Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Protests! A Country shut down.

Santiago- Chile is bracing for a nationwide, two-day shutdown as unions, students and center-left political parties demand fundamental changes in society.
They want to replace Chile's dictatorship-era constitution, which concentrates vast power in the presidency, with a new charter enabling popular referendums and making free quality education a right for all citizens. They also want pension reforms, a new labor code and more health care spending.
 (This is from the AP).
What this means for us here in Temuco is possible delays in the buses and protests downtown. No public employees are working. No children, from kindergarden to college, are attending schools. No teachers teaching, well except us.
The news here makes us feel like we are watchig the civil rights movement live on TV. There is lots of spraying of water hoses, dogs barking and both peaceful and angry people. The footage is a bit scary, but the heart of the action is far from us.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Homeward Bound

After a gruling week of private vineyard tours in the Casablanca Valley (Chile's wine country), 18th century outdoor "elevator" rides in Valparaiso (Chile's San Francisco built around its largest naval port), sun-bathing with sea lions in Vina del Mar (Chile's Malibu), ocean-side Jaiba Camaron Empanadas (crab, shrimp, cheese fried by the gods) in Con Con (known for its surfable sand dunes and seafood empanadas), and afternoon cerveza (beer); we boarded our double-decker Tur Bus for the 9-hour trek south to Temuco.  At last...WE ARE HOME! 
                                                                 Indomita Winery
                                                     Casablanca Valley view from Indomita
                                                           Valparaiso from the elevator
                                                                     Vina del Mar
Sea lions on the rocks
                                                          View of Valpo, Vina and Con Con
                                                            ...and of course afternoon beer!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Licked by a Giraffe

Needless to say, Amber was jealous.   We visited the Zoologico Nacional de Santiago (National Zoo) on Wednesday where we made several new friends including a Tigre Blanco (white tiger) that roared ferociously at Amber, an Elefante that farted on Amber, a Cebra (zebra) that also farted on Amber, and a Jiraffe (giraffe) that gently licked my hand.  Chilean animals have great taste...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

more cowbell

After a 12 hour plane adventure that served 5 meals and free beer, we arrived in Santiago at 5 am... and I assure you, there is no need for more cowbell. The streets are filled with protesters banging pots and pans to the tune of political protest. Students are demanding free education!
We are staying in Providencia, a hip section of downtown Santiago. Today we ate lunch Chilean style, for 3 hours followed by a siesta. 

Dinner was fabulous affair at Junta Nacional, a local hot spot. We drank BorgoƱa(red wine with strawberries and "secret ingredients") and devoured Ostiones Gratinados (scallops with parmesan) sooo yummy!

Our hostel is very COZY and walking into our very small room this morning I could not help but think of the Bob Marley lyric..." and share the comfort of our single bed," only to walk into dinner and hear the whole song playing. I guess it was meant to be. 

more to come - now to our spacious twin...

Buenas noches.