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Chilean Adventure Travel Journal - Candace Boretzky

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Posted: November 3, 2011

...I really don’t want to leave this place!!

Saturday March 5th, 2011
Left around 11:15 am from State College, busing to NYC. I have way too much stuff but still so bored on the bus. I should be studying, but I’d rather stare on the window. Driving thru the Poconos now, so pretty, but we are still so far away. Flight leaves at 8:00pm tonight, getting into Santiago around 9:00am. I really hope I get to sleep on the plane. Tried not to sleep on the bus but I still kind of napped. That’s all I got. 


Sunday, March 6th, 2011

The bus ride went ok, got lost in NYC and ended up side swiping a car and driving away. IN HARLEM! At least I was on a bus! Made it to the airport kind of long wait for the plane. Learned how to play Yukor card game. Flight went well, watched sex and the city, at dinner and breakfast and slept a lot thank god! Dinner was chicken and rice, but I just gave my chicken away. They had no veggie options of course. They chocolate cheese cake we got was very tasty though. Breakfast was eggs and fruit. They served free wine and beer on the plane but I wanted to take NyQuil so I didn’t have any. Got off the plane and went thru customs and immigration. Got my passport stamped and tourist card. Traveled to our hotel, very nice and hot outside! Walked around outside, although on Sunday barely anything is open! They went to Doggies and it was so hard to order. I really wish I took Spanish in high school. I felt like an idiot getting a bottle of water, aqua sin gas. Got in to the room and showered then left for touristic. Traveled through Bella vista and the city of Santiago. Definitely a mix of LA/Mexico/S. California. Lots of bars and places to eat. Got out at the town square. Walked around and saw the cathedral of Bella Artes. People were dancing in the streets. Had to pay 200 pesos to pee! So we decided not to and ended up getting gelato. Cookies and cream and chocolate almond. Much smaller portion sizes. Oh and there are dogs roaming everywhere. Kind of creepy but they won’t hurt me I don’t think. Got back on the bus and went back to the hotel. On the way stopped at a grocery store and got pisco (grape brandy) 80 proof. For 3.990 pesos! Which is like 8 bucks in US!! And water and sprite about the same price! Nuts! Went back to the hotel, and went to dinner at La Italia Norte. Got veggie lasagna, too creamy but had heart of palm! It tasted fruity but potato like. Weird took us a while to figure out what it was. Got free beer with dinner and huge desserts. Flan, tiramisu, and mousse. We all tried them and flan was gross! like a pudding Jell-O egg white thing. Went back to the hotel and passed out. Going to bed and wakeup call at 6:30am. That’s all for Sunday!

Monday, March 7th, 2011
8:30am: Woke up at 6:30. Breakfast of yogurt, fruit, and toast. Very good. Coffee was so dark and bold. And fruit juice was so so good! Checked out and on our way to Curico. Stopping at a huge farmers market on the way! Yum! Consuelo Said minimum wage is 3.74 an hr, and gas is 1.800 a liter. Health care is half state and half private. If you wait, you don’t pay! Cancer surgery is totally free if you wait! Lo Valledor was so fun, saw the best looking fruit and some weird tuna fruit. Lo Valledor has outside vendors such as restaurants and grocers on Mondays. The vendors pay $450 a month, and there are about 2,500 farmers. They are about one million tons of fruit that goes thru the market monthly. Wasted products are thrown out, not composted. There are no regulations on the people that come, even families can come. Everybody is welcome to sell their fruit there, no wait list. The market is 42 years old and covers sixty acres. We there ate lunch at a BBQ place. Served delicious biscuits and salsa. We got carbonated water (con gas) or beer. Then they brought out salad with peeled tomatoes and avocado. And corn and avocado. Both very good. Actually tried the chicken, Argentinean unprocessed chicken. Not that great. After lunch went to a tree nursery. Man working was very nice. Left for Curico. Hotel was so nice! We each had our own cabana surrounding a pool. Laid out for the rest of the night. Then walked 2km in search of a grocery store. Bought cereal, fruit and a bottle of Merlot. Yum. Got back late and went to dinner at the hotel. Grilled Salmon and steamed veggies. Tried a pisco sour, very good, tastes like a Margarita. The chip things they served tasted like sweet potatoes kind of, very interesting. We spent the rest of the night drinking wine under the stars.

