O.k. Mr. B. here's your moment of glory. The last year while I was healing, my roommate and co-worker Brendan McVoy and I consumed a quality amount of South American wine. I was on a sobriety kick that allowed wine and Brendan, well he drinks anything that is put in front of him. Typical Irishman. Well Mr. B, I visited the home of the devil. I went on a winery tour of the Concha y Toro vineyard. It was a very touristy thing to do but considering that Casillero del Diablo was one of our favorites, I figured it would only be fitting to go for a visit. Concha y Toro is the largest exporter of wine in South America. The winery grounds were beautiful. The estate house was built in the 1800's and was really cool. The house was surrounded by a giant park filled with trees from around the world. The vineyards were cool to see, but being that it is winter they were in the pruning stages. The vines were bare and empty but still cool to see. The cellars were my favorite area though. All the barrels are oak and they come from either the U.S. or from France. They flash burn the inside of the barrels for flavor. Late in the tour they brought us to the deep cellar, known as the Casiellero del Diablo. The story goes that the best wines were being stolen so they built a deep cellar and started a rumor that the devil resided there and looked over the wines. Ever since the creation of the myth of the Devil's cellar, the wine stopped disappearing.
The actual Casillero del Diablo, or cellar of the Devil, was really cool. Deep in the back of the barrel cellars was little room tucked away. We entered and for marketing purposes it was lit by red light. There were dusty bottles stacked from ground to ceiling. In the back there was a silhouetted devil on the back wall. I'm really tired right now from rallying down to Valparaiso today. So my literary capacity is shot. I needed to get a post up beacause I'm not sure how good the connections are going to be where I'm headed.
My trip plans have changed. It seems that the pass between Chile and Argentina is plagued with delays crossing into Chile. I've decided to scratch my visit to Mendoza in exchange for a trip down to Puerto Montt, which is close to the end of the road in Chile. It is where the mainland starts to break up into multiple islands and fjord. I plan to visit the island of Chiloe. This island, just south of Puerto Montt, has a road from north to south but after that it ends. Travel is, from there on out, by boat and air only. I am excited to see this last out post of the country of Chile. I may get a chance to get over the pass and visit Bariloche in Argentina.
The past few days have been occupied kicking it around Santiago. I've been staying in a great hostel called Bellavista. It is located in a really cool neighborhood of Santiago that is very hip. There are great restaurants and bars everywhere. The buildings are painted very bright colors and the options are extensive. I'm blown away by the hostel lifestyle. There are people staying here from all walks of life. Fabian from Vienna, Mick from Ireland, Byron from Washington state, Dina a phd student at Harvard who is from Switzerland, Marcus from Germany, a volcanologist from France named Ben, a teleskier from Colorado named Ben... and so on and so on. So many cool travellers with so many cool stories. It is really a cool environment to chill in. Even though I'm travelling alone, I never really seem to be alone.
Well I need to get some sleep. My airport shuttle leaves at ten to five in the morning and it is 1 a.m. now. I'm shot, but I've got a flight to sleep on in the morning. Hope all is well. I promise the next post won't be so boring. -g.
On the road again
3 hours ago