Chile and Patagonia 2016 – Santiago January 26

It’s been a few trips since I did any travel blogging. The last time was Galapagos, I believe, 2012. Since then, my husband and I have traveled to China, Australia and Cuba, but for various and sundry reasons (beginning with the death of a family member in the days upon our return from China in 2013) I didn’t get around to it. Too bad, because I love organizing my memories this way, but blogging about travel when a loved one has just died seems in poor taste.

Fast forward to this year–we’ve recently returned from what we are looking upon as the “last” of our “big” adventures. The Aus trip was 4 weeks and so followed this year, a marathon of a holiday that took us from Santiago, Chile down to Patagonia and ending up in Buenos Aires, Argentina. For the most part, I’m going to let the photos speak for themselves (let’s see how good I am at that).

It took 2 days to travel from B.C. via Calgary and Houston to Santiago, Chile, including an overnight stay in Calgary so we wouldn’t stress about missing the next day’s flight due to winter weather. We stayed in Santiago two nights, at a gem of a place called the Matildas. It’s in a pretty old neighborhood of Santiago, but what charm!

Old Steamer Trunk at Matildas

Look, Ma, I could fit into an old suitcase! I happen to know I can fit into a 1960s fridge as well, but let’s not broadcast that… Isn’t this travel trunk to die for? (Yes, I know, the fridge might have been to-die-for as well, but my brother let me out).

Matildas Exterior

After recovering from not-that-bad jet lag (it was a five-hour time difference, which is child’s play compared to China or Australia), we checked out the Matildas the next morning from the relaxing back yard. Our room was the top floor, the rounded room to the right with the open window. It was super cool.

I tried to capture the feeling of the curved windows and shutters from inside the room. Not sure if I succeeded...

I tried to capture the feeling of the curved windows and shutters from inside the room. Not sure if I succeeded…

Nothing planned for our first day, just some wandering around the neighborhood, admiring the old buildings.

Nothing planned for our first day, just some wandering around the neighborhood, admiring the old buildings.

There's a lot of graffiti in the neighborhood around the Matildas, some of it quite entertaining.

There’s a lot of graffiti in the neighborhood around the Matildas, some of it quite entertaining.

I'm so bad that I can't remember the name of the restaurant around the corner from the hotel where we ate dinner, but it was wonderful. I had cheese and empanadas and this "avocado and palm hearts" salad. I had never tried hearts of palm before, and I love them!

It’s too bad I can’t remember the name of the restaurant around the corner from the hotel, where we ate dinner, because it really deserves a shout-out, but it was wonderful. I had cheese and beef empanadas and this “avocado and palm hearts” salad. I had never tried hearts of palm before, and I love them!

Over the next four weeks, I would learn that when a Chilean menu says “avocado and hearts of palm,” that’s exactly what you’ll get. Nothing extra. I once ordered a salad to share with my husband that was described as “tomato, onion and Something Else.” Alas, I can not recall what the Something Else was, but dang if the salad contained tomato, onion and Something Else, and that was it. If you want a mixed salad, you have to order carefully. Because a description of “lettuce” will net you lettuce and only lettuce.

I also ate tongue this first night, just a bite, nothing crazy. We traveled with my sister-in-law and her dh. He ordered the tongue, so I had a taste. Not bad. If I hadn’t known I was eating tongue I might have barely noticed the spongy texture (texture can make or break food for me; I’ve never claimed to have sophisticated tastes). BILly claims his palate is much more adventurous than mine, but really I have more advanced taste buds capable of discerning a tongue from a rump (but that’s a debate best left for another time).

Our Fearless Foursome hit the sack early (11 p.m. or so, early by South American standards) because the next morning a guide was picking us up for a half-day city tour and transporting us to the Casablanca wine valley, where we visited four wineries in two days. A lovely time was had by all, but I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who remembers….

2 Responses to “Chile and Patagonia 2016 – Santiago January 26”

  1. Gail Fuller Says:

    I enjoyed the blog and all the pictures. Omgosh, I must find one of those suitcases. It’s the perfect size … for everything! 🙂 Looking forward to learning more about your trip.

  2. Cindy Says:

    Hi, Gail, thanks for stopping by! The suitcase looked absolutely wonderful. I think it’s from around 1910. We weren’t allowed to touch it, but you can see one side is to hang clothes and the other side has little drawers, etc. It made me think of the movie, Titanic, Downton Abbey and that whole era.