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011
Woke up in Curico, I really don’t want to leave this place!! Breakfast was good, same type of food. Got to eat this kids cereal that was like cocoa puffs kind of, very good. Left to go to the apple orchard, Frutasol. The orchard was very well organized, and the manager took us on a tour. We saw two different types of apple trees, one taller and one short. Also, I learned that the golden delicious apple was actually an accidental cross pollination. They also have grapes here as well. We got to talk to a student who was working. He goes to work all day until 5 then has class 6 to 10. Ridiculous!! That must be really hard! We couldn’t actually go into the plant, but we got to look inside real quick. We weren’t properly dressed to walk around in there. Next we drove to Copefrut, another packaging plant. Here we got to walk around the plant and see how they package everything. It was very small scale but still pretty cool to see. We had to dress in lab coats and hair nets the whole time. The fruit looked so amazing! The best apples I have ever seen in my life! We got to eat lunch at the plant in their cafeteria. It was also national women’s day so we all got two desserts! The meal was great, finally VEGGIES!!! I had a delicious salad with that cheese stuff and avocado.  It was really nice how they provide that for their employees! All the food looked really good! We also got the round biscuit things they have everywhere which are fantastic. Bread softer than a baby’s bottom. We left the plant and went to the winery!! San Pedro is the most beautiful place ever and it was so hot! I loved it! We got to walk around and took great pictures of the landscape. Then we got on another bus and drove around the winery with their tour guide. She taught us about all the different ways to grow grapes and the various sunlight needed. They grow 70 percent red grapes and 30 percent white. BoretzkyChile3.pngThe vineyard is 1200 Hectares. There is horizontal and vertical growing including trellis. There is the Goleta with two arms, which gives more sunlight but is harder to harvest. They use drip irrigation and use about 45-50 liters per plant per day. We then traveled up the top of the over look and got pictures of the whole vineyard from above. It was beautiful! We traveled down and saw the cellars where the wine ferments and ages in wooden barrels. The barrels are made of American or French oak depending on the type of wine. We got to travel down to the oldest cellar where they keep all the fine wines. It was built in 1865 by hand! It was eerie down their though but pretty cool. We traveled to the plant where they bottle the wines but all the lines were down so we didn’t get to see much. We went back up to the entrance and got to taste two wines. Carmenere and Sauvignon Blanc, both were very good and I can’t decide which one I like better. I ended up buying both in the store, and also bought a pop wine in pineapple. It basically tasted like a wine cooler. After San Pedro, we drove to Talca, the bus ride was only an hour but I still feel asleep. The hotel in Talca was really nice! Briana and I sat out by the pool and read for a while. Then I went to dinner at the only legit looking place in Talca. It was pretty creepy though because everything was still really damaged from the earthquake last year. Cracks still in buildings and houses crumbled with only the front door left. Very eerie. Anyways we found a German restaurant and it took us forever to order and no one knew what they got. I tried to look things up in my little dictionary but it didn’t really work. I ordered a pisco sour again and the vegetariano. I figured that would be safe, and it was delicious. A giant salad with all the normal Chilean toppings. We tried to ask for separate checks but it was a huge fail! It took the waitress about 45 min to figure things out and in the end gave up and we all pitched in. We are never asking that again. We ended up going back to the hotel and hung out around the pool drinking wine. I ordered a terremoto at the bar and it took a while to explain the drink. Then, they ended up giving me an entire bottle of wine and about a pint of ice cream and pineapple in a pitcher. 7000 pesos!! Hmm definitely not what I was expecting, but it was delicious. But we hung out all night and it was really fun! That’s all for now.

