Viña del Mar was nice but wine country was enticing. We made our way to the Valparaíso bus station and after asking a few people we got a relatively cheap bus ($2000CP for both of us) to Casablanca and an hour later we arrived.
The wonderful thing about mobiles, internet and apps is the ability to research and find little gems and Brian did. But we didn't have a way to tell our host that we had arrived early, luckily the neighbor was home and helped us out by calling her and the issue was resolved.
Like the Okanagan and Napa, there are vineyards here with glorious modern tasting rooms. We tried to go to Viña Mar but it was closed for a special event so our taxi took us to the next place, Indomita. We had a fabulous lunch with generously poured sparkling wine, gnocchi and soup. Then we had to figure out how to get to the next place, on the other side of the highway. Brian thought we could run across the highway, I disagreed, this wasn't Asia. So we walked back towards town and over a pedestrian bridge and walked and walked, 6km or so, to Quintay. We splurged and did the tour which was quite good and it included 4 tastings, also relatively generous pours. We quite liked their Sauvignon Blanc and the Syrah and our guide said all were available for $4800CP each, that's under $10 Canadian! We talked to another staff for a minute and said there are no liquor laws, instead the taxes are on books, cinema, concerts/music; the government would rather have the people drink than be intelligent. An interesting insight. Apparently a Chilean passport is very expensive and only lasts a year, so I will stop complaining about our system.
We made it back to our B&B via taxi that Brian WhatsApp messaged and Brian took a nap.
The cold hit him harder than me.
We went out, but Casablanca is a sleepy little town, but we had a very Chilean dinner - un completo Italiano, and churillana.
A completo is a hot dog LOADED with tomatoes, avocado and mayo. The bun was very good but still not quite strong enough in the end. Churillana is a plate of fries topped with steak, chorizo and an egg served with mayo, ketchup, mustard and spicy sauce. I had beer, Brian had a Coca-Cola and we watched the soccer/football game. We ambled back to the B&B and we stayed up for a bit chatting with the other guest, David, who writes for food & wine magazine on the side, his 9-5 is as a political coach that helps teachers and educators get elected into local office.
The stages of travel:
Booking the flight - excitement and glee
This feeling dies down a bit but regenerates everytime something is booked like domestic flights or a tour etc.
Just before leaving there's anxiety about ensuring everything is in order to travel - cat sitter, money, passports, in this case camping gear and a general worry that the W trek will prove too difficult.
This anxiety gives way to checking out of reality - a general feeling of "I'm not going to worry about this now, I'll restart/regroup in X period of time." I love this feeling, I'm normally not a procrastinator, but before
a vacation I really get into it.
The day of the flight - excitement and relaxation, just sit in that airplane seat and relax.
Destination - "gah!! What are we doing! We don't speak the language!"
But eventually we find our groove.
This trip there was also a bit of "what are we doing here?, This is so similar to BC, why did we fly to the other side of the world?" And a little of " OK I could go home now, I miss home" these were fleeting moments.
Then there's the I want to travel forever feeling, this is amplified after meeting friendly, fabulous young people who are traveling for months. I like to hold onto to this feeling as it keeps me as a minimalist. Then I do laundry by hand in the sink and am very grateful for my washing machine.
There comes a point on a vacation adventure that you have to return to reality - you have to read those strata emails, respond to friends and stop procrastinating life. This is a melancholy feeling mixed with a sprinkle of happiness knowing that soon you'll have your own bed, food, water and in our case our lovely kitties.
And there's also the plane rides home!
International flights are reasonably comfortable, there are good movies and good food. We have a longer domestic flight which will drag on but I'm hoping that the free movies will placate things.