We are on our way at last. First surprise was a piece of paper at Immigration that had to be shown each time we left Chile. Of course, instructions weren’t given and turned out to be an important paper for sure. Taking the on and off bus was a great day to spend the time on our first day. Santiago seemed like a city with a lot of construction and lots of poor areas we were told to avoid. Had quite an adventure trying to use a power bar with a power adapter so that I could charge multiple devices at one time. I took out the power on the whole h
otel floor and house-keeping had to come up and restore it. Day 2 we arranged through the Concierge to hire a driver and Chenier, the interpreter and Sergio his driver arrived at 9:30 am. He agreed to take us to do some wine tasting and also to Valparaiso. Enroute, we stopped for Pisco Sours and eventually got to a the Casona winery in Casablanca valley. We tried Primus and Ritual wines – all 4 wines were excellent. Valparaiso was somewhat rundown as it was recovering from tornadoes and a tsunami but the graffiti on all the buildings was
fun to photograph. Vina del Mar was better off with a lot of building of high rises going on. We had so much fun with Chenier we asked him to take us to the mountains. He promised to show us the famous Andes Condors. So, next day, we headed east this time to a mountain ski resort. Apparently Prince William had skiied here a year or so previously. We stopped to have coffee in the Andes lodge at Valle Nevado.
There were beautiful Californian Poppies all along the road which turned out to be nothing but switchbacks for many miles. After hiking the hills near the lodge we travelled part way d
own the hill until we spotted the Condors. It was definitely a Kodak moment. Upon returning to Santiago, we still had plenty of time to go for hikes in the city and take the funicular to the top of San Cristoball Park and walk down. That was a LONG walk – thought it would never end. I’m guessing we walked more than 15kms but nice scenery along the way. This ended another very pleasant day. Tomorrow, we had to leave for Osorno. We were advised to sit on
the left side of the plane so that you could see the active volcano as you descend.