A Travellerspoint blog

December 2017

Whales and seals and penguins, oh my

Orne Harbor, Antarctica

This morning, everyone was doing much better. I awoke early, and found that this ship was designed with details in mind.
The shower, although small, has a choice of heads and a very good temperature control that allows you to set it and it will stay at your ideal temperature every time you turn it on (unless you move it). The bathroom has towel warmers (which can also be used to dry wet gear). And one of the mirrors is edged with a heater so that it isn't foggy, even when you step out of the shower.
The hallways in the ship are lined with handrails, which helped tremendously last night. One deck has a semi-enclosed viewing area so that you get a clear view, but don't have to brave all of the cold. The others have great viewing areas as well.
For us early-risers, they set out pastries and drinks in the lounge. I suppose most people will wake to the call at 7:15, but for us crazies who woke without an alarm, showered, and were ready to go before 6:30, we won't starve while waiting for full breakfast.
Today's plan is to have crossed the Bransfield Strait so that we can stop at Orne Harbor for a hike and some penguins, then continue on to Cuverville Island for more penguins.
As I was typing this, one guy pointed out the window to some whales! I've seen my first flippers and dorsal fins in the Antarctic.

Lunchtime update:
OMG this trip is amazing. Sell one of your kids if you have to, but find a way to come. Also, sorry if the pictures seem excessive. I culled them and still have too many amazing ones. It's not that I'm a good photographer, it's the amazingness of Antarctica.
Stunning Scenery

Stunning Scenery


The captain pulled us slowly into the harbor so that we paced a whale pod. We got to watch the orcas play, eat, and swim around for like 10 minutes.Orcas

Orcas


The harbor itself has water calm enough that you can see a (somewhat distorted) reflection of the mountains surrounding it. The mountains blend in with the clouds, and at least one of them is covered in a glacier that we'll hike later.
Hike for Later

Hike for Later

Beauty

Beauty


They updated the plans so that we started with a zodiak cruise. We were able to get really close to some humpback whales. We watched them in their feeding frenzy close to the surface. We saw tons of fins, and some of them even came up so we could see their sides. At least one was a calf still being cared for by its mother. The trip was already worth it, and we were just getting started.
Humpback Whale

Humpback Whale


Don't Break the Ice Board Game

Don't Break the Ice Board Game


On the way to the landing site, we passed a seal enjoying some sun up on a small iceberg. He played around and waved a bit, curious to see us.
Seal

Seal


Seal

Seal


We passed a non-penguin bird colony perched on some rocks.
Non-Penguin birds

Non-Penguin birds


And of course the penguins!
Penguins

Penguins


Orcas and Penguins

Orcas and Penguins


We saw whole groups of them swimming around, porpoising, playing. They got so close to us!
Chinstrap Penguins

Chinstrap Penguins


Swimming Penguins

Swimming Penguins

Then, we landed on the continent, near a glacier, and hopped out of the zodiak. We got our requisite picture taken with the "Antarctica flag" to say that we'd been on the continental landmass, and kept hiking. The hike was steep, but they gave us hiking poles, which helped a lot.
Because we were hiking on a glacier with lots of crevasses, we stuck exactly to the path the mountain guide had marked. We heard the sound of thunder at one point, which means that somewhere, a glacier is cracking. It provided additional motivation to stay on the path.
The top of the hike brought us to dozens of chinstrap penguins. Several sat on nests. Others waddled around. Several threw up their heads and shouted. The colony was actually quite loud at times.
Marching Chinstrap

Marching Chinstrap


We saw at least one newly hatched chick. We saw several penguins using a "Penguin Highway" to travel about. Some couples were expressing their love to each other.
Penguin Highway

Penguin Highway


We sat at the top and watched the penguins until it was time to descend.
Chinstrap Penguins

Chinstrap Penguins


Nesting Penguin

Nesting Penguin


Chinstrap Penguins

Chinstrap Penguins


Nesting Penguin

Nesting Penguin


Gentoo Penguins

Gentoo Penguins


Gentoo Penguins

Gentoo Penguins


Now, you may think that it would be fun to slide down such a large hill. 1- there's the danger of going off-path into a crevasse. 2- there's the danger of bumping into something hard. 3- sliding down makes the path too slippery for the rest of the group. So, when I started to slip, I was not as thrilled as you might think. I only descended a few meters on my bottom, but that was enough for me.
Even at the bottom of the hill, we saw more penguins. I was mesmerized by a pair who were doing some sort of mating dance. They would move in time with each other and mirror the actions of their partner.
We got back into the zodiaks and returned to the ship for lunch.
Chinstrap Penguins

