During our stay with Ignacia we met a great guy named Mathias. We got along with him so well at her families cottage he invited us to stay with him and his parents while we were in Santiago. We were so surprised at the offer but couldn’t say no, as he even offered to pick us up from the bus station. As soon as we got into his car you could tell he was a man of passion, he takes a lot of pride in his country, telling us how much he loves Chile. He took Adam and I on a mini tour of city, stopping by their enormous flag waving in the square. Once we arrived to their apartment we had the pleasure of meeting Mathias’s parents Margarita. They welcomed Adam and I with open arms, wanting to know all about our trip and what our favorite places have been so far, all while enjoying a delicious home cooked meal.
During the day, Mathias had to work so we stayed in and enjoyed their pool and hung out with Mathias’ mom, Margarita, who taught me how to make empanadas. One of the days Adam and I went to visit the Santiago modern art museum and do some other sightseeing around town. I can’t begin to tell you how great it was to have been invited to stay with Mathias’s family, everyone was so nice and it felt so close to home in a way. It was nice to be able to cook and to do some laundry on my own. Once the weekend came and Mathias was off of work we planned on heading couple hours south of Santiago to Santa Cruz, home to many wineries. I was super excited because I’ve always wanted to visit one.
We headed out to pick Ignacia who was leaving on a bus from Concepcion to meet us half way. We arrived in Santa Cruz and saw that they were having a fair for the wine harvest starting soon. They had little food and beverage venders and a fashion show going on in the towns main plaza. It was great to have arrived during the fair because we discovered the greatest empanada ever called pochoclo. It was a pastry filled with chicken, cheese & corn. It was, by far, one of the greatest things we have tasted on the trip so far. After a fun filled night of drinks, food and dancing we headed off to bed to rest up for our winery tour. The next morning we arrived at a winery called Viu Manent and took a horse and buggy tour of the vineyard and saw where they process the grapes, and where they store the wine. We even got to try a couple sips from one of the tanks. At the end, we sat down and got to try a little bit of the four wines they recommended. I tried to understand some of the wine terminology and lingo. I probably still can’t tell you how the legs of the wine work.
After great weekend, all of us headed back to Santiago. Adam and I stayed for a few more days, but we had to get going and continue the trip or else we would get stuck in Chile forever because of their amazing hospitality. It was hard to say goodbye to our great friends Ignacia and Mathias, but we boarded our bus and headed north to the Atacama desert, known as the driest place in the world.