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Got up this morning and had a really good breakfast in Talca! The best part is the 80s and 90s music that is constantly being played. We left around 8am and went to a fruit and vegetable farm. The owner was a legit cowboy, he looked so authentic. We each got another bottle of wine when we got there. I don’t know what I’m going to do with all this wine! Anyways we got to see kiwis first and found out they are a very strong fruit and the yield is good. We then saw blueberries and apples. Both used flood irrigation which was pretty neat to see. We ate lunch at a hot springs resort which was fantastic! The place was beautiful and so peaceful. I want to get married there! But lunch was good, it was all buffet style and lots of veggies and fruit! We left there and walked around Yerbas Buenas, a small town. It was cool to see all the kids walking home from school and the moms biking with their kid in their lap! We then went to the University of Talca and got to see the school and meet some students. A professor gave us a lecture on agriculture in Chile. It was nice but very unorganized and we didn’t learn all that much. The professor was very nice though. After the class we got to talk to the students about fun things to do around Talca. They were the same college students as us! We got back to Talca and went to dinner. The restaurant was really random and there was a karate studio next door. We could here all their yelling the whole time! Haha no wonder we were the only ones there. And the power went one twice and we freaked out both times. I got an pisco sour and a terremoto. This time it was just a glass not a bottle. Dinner was like a 10 lb salmon and steamed veggies. Then I thought I ordered greens and beans. Like spinach and beans. Nope it was just green beans, so I got 2 giant plates of veggies haha woops. But the food was really good and we stayed there and hung out for a while. We got back to the hotel and hung around most of the night outside. We got to talk to the manager of the hotels son from New Zealand. He was really cool but we really didn’t know what he was saying lol. Ok nothing else for now.

Thursday, March 10th, 2011
We left Talca this morning, so sad, I really had a good time here. Breakfast was yummy as usual. We left for Requinoa, kind of a long drive. We stopped at a fruit processing plant, Unifrutti. This was the biggest we have seen. We got to walk all throughout the plant and see how they package things differently for different countries. Pretty cool.  At this point though I’ve seen enough packaging plants and it was just hard to pay attention, but glad we stopped. On our way to Vina del Mar finally!!! Stopped for lunch at a small restaurant and we got to try empanadas. The first one was cheesy and delicious. The second one had beef in it but I just ate around it and it was still really good! We also got to try thing dessert than I couldn’t even begin to type the name. But it was peaches in syrup and grains. Very interesting but the peaches were so good! We left there and traveled to Vina del Mar. Finally got to the beach! We had to go to a ‘clinic’ or hospital when we got there to see how they take care of the workers. It was so hard to stay awake. We were just all tired and the lights were off and even DBuff was dosing off. The workers were really nice though and proud of their hospital. We got back to the hotel and left to explore the city. We walked to a museum and saw the Easter Island statues. We saw a really pretty cathedral as well. We started to walk towards the beach/casino and the sun was setting right as we got there. It was so pretty we all ran to get closer, but we good watch it moving down. Very cool. We climbed on the rocks and hung out there for a while. We then decided to get some dinner. I got another salad and vegetariano pizza, all really good and not that expensive. We went back to the hotel and went to bed pretty early. I was so exhausted!