Chinstrap Penguins


Amazing Perspective

Amazing Perspective


Beauty

Beauty


I was ravenous! But I think that the food would have been delicious even had I not been. Plus, it was all clearly labeled, including dietary restriction labels (gluten-free, dairy, etc). The service here is amazing!
I thought that it would be wise to take a short nap and watch as the captain moved us to the next site. I passed out and only awoke when they started making the announcements to let us know what the plans are and what order were heading out in the zodiaks.

Evening update:
We took the zodiak out to see some more whales and icebergs. It was so surreal.
Light flurries fell from the sky, but the visibility was such that we could still see on forever. The ocean was so calm that it felt like a lake. So here we are, at this lake at the end of the world. The walls of ice are some distance away, but we there are no trees or people or buildings to give us a sense of perspective. They could be relatively close icebergs not much taller than a person, or far away icebergs as big as a mountain.
The walls of mountain are so high that the peaks are lost in the clouds. Or maybe the clouds are so low that they swallow the tops of hills- again, without perspective, it's hard to know.
Iceberg

Iceberg


The zodiak steered towards another serene unreal area. On the way, we saw some seals, but they didn't seem happy to see us, so we steered away.
Seals

Seals


Then, we suddenly saw more humpback whales.
Fluke

Fluke


The whales would surface and show off their dorsal fins. Some even fluked and we saw the whole tail. Then, they descended back into the deep, leaving only their "footprint"- a calm circle of water- behind.
Whale

Whale


While we are not allowed to drive too close to them, we are allowed to cut the engine and sit as they come investigate us. With the engine off, our zodiak driver squeaked the rubber of the pontoon and one of the whales came swimming right near the boat. It was incredible! They are huuuuge.
And of course, we saw plenty of penguins playing and porpoising in the water as well.
Fluke

Fluke


Personally, I loved the icebergs. Some were an incredible shade of blue. On one, we could see where the water had eroded (melted?) away different parts of it in nice lines.
Iceberg

Iceberg


When our zodiak time was up, we landed on Cuverville Island, home of thousands of Gentoo penguins. The beach was packed with penguins, and the nearby sea hosted dozens of them. We walked along the "people trail" on the beach to arrive at a rocky area where many make their nests. But on the way, we got stopped.
Penguin Hiking

Penguin Hiking


Penguins have their own highways that bring them from their nests to the sea. They always have the right of way, and we are required to stay far enough away from them so that they are comfortable. So, when a penguin stops at the crossroad between our path and the penguin highway, we wait. And observe. And wait. And hope that the penguin will come closer, because we are allowed to just stand still and they can approach us.
I was fortunate in that several came close to me while I was just standing there. But also just fortunate to be able to watch their antics. One pair of penguins was doing some sort of love dance with their heads. Many penguins would periodically lift their heads and just let out a big holler. I saw a penguin carrying a rock in its beak. We saw lots of penguins sitting or sleeping on nests. And one penguin captured my attention for sure.
He suddenly started flapping like crazy, like nobody told him penguins can't fly and he was trying to fly away. When he realized he couldn't fly, he just started running all over the place, back and forth. The other penguins generally weren't paying attention to him, but he seemed to think the sky was falling the way he was running and flapping about. Or maybe he had just eaten the equivalent of penguin speed.
Nesting Gentoo

Nesting Gentoo


Gentoo eating snow

Gentoo eating snow


Gentoo Penguin

Gentoo Penguin


Gentoo Penguins

Gentoo Penguins


Gentoo Penguin

Gentoo Penguin


Gentoo with Egg

Gentoo with Egg


We were able to indirectly witness the variety of Gentoo diet. They aren't picky eaters and their variously-colored guano is evidence of this. The entire area is pretty covered in it, causing a huge reek that you never really get used to. But it's worth it to see the penguins up-close and personal.
When we got back on the boat, we made sure to clean our boots and pants extra-well, beyond the legal requirements for non-contamination. I do not want that smell in my room all night.
Diving Penguins

Diving Penguins


A hot cocoa break warmed us up before they announced that it was time to take the plunge. We changed into our swimsuits and rushed down to the zodiak loading area. I'm going to admit that I'm a bit jaded. I've polar bear plunged in Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania for the Special Olympics fundraiser many, many times. While this one was totally different, I didn't get the same adrenaline rush that first-time plungers got.
It was still a ton of fun, it just wasn't the adrenaline rush it's supposed to be. They lined us up so that we could safely plunge one at a time. I showed up in all my warm clothes and only took them off last minute. The perhaps less-experienced plungers showed up in just a robe or their swim gear, and started freezing before they even got into the water. Just before your turn, they harnessed you in, so that they could pull you out, if needed. After the person before you came up the ladder, you descended a metal ladder (much colder and more heat-pulling than a sandy beach) onto the platform. From here, you jump in (not run). It only takes a second to get in, a second to swim back to the platform, and a second for them to help you up the ladder, at which point you immediately enter a heated building and are very shortly in your room. While more of an instant shock, and you get our whole head under, it's actually less freezing than running in, wading around, splashing, running out, and making your way through the cold to a changing tent.
My Polar Plunge

My Polar Plunge


Next on the schedule was the daily briefing. I love the passion that the staff bring to these. There's a lady on staff who is a penguin expert and you can tell how much she loves penguins from how she talks about them. (Actually, we also spent quite a bit of the afternoon watching penguins near her, and heard all about their mating, how scientists research them, beak identification, and more.) Tom is the whale guy, and you can tell how much he loves whales from his presentation. (My favorite line, paraphrased: "I like penguins. They're good nutrition for whales.") Everybody here is so enthusiastic that you can't help but loving what they're loving.
The only odd part is that they kept saying what an amazing first day we had here. I was so confused. Hadn't we already been here for several? It certainly felt that way. It actually felt like maybe a week, but I knew our trip wasn't that long. But no, this is our first day here. We just saw and did so much (2 zodiak cruises, 2 landings, a hike, 2 kinds of penguins, the continent, an island, a nap in between, and a variety of polar landscapes) that it just feels that way.
Before dinner, we sat up on one of the decks and just let it snow on us as we watched the scenery slip by. With civilization so far away and everybody else eating, it seemed like we were the only ones in the world. We had the ocean all to ourselves.
Dinner was good, as usual. We did a bit of sink laundry, and while the official clothesline in the shower isn't really long enough, the towel warmers and hairdryer helped us get everything into a manageable state.
We joined the new year's eve festivities just before midnight. The people who were still awake were drinking and playing old party games in the lounge. "Pass the orange using just your chin" was happening when we walked in, and then they switched to arctic animal charades. Everybody moved to the deck of the ship for champagne and a countdown. The staff "dropped" a "ball" (buoy) as we counted them into the new year. They shot off emergency flares. The pictures of these are great as it was plenty bright outside, even at midnight. No additional lighting was needed. The midnight sun was enough.
Dropping the Ball

Dropping the Ball

Posted by spsadventures 01:59 Archived in Antarctica Comments (0)

Finally Antarctica

South Shetland Islands, Antarctica

When we woke, the plan was to be ready at 10:45. Then, they cancelled the flight and told us to be packed for a hotel change at noon. A bit later, they started calling everybody to tell us all to get down to the lobby ASAP so that we could leave for the airport at 11:30.
Let's hope that yesterday was like a fire drill where we all learned the process, and today we will all be prepared to do the real thing quickly.
Boarding #2

Boarding #2


Everything went smoothly and as planned at the airport, we took off, and were again served a uniform meal that wouldn't fit the dietary restrictions of most religions, vegetarianism, gluten-free, nut-free, or a heart-healthy diet.
This time, though, we landed in Antarctica!!!! I am now in the 7-continent club!
Landing

