopped to view the floral clock which actually works but the hands have been removed for safe keeping during this time of demonstrations. It was here we stopped for lunch at a very nice restaurant with excellent food. We selected flounder with grilled vegetables and fish and chips which was nothing like in the U.S. Both choices were delicious. Our Final stop was at a winery in Casa Blanca where we had a tasting of a red and a white wine. My preference was the white but that is no news. We learned a little about the irrigation system and the fans used to protect the vines from frost. We also learned that it takes five to ten years before wine making becomes profitable. Much of the lands used
to be used for cattle grazing but now have become vineyards. Back on the road we headed to Santiago to be dropped off at our respective lodging. It was a wonderful way to spend a day and make new friends.
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