Monday, November 1, 2010

Week Two Daily Journal

Friday, October 8
Easter Island, Chile & Valparaiso, Chile

Our 1 pm flight was delayed until 6:45 and then until 11:30, so we spent much of the day in the Internet cafe buying, changing and canceling various reservations for the next few days. We ate a really delicious sushi dinner, followed by another tasty meal at Cafe Ra'a courtesy of LAN. The overnight flight to Santiago was short, just 3 1/2 hours - the worst kind of red-eye.

Saturday, October 9
Valparaiso, Chile

We were successful public transportation users today- a pubic bus from the airport to Pajaritos, the Santiago bus station, a $7 ninety minute bus to the Valparaiso bus station, a local bus from the Valparaiso bus station to the bottom of Cerro Artilleria, and an ascensior to our hostel. We were staying at Hostal Portobello, which was great. We spent the day walking around Cerro Allegro and Cerro Concepcion. We had the longest lunch ever at Sabor Color, and dinner at Poblenou.

Sunday, October 10
Valparaiso, Chile

About to head up in an ascensior
We started our day (at 2pm- overnight flights really take us down) with coffee at Cafe Vinilo and then checked out the cemetery. The things we wanted to do next included eating chorrillanas and then visiting Pablo Neruda's house (in that order). So we headed to J. Cruz for a heaping plate of French fries, topped with sauteed onions, topped with scrambled eggs, topped with grilled beef, topped with a heart attack. Having gotten that out of the way, we could turn to Valpo's more famous, but less delicious attractions- the open air museum on Cerro Bellavista and Pablo Neruda's house. We then went back to the hostel where we learned that most restaurants were closed that night, so we went back to Cafe Vinillo for dinner with our two new hostel "friends" (after Santiago, the hostel owner, asked us to show them the various restaurants in town - it didot leave us much choice but to eat with them) - the Columbian and the Swiss. Dave got the smallest chicken we have ever seen (like a baby cornish hen) and Jesse got a tomato topped with onion confit. Literally, a tomato. Anyway, the four of us drank some wine, then we headed home for our 8 AM bus to Mendoza while the two guys went out.

Monday, October 11, 2010
Valparaiso, Chile & Mendoza, Argentina

Our nine hour bus ride from Valpo to Mendoza took us high over the Andes. The spectacular scenery was enhanced by the spanish love songs (Muzak) being played at full volume from the speaker directly over our seats. Breaks in the long journey included our clearing customs when leaving Chile and entering Argentina. After waiting first to have our passports stamped to leave chile, we then waited in another line to have our passports stamped to enter Argentina. Once the entire bus had cleared customs and returned to their seats the driver announced in spanish that someone's bags were waiting to be searched (but because his message was in garbled, and extremely fast Spanish we only understood that there was a problem with a piece of luggage). Only after he came up to the upper deck where we were sitting and began pointing outside the bus did we see twinny brown (our bag!) sitting (locked) on the customs inspection table waiting for it's owner to unlock it so it could be inspected. I (Dave) then sheepishly walked down the aisle of the bus, down the steps and over to the bag, where, with the entire bus watching, the inspector aggressively rooted through my bag, holding up each of my shirts, pants, underwear and socks to be sure that there was no contraband. He found our bag-o-health especially interesting, waiving around all of Jesse's feminine products. I'm sure the entire right hand side of the bus that was watching and waiting for the inspection to end was equally fascinated. We eventually made it though without any further snafus and enjoyed the rest of the bus ride, including the bus company provided ham sandwiches (ew), a screening of Grown-ups (ugh, but did include a brief respite from the spanish Muzak), and our arrival in Mendoza.
Party at the hostel
We walked to our hostel and joined the Columbus day celebration with much gusto (yes they celebrate that down here too), downing a bottle of wine and 2 liters of beers in under an hour. Feeling good, we asked to be put in a taxi to go the best steakhouse in town, and had a DELICIOUS steak, and another bottle of wine, for only $36. Wow, what a country. Came back and passed out, leaving our key in the most secure of all places, in the keyhole on the outside of our door. At least the hostel seems pretty honest, no one bothered us all night.

Tuesday, October 12
Mendoza, Argentina

We spent most of the morning and early afternoon in the Moviestar store, buying an Argentine sim card for the iPhone. Starving, we stopped at an outdoor cafe on the pedestrian promenade for coffees and medialunas, a kind of lightly glazed small croissant. After walking around town for a while it was time for lunch, but it was almost 5:00 and everything was closed. We ended up stumbling into Ocho something, which turned out to be absolutely delicious - Dave had pumpkin and ricotta ravioli and Jesse had a huge salad with avocado and roasted tomato. That night we went to a mediocre and overpriced dinner at a tapas place with some people from the hostel, and then watched the Chilean miner rescue on TV.

Wednesday, October 13
Maipu, Argentina

¿Quien es un buen perro?
Francisco (of Tikaykilla) picked us up at Hostel Lao around 10:30 AM for the ten minute ride from Mendoza to Maipu. His lodge was brand new and really nice. We looooooved his pup, Suki! The yellow lab was super cute and loving. Had lunch at Caso de Campo, yum, and then walked to the nearby winery (and lame museum) and chocolate, jam, liquor and nutella place. We then went to Carinae for a quick tour and bought a few bottles, also yum. For dinner we ate with Fransisco at La Melesca which opened up for us and cooked us steak and veggie raviolis. It was a nice night and a peaceful evening, despite the huge storm that knocked the power out (hence, the headlamp in the photo.  Dave was ecstatic that I agreed to wear it and insisted that I publish the proof).

Thursday, October 14
Maipu, Argentina

Francisco made a delicious breakfast which included real coffee and scrambled eggs - a real luxury for us. We picked up our bikes (and helmets) at Maipu Bikes and started on our winery tour. First we tried to go to the beer garden, which was closed. Next we went to Trapiche (where, for the cost of a whole bottle, we foolishly upgraded our tasting flight to sparkling wines), then to Tempus Alba (where we had lunch and enjoyed the company of the owner, Christian), then El Cerno (blech), and finally Don Tomasillo (pretty good). We picked up some prepared foods on the way home (including what we thought was duck (pato) but was weird and unedible and turned out to be cow leg and tendon) and watched Ali G with Francisco.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great week! I can't believe it's only week 2, it seems like you've been gone forever... Keep posting please!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.