Landing


The landing area isn't like anywhere I've been before. It's basically a large-rock gravel field about the size of a football field. The plane comes in and stops really quickly, as there isn't exactly a ton of space. We alit and moved aside for the other folks to land. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take pictures, since this is a Chilean military installation. (Military only to support the scientists, as for any other reason isn't allowed on the continent.)
When everybody had arrived, we walked about a mile on an area of cleared-off dirt in order to get to the beach with the zodiacs (small motored pontoon boats that they use to transfer us from the boat to the shore and vice-versa.) On the way, we saw our first penguins! They were just hanging out on an area of the beach not so far from where we were.
We climbed into the zodiaks and headed to the ship! We were all wet by the time we arrived, but we arrived safely. The whole process was a great test of our winter gear and its waterproofness. A few people discovered that their pants weren't as waterproof as advertised. I discovered that while the material in my gloves is waterproof, one of the seams in the left glove was not. Fortunately, we have some extra gloves, and the boat store has a few pants people can buy.
(In case touching the sea on our Punta Arenas walk didn't count as the Southern Ocean, this certainly does and I've now touched all of the oceans as well.)
A whale came very close to another one of the zodiaks, but I didn't get to see that as we were checking into our room at that time.
After everybody was aboard, they pulled us together for a briefing. We heard about the safety procedures, met the staff, and learned what was going on tonight and tomorrow. Shortly after, we had a safety drill where everybody had to meet at their muster stations and go to their lifeboat.
It was mandatory, but some people felt too seasick to attend. They were found and attended. This program had us fly over the Drake Passage (the flight that had issues.)
The Drake Passaage has some of the worst seas anywhere. The winds regularly get to hurricane speed and beyond. The waves are incredibly high and choppy. Before this trip, a friend told me that 100% of the people on his trip got seasick on the Drake. During dinner, one of the staff told me that even some of the staff get sick on the Drake, and once, the winds were so bad that the crew even stayed in their quarters and people slept on the floor because they kept getting tossed out of bed.
I did not get seasick per say. My stomach felt fine. But, my balance was so far off that I felt like a reeling drunk. I grabbed every chair, every handrail, and every wall on my way everywhere. Enough people were feeling it that the dining hall was noticeably empty. But, enough people were ok that there was semi-normal service.
At some point during dinner, the boat calmed down. I don't know if we just got to the other side of the South Georgia Islands, so the seas were more protected, if the wind died down, or what, but we could feel the difference.
The scenery meanwhile, is almost impossible to describe, but I'll try. The ocean runs on to the horizon in some places, and in others, it hits ice-covered land. The land seems mostly white, with some black sticking out here and there. At some points, you feel like you're looking at the best-quality black-and-white photo ever taken due to the general lack of color. But the birds flying around remind you that this seascape is real.
"Sunset" is just before midnight and "sunrise" is about 2 in the morning, so the light is constant. It just sort of gets grayer for a while and brighter during the day as the clouds aren't allowing us to see the sun- just its scattered reflection everywhere.View from our room at night

View from our room at night

Posted by spsadventures 01:57 Archived in Antarctica Comments (0)

Almost Antarctica

Punta Arenas, Chile

They didn't wake us in the middle of the night to say we had to go early. In fact, at the morning briefing, they told us our flight would be at 3pm instead of 1pm. That gave us the morning to explore.
We walked along the sea in the opposite direction as yesterday. The buildings here are also covered in murals, although unlike Valparaiso, they are not brightly colored. The are mostly scenes from everyday life by the sea.Street Art

Street Art


We passed a monument and a closed tourist information booth before arriving at our prize- the dinosaur playground. When we left the hotel, we were wondering why the flight had been delayed as the weather looked gorgeous. There was no sign of anything inclement anywhere. By the time we got to the dino playground, we understood why. The sky had darkened considerably and it was obviously going to rain shortly. They needed a 6-hour window of clear weather in order to get the planes across the Drake Passage and back, and we were not in such a window.Dino Playground

Dino Playground


We headed back to the hotel, hoping to beat the storm.
We didn't.
About a quarter of the way back, I felt droplets. About halfway back, the hail poured down, soaking me through all my many clothing layers. I arrived back at the hotel drenched and spent the next hour or so rotating my clothes and shoes on the radiator and drying them with a hair dryer.
It took a while, but everything was dry by the time we had to check out and go to lunch. Rainy

Rainy


Lunch wasn't stellar. Pretty much everything was meat or white carbs, and some items were not worth eating, including much of the dessert. I would expect a bit more out of a hotel of this caliber.
We left our bags that aren't coming to Antarctica in a special storage room. Everything else got loaded onto a bus to the airport. We went through a normal check-in process, normal airport security, and waited in a normal sewting area. Except that everybody matched in their bright yellow Quark jackets. While waiting, they delayed our flight again by an hour, so now we were scheduled to leave at 4.
We hung out at the airport.At the Airport

