Last week.

So many blog posts come and gone that don't exist because we've been on the road so much, doing so many things and visiting so many people there was no time. But it was all amazing!!  It also kind of felt like showing off to be all like....here's this beautiful ocean shot. Here's this mountain range. Here's this delicious local delicacy.  You get the idea. You really don't want to see all that do you? 

Today, we made pulled pork, coleslaw with homemade bbq sauce to celebrate our departure. Oh yeah, and cookies, burger buns, whole wheat pita bread, humus, baba ghanough, salsa, it's a freaking feast! 

It was our first time making pulled pork ever, much less in chile, so when we finally pulled it seeing the pork just melt into strands, it was a thanking the higher food powers moment.

In other news we return to the states this Wednesday, then it's a quick hop skip jump to NYC to visit friends/go to a wedding/apply for jobs/look for apartments.....

Oh yeah. It's happening!!  Transition time continued!!!

Here's a pic of a chilean spider I saw on a walk. That's at least not depressing to see when it's cold!




Two months in Chile?  That's such a long time!  What are we going to do with all that time?

Well, we got to Chile the day after Christmas, we are pretty much half way thru our trip and we already feel like we are running out of time. 

Every day we've had lunch and dinner plans and it's been such a pleasure to catch up with family and friends in a casual and relaxed way, to be able to spend a night just hanging out and talking over a meal means so much. We've also had some field trips in Santiago and spent the last few days on the coast in Valparaiso. 

We are currently planning a two week road trip to the south of Chile the two of us. In the middle, we are going to a cousins wedding in concepcion. We rented the car and we also have our tent and sleeping bags ready to go.   It's going to be a difficult decision though figuring out how much time to spend where, including spending time with our family in the south. 

Time flies when you're having fun, but it's been a joy to be here. 

Here's some pics I took with my phone of my favorite city Valparaiso:


A shout out to Restaurant Cooperativa de Pescadores

 We spent a couple of days (3 hours out of Santiago) in a region in the north near the ocean close to Los Vilos.  Imagine desert complete with cactuses, dirt roads, mountains, all with a little bit of cloudy skies, an ocean view and some wind to keep things cool.  It's been a pretty set 90 degrees here in Santiago....I'm not complaining, but it was even nicer to have an ocean breeze.

The night we stayed on the coast, like any time traveling and eating, we had a bit of a scavenger hunt finding the right restaurant to eat....

The first beach we went to was extremely touristy with only 2 over priced restaurants, so we drove an extra 30 minutes for the good stuff with rumors of delicious seafood in Los Vilos...we spent another 30 minutes driving around town, but we found the hidden gem of a restaurant and it delivered, complete with a hippy gringo satisfying name!  (Who doesn't love a cooperative?)

A fishermans cooperative with a view of the bay and the best pisco sour (A lemon juice and sugar cocktail with pisco - a sort of sweet liquor grappa) I've ever had in my life!  I don't have a picture of it, but he shook it table side in a cocktail shaker and poured it into each glass fresh....the pisco was top grade, as were the lemons and sugar used...it all makes a difference in this drink.

The bread was served warm and made from scratch with the most delicious and slightly spiced pebre (tomato salsa)

and for $15 you can eat this:

Freshly caught that day - crab, mussels, scallops, more mussels, fresh shrimp, oh my god!  Amazing!  There was more included as well that they brought out on a seperate plate, thick slices of special kinds of mussels...imagine baseball sized mussels, so big, they slice them in strips, like sirloin!  Incredible!  

I just want to point out one small distinction from scallops in Chile vs. scallops in the USA....
Pictured - Chilean style scallop:

This is a scallop.  A real scallop.....there is a red bit attached....we don't have that in the USA.  This part of the scallop is rich and creamy and delicious and similar in texture to a sea urchin or ..non seafood...perhaps some very soft liver.  AMAZING!  Scallop is my new favorite seafood.  That red bit for me made all the difference....I'd never understood what the big deal was with that round white thing...so little, kind of chewy.  Also, almost all of this was served semi raw or very lightly cooked...the scallops don't need chewing really, and they sort of dissintegrate in your mouth.  You truly taste the sea!

This plate full of amazingness was just a starter.  I didn't get a photo of the incredible and delicious fish fry to follow that came with your choice of potato and salad...which usually aren't included in a meal like this....you pay for your meat and sides seperately...so it was also CHEAP!  

An entire meal of 3 pisco sours, 2 main plates of fish with salads, a huge appetizer for three, a bottle of water and chamomile liquors at the end all around....40,000 Chilean pesos = $60.  CHEAP!

*** just a little side note about eating fish in Chile***
Something that will always confuse me I think is how a menu is laid out in a seafood restaurant here...it's organized by types of fish...usually 5 or 6 options....sometimes not all of them are available becuase....yep....they're directly caught from the ocean that day!  Under each fish "title"...Reineta (pomfret...right...like we know what that is?), Salmon, Corvina (sea bass), etc..is how you'd like it cooked, repeated over and over again....in butter, battered, with different sauces, it's all quite confusing to me, so I've tended to sneak bits from other people's plates....the pressure is just too great to make the right decision, I want to try it all!  First I have to know what kind of fish is the right one to get...usually this includes a special kind just from that region, and then, for each type, there is a reccommended way it should be cooked....Rodolfo always gets it right of course...the connosieur that he is.  I trust his judgment to get it right.  The servings are also usually pretty huge.  It's hard to finish a plate on my own.
****just thought I'd share*****

Oh...and right....here's the view from the fisherman's cooperative:
  Those boats?  They're the ones that caught our meal!

This is the kind of place Rodolfo is always looking for when we travel and they can be difficult to find but they are out there!

So highlight of the week?  This restaurant!  NOM!!!!!  Come here and eat this!  You won't regret it!