Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Tuesday, 15 December 2015


The 440 km journey could have been shorter had we not headed out of Santiago along a motorway with no discernable exits, signposted 'Los Andes'.

Valparaíso is in the opposite direction to the Andes, whose lofty summits accompanied us for the easy drive to Santiago, via an assortment of identical Copec service stations.

Toll booths were more frequent today, with at one point three in the space of just a few kilometres, possibly due to our bizarre route. We were also pleased to hear a bleep from a gadget in the car that confirmed that it was registered for Santiago's 'tag' equivalent of London's congestion charge.

We reached our destination, Luna Sonrisa Hostal, soon after 4 pm, much to Sue's relief - she had been navigating from a map in the Rough Guide, which was very economical with its use of place names.

Multilingual Alex soon registered us and showed us the ropes. She then left us enjoying the cups of tea that we traditionally savour when arriving somewhere new.

Then a quick stroll down to the port, admiring the colourful houses and the street art that Thomas regarded as dreadful graffiti. I'll let the images speak for themselves.

Returning up the hill we at first ignored a voice: "Sue, Sue". Who would know Sue - they must be calling someone else...

We turned around to discover Anthony, last seen in a pizzeria in Puerto Natales, sunburnt from a day on the beach and laden with a week's shopping. It truly is a small world. He flies to Honduras next week, but we don't expect he'll bump into us there.

Back up the hill by a devious route, we dined in the highly recommended Vinilo restaurant. A shared 'rock fish' ceviche starter, then rabbit from a local vineyard for me and tongue for Sue. The rabbits apparently come from a wine supplier! Then ice cream for Sue and a local version of banoffee pie for me. All very tasty and served by a jolly chap who had spent ten years in the UK before returning home. He recommended a Chilean  restaurant in Liverpool, and he had an eye on the football match between Chelsea and Leicester that during the course of our meal returned Leicester to the top of the Premier League with Chelsea almost in the relegation zone. Who would have predicted that?

The patio on which we were eating housed a table tennis table. It's a game that isn't so easy after a bottle of Casa del Bosque 2015 Gran Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, a most enticing tipple.

Today's pictures are of a Copec elevenses point and an assortment of images from Valparaíso. 


Nightbird said...

I remember seeing lots of wild poinsettias in Valparaiso when we were there in November many years ago, did you see any?

Phreerunner said...

No poinsettias Jenny, but there are Jacaranda trees and Agapanthus in profusion.

John J said...

'Twas a cold and dreary morning in December..... we were bound for Valparaiso 'round the Horn.

Glad to see you're both enjoying yourselves!

Phreerunner said...

Oh yes JJ, Valparaíso was a thriving city in those days. Then the Panama Canal opened. That did as much damage as the 1906 earthquake!

Anonymous said...

Al & I have been catching up with the blog this evening. So many beautiful pictures. Alastair can rival you with his recent Scottish ones but sadly I have no pictures of rain-sodden Altrincham to share with you.
Looking forward to Friday evening!
H&A x

Phreerunner said...

Haha - we look forward to seeing Al's Scottish album, and to seeing you all on Friday.