Blogs from 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 Cabernet Sauvignon plantings superseded Zinfandel way back in 1998.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 » Valle Nevado July 20th 2021

A great person once said "Not all vaccines are created equally"...or at least I think they said that, I'm not sure, but someone probably said it sometime somewhere. As we've moved through this pandemic, it's certainly become clear that not everyone agrees with the sentiment that the best vaccine is the one that is provided to your first, despite the quotes from medical professionals. Case in point is the country in which I am currently residing...that's right, you guessed it, Chile. We've been somewhat fortunate as Chile has consistently ranked as one of the top 10 in vaccines given since they were first approved and available. Even now, I think it's probably at around 80% of eligible people with first dose, and somewhere around 60% with two based on a quick google search. Which gets me ... read more
Yo tambien!
Golden Hour in the Andes
Maelle preparing to shred

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Zapallar May 29th 2021

This post is coming months late, because it's about summer, and summer ended here about 3 months ago, but I did really mean to post about our COVID-y Chilean summer vacation because well, it's all been part of this experience of being an expat, but mainly being in a pandemic wherein not everything fundamentally, makes sense, or goes even remotely as expected. I think when I last left you, we'd recently spent Christmas semi-locked in our house, after a return to weekend quarantines left us without the ability to leave Santiago. Well, a little after New Year's the government decided it would institute a "permiso de vacaciones", wherein regardless of your fase, it gave people the ability to travel to a single destination during the summer within the country. You had to stay in that region, ... read more
A good place to quarantine
El Rey del Asado!
That end of world feeling

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Providencia March 23rd 2021

Even if you have not been to Chile, you should try their signature wine, Carmenere. Winespeed agrees with me: Today considered Chile’s signature grape, carmenère was brought to Chile from Bordeaux in the late 19th century. Chilean landowners and mining barons had begun to showcase their wealth by building wine estates modeled after the grand châteaux of Bordeaux. The Chileans planted vineyards with imported French grapes, most notably cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and carmenère. Indigenous to Bordeaux, carmenère ripens late in the year—so much so that, in Bordeaux it barely ever achieved ripeness, producing wines that tasted more like rhubarb juice than a grand vin. After the phylloxera epidemic in France, it was almost never replanted. But in Chile carmenère t... read more
The carmenere grape
You will like it!

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 » Vitacura December 25th 2020

We can all probably agree that 2020 is not a year that we will remember fondly, although we surely won’t soon forget. Our Christmas plans to head to the beach for Christmas week were given the kibosh by the Chilean government about three weeks before the day, as they decided that a recent uptick in cases necessitated a move back to fase 2 in their paso a paso plan (update on this in my next blog post, as we did eventually get away), which meant that we could no longer travel out of the Santiago metropolitan region to other areas in the country, and we would now be quarantined in the house on the weekends and holidays, only being able to leave the house with a police permiso on those days. So…I reluctantly canceled the Airbnb ... read more
Twas the Night Before Christmas...
Christmas Eve, Cerro El Medio
Christmas Eve, Cerro El Medio

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Vitacura August 24th 2020

So I started writing an entry a few weeks ago, as I really feel this whole COVID situation deserves an entry, but I think I was in a dark place, so when I reread it after writing about 1,000 words I decided that you know, it wasn't really in the spirit of what I had been writing in here...not to say I'm in a "bright" place right now (well it is very sunny outside), but it's less dark, and maybe this will be a bit on the lighter side. Well really, there's not a lot to say on the travel side since my last entry...mainly just travel cancellations...we did get squirrely after spending about 3.5 straight months in the house in a government mandated quarantine (minus a few days in April), and traveled back to Canada ... read more
Bizarro COVID Travel
Lake Louise

South America » Chile » Atacama » Caldera August 1st 2020

I can't say I have been to many remote places in the world. They may have seemed remote, like the Atacama, Siberia, or the Arctic Circle. But check this out! Looking to really get off the grid? Welcome to Point Nemo, which gives a whole new meaning to the term “middle of nowhere.” Officially known as the “the oceanic pole of inaccessibility,” Point Nemo is the oceanic point that is the farthest from any shore — you may actually be closer to astronauts in the International Space Station than you are to any human on Earth. Located in the Pacific Ocean, Point Nemo got its name from the Latin word for “no one,” as well as the fictional sailor from “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.” When drifting at Point Nemo, you are surrounded by well ... read more
The Atacama

South America » Chile » Atacama » Caldera May 30th 2020

Have you ever visited one of the oldest and driest deserts in the world, the Atacama in Chile? Well, on the long drive through the "Thin Country", we spent a few days in the Atacama before heading south. They say some parts of the desert have not seen rain for over a hundred years. As I recall, Mr. Mike and I were there during the early spring. The nearest town, San Pedro was a cold and windy frontier town, on the edge of the Atacama. But on the few occasions it rains, the desert transforms into a beautiful cascade of wildflowers. NASA uses the Atacama to mimic Mars. The Valle de Marte resembles the red planet. The unique colors have also provided landscapes for Hollywood movies. The desert is also ideal for stargazing, with cool, clear ... read more
Breakfast at Tatio
Tatio geysers

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Vitacura May 14th 2020

If you haven’t heard, or maybe self-isolation is a familiar term and you are living like the Unabomber in a cabin in Montana, there has been a little virus going around that has completely shut everything down. I myself, have already spent 20 days of government imposed quarantine on our community in Santiago, and then emerged to freedom for several weeks (freedom light I guess), and then saw my shadow (Santiago Steve), so we head back into quarantine this Friday. It was a nice run of freedom (we even got to go get coffee once), and whether this quarantine lasts another week or another month, who knows. Chile like everywhere else in the world has been under various forms of quarantine, and at the moment we are heading in to our elenventy-ith week of working from ... read more
More Mascarilla Time!
Fire time!
Talk to the animals

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