Sunday, January 6, 2008

Day 3

Sunday morning, Jan 6, Three Kings Day. Most of the town is closed as this is the day the Spanish world celebrates the coming of the magi and gives gifts to the children. We had a late breakfast buffet at the hotel. Gail really likes the eggs baked in a whole tomato. The juices and yogurt are excellent. In fact all the fruit is vine ripened and very sweet. After breakfast we went to the Avis office in the hotel to rent a car for our trip the next day. The clerk said there were no cars available; he only had 23 and they were all taken. I told him I would go to Hertz as we needed a car for a week and wanted to return it to the airport. After waiting and watching him work on his computer for a half hour he found a car. Cost $69 per day. He never did explain where he found it. It is a sub compact, so we will be breezing around Chile in a tiny car. We took a very long walk, at least 4 miles, into town on the Providencia Avenue, beautiful shop windows and very few people. When we came to a large park, Pedro de Valdivia, the founder of Chile in 1740, looked down on us from a large statue. The fountain was fantastic, spraying us with a cooling mist as it was at least 95 degrees. We read books, and Dale read a Spanish newspaper, we walked slowly back, and had a great gelato type Italian Ice cream at a sidewalk café. Back at the hotel we read, (Dale is reading two Isabel Allende novels, a Graham Greene and the Economist. He cannot just have one book open at a time.) Gail finished her first novel and is ready to begin a second. We wanted to go out to La Flaubert, but could not find it and so headed to Arakana. It was on a small street called Reyes Lavalle. After walking about ten blocks we found a policeman who gave us directions, but he seemed unsure. Then three blocks later we found a group of three young policeman. They did not know of the street as they were there to prepare for the big parade later in the night. We wandered down a street towards the Plaza de Peru and found a fourth policeman. He sent us in the wrong direction. Finally, about 20 blocks from our hotel, we found the restaurant. Owned by a New Zealand woman, who was quite nice, the food was excellent. A fusion of Chilean and asian. Gail had Chilean salmon with asparagus and white beans, olives and tomatoes. Dale had Thai curry with scallops, mussels, clams and salmon. Delicious and beautifully served. We ordered wine by the glass as Dale wanted to try the Gewertz (very poor) Gail the Chardonney (also bad). Trying to save the situation, we ordered a second round. Dale Shiraz (good) and Gail the Carmenere (very bad, seemed sour). We walked slowly home through the parade route. Thousands of people and fantastic floats and costumes. The parade was to honor the Three Kings celebration and they did not march, but danced to a slow samba song. Very memorable parade and an altogether great day.

No comments: