Friday, July 3, 2015

Pirate's Booty

I really should be packing. I HAVE 10 DAYS LEFT IN CHILE. holey smokes. therefore- to distract myself I am going to try to make up for lost time and reflect on the lovely trips I've had in Chile that I have failed to account for. Starting with La Serena. That is the name of the port city I visited approximately a month ago. oops. La Serena is known as being a historical pirate fort and is located in Northern Chile. While packing I associated this fact (north=closer to the ecuador=warmer than Santiago) with the optimistic idea that I should pack clothes for a sunny, breezy beach town. Yeah okay there was a beach there but unfortunately that beachy, humid air knows how to hold in the cold. 
La Serena is located right next to the magical distilleries that are spread amongst Valle Elqui. During our trip there we visited two Pisco Distilleries that heat and distill wine Walter White style. First up was Capel, which is know as being the cheapest pisco in Chile. Although it's not bad- it's not good either. I would equate it to the Crown Rousse or Smirnoff of Vodka. The true reveal of just how cheap this alcohol is was when the tour guide told us that they keep the first hours' worth of the distilled liquid that comes out of the distillation process and make it into their mixed drinks that they sell in grocery stores (like pre-made Pisco Sours and Pina Coladas) while the second Distillery we toured said that in their distillation process they reserve this same liquid (made during the first few hours- the impure stuff) and sell it to Pharmacies to make rubbing alcohol and antiseptics. Mmmmhmmm. Let's just say that I may be buying Mistral Pisco now over Capel. 

Other highlights from this trip included walking around taking pictures of everything, eating delicious sushi and ceviche, watching the sunset on the beach, trying many types of Pisco and enjoying our vacay with some nice red wine and cards(; Because I'm lazy and way behind I'll let the pictures (with an occasional caption) do the talking:
The first day included lots of pictures, plazas, churches, etc.
The main church- in the city of churches!
There was a random Chinese garden that was beautiful!
Hannah decided that since we paid 2 dollars to get in that we could explore...and pull the samurai sword out of it's case...oops
For lunch we had Papaya Sours- kinda like Pisco sours, but Papaya instead of Lemon/Lime (I forgot to take a pic obviously)
The first night we feasted on DELICIOUS sushi and ceviche
This was our  hostal- a teeny kitchen, grainy coffee and bread for breakfast! What else is new(;
On this day we were supposed to sail off a see some penguins but you can't always get what you want....
Apparently the port was closed due to weather so we got a partial refund on our tour
They took us to a beach to take photos and walk around
At least it was pretty!
No penguins, but we did end up seeing foxes later..

and a nice little desert landscape
FOXES! People stopped on the side of the road to feed them bread but our tour guide actually said that was really bad because now the foxes have stopped eating the mice that destroy the cactuses...they were quite docile and adapted to people though
The third day we found the lighthouse and the beach
and beach dogs of course!
All together now(:

Lunch before our pisco tasting- don't want to get drunk on an empty stomach(;
Valle Elqui was beautiful (haven't seen many ugly things in this country really..)
At the Mistral distillery we tasted expensive pisco, even more expensive pisco, a cheaper variety and a desert wine/pisco respectively
The last day we found an old military fort that the Spainards built to protect the city from Pirates!

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