Santiago, etc.

I will spend a bulk of my time in Chile in the capital of Santiago. With a population of 6 million, it’s not exactly the part of Chile that excites me the most. (Patagonia, the high Andes, and the Atacama Desert are a bit more my style). Nevertheless, it’s been fun to wander around one of the biggest cities in South America to take in the sights, sounds and smells of a very different place. 

First off, the traffic is terrible, with normal rush hours lasting from about 7-9am and 5-7pm. The driving style, while apparently not as extreme as some other world cities, nevertheless makes DC or Atlanta look like a cakewalk. Driving with the slightest bit of courtesy would leave you immobile for hours, so the preferred technique is to force your way into nonexistent gaps and hope the the car/bus/truck behind you has a really good set of brakes.

On the upside, Santiago is surrounded by Chile’s fruit and wine producing regions, and we’ve gotten to see some magnificent vinyards and wineries.

 

Kingston Family Vinyards

 
Oak barrels are imported from the US and Europe for aging
  

Ahh, the ever important tasting…do i detect a note of subtlely citrus-infused vanilla on oak? You can really taste that alluvial soil…
Presidential Palace. Site of a US-assisted military coup in 1973.
Clay pot aging at De Martino winery – this is apparantly cutting edge tech revived from the Romans
It’s fall in Chile: Carmenere (Chile’s most famous grape) turn a beautiful red at the end of the season
This wood statue has seen better days…

  

The (former) congressional building

I took advantage of a free afternoon on Saturday to drive to the border of Argentina with Stephen, a friend from school. We drove up one of the most amazing ‘highways’ I’ve ever seen:

 
   

  

  

   
 

    


  

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