The Adventures of BJ and Tony Morris

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Santiago, Chile
July 2001
"Just say NO to Pisco Sours!"

Every July 4th, we try to go someplace out of the country. Usually that ends up being Europe, but this year, we decided to try something a little different. I checked availability on every transoceanic flight leaving Atlanta on July 3, and Santiago, Chile was the most open. After a little convincing, I the other girls, Kitsie, Karla & Sue, were onboard with this adventure.

A 9 hour flight with no time change left us well rested when we arrived in Santiago at 8:30AM. We took a bus from the airport to Los Heroes METRO stop, where we had a little difficulty communicating. The ticket lady either told us to 'talk to the man in the silver coat' or 'talk to the man with the silver tongue'. Everyone was very nice and helpful and we managed to get on the train going in the right direction.

At the hotel we changed into our walking shoes and headed for Bella Vista.  We took the Funicular up to Cerro San Cristobal where we saw a statue of the Virgin Mary.

01704001 SCL Karla Kitsie Sue Funicular.JPG (29968 bytes) 01704002 SCL Kitsie Sue Karla BJ Funicular.JPG (64430 bytes)  01704004 SCL Kitsie Funicular.JPG (33100 bytes)  01704006 SCL Funicular.JPG (59771 bytes) 01704007 SCL Funicular.JPG (45011 bytes) wpe17A.jpg (29869 bytes) 01704009 SCL Cerro San Cristobal.JPG (45918 bytes) 01704010 SCL Cerro San Cristobal.JPG (65098 bytes)  01704013 SCL Kitsie Virgin Mary.JPG (19565 bytes) 01704014 SCL Andes.JPG (38859 bytes) 01704015 SCL Church Cerro San Cristobal.JPG (42427 bytes)

We sampled three Chilean beers at the top of the hill, and decided that we prefer Escudo or Royal to Cristal.

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From there, we walked down the hill, stopping for a few photo opportunitites.

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The path led us to a wine museum where we met Miguel, the charming Somelier.

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After a few tastings, we had a wonderful lunch overlooking Santiago. We rode the skylift back to the Funicular.

01704025 SCL Karla Sue Kitsie Funicular.JPG (50564 bytes)

Then spent a little more time in Bella Vista before heading back for the hotel. Here is where we made our mistake. We decided to sample the favorite drink of Chile, the Pisco Sour. Then we decided to keep sampling it.

01704026 SCL Sue Karla Pisco Sours.JPG (45217 bytes) 01704027 SCL Kitsie BJ Pisco Sours.JPG (28984 bytes) 01704028 SCL Sue Karla Pisco Sours.JPG (46062 bytes) 01704029 SCL Sue Karla Pisco Sours.JPG (43799 bytes) 01704030 SCL Sue Karla Pisco Sours.JPG (47053 bytes) 01704031 SCL Kitsie BJ Pisco Sours.JPG (44282 bytes)

Suffering the after effects of the Pisco Sour, we got a bit of a late start on Thursday. Breakfast was a hamburguesa con queso around 11AM followed by a leisurely walk around Santiago.

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The park around Cerro Santa Lucia was about the 'smoochingest' place I've ever seen! The Plaza de Armas was filled with artists selling beautiful paintings.

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A little shopping for lapis lazuli...

01705022 SCL Sue Shopping.JPG (36657 bytes) 01705023 SCL Kitsie Sue Shopping.JPG (56099 bytes)

...and then it was off to dinner in Bella Vista. We were a little nervous walking to and from the restaurant, but we had a lovely dinner. Conger Eel was the specialty of the restaurant. It is really not an eel, but a delicious whitefish.

01705024 SCL Azul Restaurant.JPG (57877 bytes)

For the next couple of days, we arranged to have a car and driver take us sightseeing. Robert ( cellphone 09 330 85 62), our tour guide, spoke excellent English and was quite knowledgable about the area and its history. Some of his music was not exactly to our taste though. Friday, we toured the coast - Valparaiso, Vina Del Mar, and Renaca. On the way out, we stopped at Veramonte Winery and sampled a couple of their red wines.