BoretzkyChile2.pngFriday, March 11th, 2011
Woke up in Vina del Mar only to find out Japan had a massive earthquake (8.9) and 12 foot tsunami that basically took out most of Japans coastal towns. Tsunami warnings all over the Pacific basin. Kind of scared and not sure what we were going to do but everyone thought it was fine and we found out it couldn’t hit until midnight tonight. So I guess we have nothing to worry about now. So we ate. Breakfast of cereal and yogurt as usual. Fruit really good. Tried tuna fruit and not really a fan, the seeds are very hard and I don’t know if I should chew or swallow them. Anyways, drank mud like coffee because they don’t have Nescafe. Boo. Left at 9:00am for a tour of Valparaiso on the bus. Very beautiful port city. We could see all the cargo loads stacked on the harbor, and cranes lifting them up and down. Everything is very colorful too. Drove up to the top and saw out over everything on the overlook. Heard the story about the war of the pacific from Fred. Although it was usually pretty hard to hear him. Took a lot of pictures at the top and of Vina del Mar. Shopped around at the tourist stands. Got a magnet and some earrings pretty much it. Not much else to get. Left to get on the bus and walked up hills that reminded me of San Francisco. Lots of small cute homes painted bright colors. Left for about an hour drive to a tomato and avocado farm in the country owned by Germans. Very pretty and hot!! First saw tomatoes kept in an enclosed netted area to keep pests away, kind of an experiment to reduce pesticide use. Not working too well a fungus attacked some of the plants and they were spraying them with Clorox to kill it. Moved up to see the cherry plants, but it’s not their season right now. Saw peppers growing in a humid area. So hot in there. But peppers need hot and humid areas to survive. Next we saw the avacado trees which grow from about February and March to November! So it takes a long time for them to grow. They were so small and cute though. Coming back down we got to see the owner’s small home where we used her bathroom. She was also raising chickens right there. We left the farm and got six tomatoes and 2 avocados. Hopefully we can eat them really fast. Drove to Pedro San Parque. Where we thought we were just going to eat lunch. However it was kind of like a camp. Ropes and yoga and kayaking, but we sat down toJournal.docx eat. They brought out Chilean mix potatoes, carrots, radish, and tomato salad. Good warm bread and the good salsa and cucumber sauce. Lots of food I thought it was our lunch! After we ate all of that. They brought out the main dish and I got a good one. Beans and corn soup, so good and kind of cheesy too. Briana and some others good a cornmeal type bake with raisins beef and olives, kind of weird. I’m glad I didn’t get that. Then after that they brought out vanilla and raspberry ice cream with chocolate syrup, also good. Then we went on an excursion, didn’t know about that. Started walking through the forest learning about plants and a poisonous one with little hairs that could cause death! Kept on walking and the trail got a little tricky just wish I didn’t ware flip flops! I had to climb up this hill with a rope. It was pretty fun, just got a little cut up. Got back and there was a fire going. Everything was very nice. Got back to Vina del Mar around 6:00. The news said the Chilean prime minister was evacuating low lying coastal towns. And BBC said they evacuated Southern California from San Francisco to LA. Got really scared for Barry and Staci. Called my mom and found out they were fine, just shut down the beaches there. We stood around and learned out hotel wasn’t in the flood zone and we’d be ok. I was feeling better then we went outside to get food and everything was closing and people were heading for the hills. It was like the apocalypse was coming! Got pretty scared and went back to the hotel to eat there. Everyone was kind of on edge. I had pesto pasta and the waiter was so nervous and busy he forgot half our food. We then sat and waited on the top floor to see this tsunami coming at 11:50. Waited and waited like New Year’s Eve, but nothing came. Kind of relieved and disappointed. Went to bed and slept terribly.

Saturday March 12th, 2011
Woke up and repacked and ate some breakfast. Me and Briana are hanging out at Starbucks for the day. Its beautiful out and we really just want to relax and soak up the sun. It was so hard to order drinks though. I figured out they don’t actually brew coffee there. So they just water down their espresso. I was trying to order coffee but could only get a latte. They also made fun of Briana’s name, thinking she said Rihanna. We met back at the hotel and left for the airport around 4:30. Bus ride took about an hour and a half. We got into the airport and had to wait a little for our flight, but shopped around for a little. The flight was very rough and hard to sleep on; the food was not good either. Reid and I ended up playing battleship for a while.  Finally got to NYC and then met the Penn State students from Brazil to bus it back to State College. I’m really going to miss Chile, I had an amazing time.