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First night dining together at Ingrid and Gaston

The days are lovely and the nights are always warm enough for and outdoor patio!

As we wait to catch our ship we have been on the move taking in a bit of Santiago and as much of the countryside as we can.

The overnight flight on Air Canada to get to Santiago was uneventful given our concerns that weather delays that had haunted some earlier departures might derail our plans entirely.

At the Santiago Park Plaza we were warmly welcomed and after a short rest joined our cruise friends Don and Shirley at the outdoor patio bar for a drink. Maybe it was more than just one drink.

Clearly the holiday had begun.

Don and Shirley had arrived a couple of days early and scouted out some restaurant options for us and the portion of the cruise group already in the city.

His recommendation, buoyed by others back home who had tried it previously was called Astrid and Gaston.

Hidden on some quiet street that even the taxi driver could not find it for a while, we were not certain this was going to turn out well.

Fine dining at Ingrid and Gaston in Santiago Chile

Upon entering we sensed we had a winner. That was underscored by the umm’s and ahh’s from all eight of us as we tasted and consumed our various choices.

It was a good first day.

And occasionally there are tourist choices that really stick with a person.

Yesterday was one of those days.

Welcome to De Martino’s

We started at 10 in the morning on our way to a winery that actually supplies the MLCC with a number of red and white options.

With eight of us in a van the day started with lots of laughter. As we heard the loud blowout from the rear tire below us, it would be fair to say the laughing stopped while our driver maneuvered the vehicle to the side of the road.

Don pretends to be changing the tire as we wait for the replacement van

This did not appear to be a good omen since there was a good chance we would be late for our scheduled tour.
Instead of changing the flat tire another van was called and before long we were on our way.

An hour later we entered the small winery of De Martino.  It is an excellent place well worth visiting with a tour guide that really did an exceptional job.

The De Martino Vineyards tour.

First we had a wine tasting and then sat down to an exceptional outdoor lunch with several bottles of wine to taste including those that will soon be available in Manitoba.

Immaculately kept throughout, the lunch was set in an open space adjacent to the wine groves, with both a warm breeze and the hot sun above us. Shaded by an umbrella and trees we could well have experienced a paradise preview.

 

Dining outdoors at De Martino vineyards

Last night with new arrivals we wondered into a quiet street that was crowded, not so much with people, but with restaurants that seemed to stretch out forever side by side with their patios filled with patrons attracted by the food and the low happy hour specials that seemed to extend well into the night.

Today we will take in a couple of Santiago’s main attractions before boarding our ship the Seabourn Sojourn tomorrow.

I am sorry you are not with us this year but do join us next year on our Seabourn Legend cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore with an itinerary that includes stops in Viet Nam and Thailand.

See the brochure on our website.

And if you are travelling anywhere do go online to find the best in travel products at www.journeystravelgear.com