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Robert took us by to see the his friend's art exhibit in one of the government buildings.  Marcelo Guerra Celis is a very celebrated artist in Chile.

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We did some sightseeing in Valparaiso.

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We had lunch at a wonderful restaurant in Renaca.  The Playa Cochoa del Pacifico Renaca was situated over the ocean, giving us a beautiful view while we dined.

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Robert warned us to be wary of the gypsies in Vina Del Mar, so we cut our walk on the beach short.

01706017 SCL Kitsie Vina Del Mar.JPG (34965 bytes)

We stopped by the tracks and made a pretend bet on the horses.  Good thing it was just pretend!

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On the hill behind the horse track, there was a beautiful view of the entire city!

01706020 SCL Vina Del Mar View.JPG (35317 bytes) 01706021 SCL Vina Del Mar Sunset Panarama.JPG (10918 bytes)

After enjoying the sunset over Vina Del Mar, we started the long drive back to the city with Led Zepelin for entertainment. Just say NO to Led Zepelin!

Saturday, our tour to the Andes started with Concha y Toro winery.

01707001 SCL Andes.JPG (33701 bytes) 01707002 SCL Kitsie Maipo River.JPG (84171 bytes) 01707003 SCL Karla Maipo River.JPG (58334 bytes) wpe1B6.jpg (42623 bytes) 01707005 SCL Karla Kitsie BJ Sue Concha y Toro.JPG (73314 bytes)   01707008 SCL Karla Concha y Toro.JPG (41486 bytes) 01707009 SCL Sue Concha y Toro.JPG (50631 bytes) 01707010 SCL Kitsie Concha y Toro.JPG (28963 bytes) 01707011 SCL Sue Karla Kitsie BJ Concha y Toro.JPG (63416 bytes) 01707013 SCL Concha y Toro.JPG (71618 bytes) 01707014 SCL Concha y Toro Vineyards.JPG (70510 bytes) wpe1CA.jpg (31933 bytes)   wpe1CB.jpg (33376 bytes) 01707019 SCL Sue Kitsie Concha y Toro Tour.JPG (19550 bytes) wpe1CD.jpg (24969 bytes) 01707024 SCL Kitsie BJ Karla Sue Concha y Toro.JPG (36392 bytes)

We had a really nice tour, tasted three of their wines, and got to keep the glass! (Don't tell Karla, she thinks she stole the glass.)

We took a bathroom break at the unique Casa Bosque Restaurant in Cajon del Maipo where they were grilling meat over an open fire.  It smelled delicious!

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Our next stop was at Vina Los Nietos where they make liquors. Fruitflies and cats were predominant features at this locale. We tasted a strawberry liquor and a nut liquor. At 1000 Pesos (less than $2), I had to bring home a bottle of nut liquor. I'll let you taste it if you beg.

01707029 SCL Liquor Makers Maipo Canyon.JPG (36811 bytes) wpe1D6.jpg (29641 bytes) 01707031 SCL Sue tasting Strawberry Liquor.JPG (60842 bytes) wpe1D7.jpg (17173 bytes)

After a bumpy ride on a dirt road, we saw some spectacular views of snowcapped mountains and waterfalls.

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On the ride back, we stopped to sample some roadside empanadas (pastries filled with meat {don't ask what kind}, onions, an olive {complete with pit}, and half a boiled egg). It was a real treat to get to see the man tend the fire in his clay oven, then mop it out, & cook the empanadas right on the bricks. In the car, I asked Roberto what kind of meat was in the empanadas, and he responded, "Why, do you not feel well?"

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Back in Santiago, we had a quick tour of downtown & then Robert took us to the airport.

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A little duty free shopping & we were back in business class headed home. All in all, another great trip, thanks to my adventuresome girlfriends!

BJ Morris