At the Airport


Luckily, there were no more delays and we walked out to the small plane on time. The plane seats 96 passengers, but they only fill it part way (to about 70) so that there is lots of extra room and unused capacity. It's safer, but also more comfortable for us to not be packed in like sardines. To be fair, even if it was full, it would still be more comfortable than most flights as the legroom was more comperable to "premium" seats on a regular plane.Boarding

Boarding


They served us another meal not appropriate for vegetarians- even the salad and yogurt had animals in it.
Then came the real kicker- the weather had changed and it was not safe to land in Antarctica. An hour and a half into our 2 hour flight, the pilot turned the plane around and we headed back to Puntas Arenas.
We landed, unloaded, and waited for info. The weather wasn't good for tonight, so we went back to the hotel. We all had rooms because since the plane couldn't get out to the boat, the people who have already been on the boat for a week can't get back.
Tomorrow, we try again. They expect a noon flight, but will let us know if things change.
This is certainly an adventure.

Posted by spsadventures 02:48 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas, Chile

5 am is a less-than-ideal flight departure time, but that's what we had. The airport was surprisingly active for this abhorrent hour.
Most of us slept the whole way to Punta Arenas. The cruise company (Quark) picked us up from the airport and drove us to the hotel.
We passed a bunch of small settlements with matching cookie-cutter houses before getting to town. This seems to be a very active shipping town, as most of the businesses we passes on the way were cargo or sea-related. The hotel we're staying at, Dreams, is the biggest building in town, and easy to see from anywhere.
View from the Hotel

View from the Hotel


We grabbed a quick breakfast here, and then tried to check in, but the rooms weren't ready. some of us went out on the town to see what they could before the rain started, and some of us went to donate some money to the casino.
The casino is quite a process. First, you have to get a ticket to get in. If you're staying at the hotel, that means getting something from the front desk to get in for free. Otherwise, you pay an entrance fee at a machine. Then, you have to go get registered to get a card. You fill out a form, show your passport, and several long minuter later, you have a card pre-loaded with your entry fee of 3500 Chilean Pesos (a couple of dollars).
Then, you have to take your card over to a machine and set the PIN. You can also load additional money. Only then can you finally start playing.
At noon, none of the roulette or card tables were opened. We were only able to lose our money to the slots.
After losing our free money quicker than we would have liked, we proceeded to fall asleep on the lobby couches by the check-in counter. Some rooms were available early, and the front desk worker came up to us to offer them, possibly just to get us off the couches.
The rooms are huge and fancy. One entire wall is made of windows, so we have a great view of the town, but it also means that we heard the wind the whole time. The windows constantly creaked and moaned to the poor weather outside. The other side of the sleeping area also had a huge window- looking right into the bathroom. Like the Asian hotels I recently stayed in, you have to lower a curtain to prevent people from watching you shower or on the potty. I have no idea who came up with this fad, but I hope it stops.
Today's program is simple- we get our new supplies and pass weigh-in and then have a briefing and group dinner in the evening.
We got our boots and jackets without issue. Then, we went to the desk for weigh-in. There is a very strict weight limit for tomorrow's flight, and they make sure that every single bag is going to be ok. I was concerned about one of my carry-ons, but it turns out we were well under the limit. Also, if people had used their outer gear elsewhere, the guys needed to check and clean it to make sure that it wouldn't bring foreign contaminants into Antarctica.
After weigh-in, we had more rest time at the hotel, admiring the rainy, windy, cold weather from the warmth of our nice hotel room. When it cleared up a bit, we went for a brief walk by the sea and touched whatever ocean is here.Punta Arenas Ocean

Punta Arenas Ocean


It is so far south here, that 6pm is as bright as 3pm is at home. Even at 8:30, I could have been easily convinced it was 3.
Our group briefing informed us of the plans for the trip as well as safety procedures. Summary:
The weather in Antarctica is unpredictable and controls everything. Be prepared for anything and be flexible.
Don't do stupid stuff and listen to the guides.

We had a nice group dinner, packed, and went to bed. The plan was to leave at 10 tomorrow, but they told us that if the weather changes, we might end up getting a call in the middle of the night to come down and go.

