Day 2 Saturday, Vina del Mar

By Gwendolyn

Awaking at noon makes you feel pretty lazy, but it is after all vacation and it’s not like the weather was beckoning us in any way. As we fell asleep before a real dinner the previous night, once awake, we were both eager to eat, although much to Mike’s dismay, I insisted on a trip to the state-of-the-art gym first.

The day was not promising in the way of sun, so we ventured out for a walk similar to the one we’d taken the night before. We found a place for lunch, Fellini’s, which was empty at the time (2pm). At Fellini’s, we enjoyed a big salad as well as a main entrée, swordfish for me, lasagna for him. We also had a bottle of white wine and a half bottle of red (we did not drink it all!). The red was the Errazuriz Merlot, a very popular label in the area. The total at the end? Including tip - $60.00. Quite the deal we thought! By 4pm, as we were leaving, it was packed. We’ve realized that perhaps everyone sleeps in until noon in the city and eats at odd hours. Which seemed to fit our schedule perfectly. Full, we headed back to the hotel. It was finally sunny out and so we put on our bathing suits and headed down to the pool. From 5:30pm through 7pm the sun was the strongest it had been all day. And the pool was packed. During our sunning, we watched a most amazing air show- about 5 planes were flying in artistic circles and crossing over us oh-so-close. Watching that over the water and the rocks and the blue skies was such a treat.

Dinner was at Hotel Vina del Mar. This is a Saturday night, but at 9pm, the place was empty. Again, by the time we left at 11pm, it was packed. Like the Spanish, late eating and long siestas are commonplace. Getting a reservation at 8pm gives you the ‘early bird’ special. At Savinya, we had a wonderful meal and a good bottle of wine: De Martino Pinot Noir from the Leyda valley. Leyda is a bit south of Casablanca and has a winery of the same name with a Pinot Noir we’ve tasted before. Most of the Pinot Noirs we have tasted, from Veremonte to this, have shown great promise. The weather of the Casablanca valley seems adept at producing well-made Pinot Noir. So we’ll see what happens. The service at dinner (as it was at lunch) was excellent. All service here in Chile has so far been wonderful. The servers are attentive and kind and put up with our very limited grasp of the Spanish language and our constant blank stares and inquiries of “habla inglese?”