Posted by spsadventures 04:49 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

Classic Valparaiso

Valparaiso, Chile

Our guide picked us up just before 9 and we headed to the coast. On the way, she pointed out one valley as the "food valley" (where much of Santiago's produce comes from) and another as the "wine valley".
In the wine valley, we saw non-stop wineries. Every billboard advertised one and every exit had a sign for at least one. We briefly stopped at one that had a store with free tasting, but no sort of educational tour. One of the wines in the free tasting was Chicha- a traditional one. It is golden-colored and cloudy, not clear. I'm told that the cloudiness comes from the yeast, which also give it a very tangy taste.Winery

Winery


Late morning, we arrived in Valparaiso. Today is market day, so the main road was filled with produce stands and flea-market blankets. The produce was gorgeous, but also huuuuge. Some of the cabbages were significantly bigger than a basketball. Some of the corn was thicker than biceps. We even saw celery stalks that were over half a meter long with a base wider than my palm.Veggies

Veggies


In the flea-market area, they had typical items- used clothing, electronics, household goods. Each set their wares out on their blanket for display an waited for an interested passer-by.Flea Market

Flea Market


We also stopped by a market that was in the market house. It was similar to the one we saw yesterday, but it wasn't as fancied-up and it lacked restaurants.
From there, we headed down to Plaza Sotomayor, one of the main plazas in town. Several important buildings lined the square, but one side was open so that a monument was the only thing blocking full view of the sea. The monument remembered some national heroes that died at sea during a battle.Statue

Statue


The piers were on the other side of the monument. We had a great view of the sea activity. This is a very active cargo port and I was able to watch some ships loading and unloading their containers. Seaport

Seaport


We got on a small ship for our boat ride. The captain took us around the bay and did a great job of explaining what we saw. He seemed to know intimate details about every other ship in port- how much cargo this one held, who owned that one, or where another took their fish. Some of the ships were military ships and he explained who used them for what. He also told us a bit about the city.
We had such a great view of the city from the bay. It rises up the mountains like an amphitheatre, so you can see all of the brightly-colored neighborhoods, important churches, and famous houses.
When we got off the boat, we got to walk amongst the city and the brightly-colored houses.

First, we took a historic cable-car through the lower part of the city to get to one of the funiculars. The cable car system is very much like the system in San Francisco, but the cars themselves remind me more of the Soviet-era cars like they have in Prague, and some other European cities. They're relatively "modern" and yet old. Cable Car

Cable Car


Next, we took one of the funiculars up. As mentioned, the city rises from the sea. Some areas are very steep, so the city installed "ascensores" to bring people between levels. They're not quite elevators, in that they ride a track, but they're much steeper than normal funiculars. The ones we rode were also more along the height of a building elevator than a funicular. They are windowed so that you get a nice view of the city out the window. In our case, we got to see a special cemetery. They've been declared a UNESCO world heritage site, and some are maintained properly as such. Others have fallen into disuse or disrepair.Ascensor

Ascensor


The houses and businesses in the old neighborhoods we walked through were all covered in street art or otherwise brightly painted. I guess people figured out that tourists would pay a loot of money to come see and stay in these art-covered buildings and also that graffiti artists wouldn't graffiti over the murals. Our guide also pointed out as we walked past the first buildings that had been built in the neighborhoods. Pretty much the whole historic area has been converted into boutique hotels and restaurants, so we were able to go into one of these historic buildings and check it out.
It is currently a boutique hotel that keeps the old-style maintained. The ceilings are very tall in the typical Spanish-colonial style, and the floors are gorgeously tiled. The furniture and area rugs are very clearly antique. The hotel feels like a museum, except that you are allowed to touch and use this one.
Street Art

Street Art


We continued walking through the neighborhoods and admiring the open-air art gallery that is the walls of the city. In a few streets, artists set up stations where they both made and sold goods. One girl had her pliers out and was making jewelry right in the street. Another guy was painting, and I even saw someone with a small bracelet-sized loom.
We descended a different funicular than we rode up, but it was similar enough.
Now, we finally had lunch! We ate chorillana at a bar called Mastodon. This is apparently where the locals go to eat, and what the locals eat there. Some of us tasted the beers, and the rest of us filled up on a massive quantity of food. We were split into 2 booths, and each received one huge plate. Chorillana is sort of "loaded fries." Chorillana

Chorillana

Our pile of fries was topped with egg, onion, and melted cheese. The other table had the same, plus beef. Despite three hungry mouths at each table, no table got near finishing their bohemoth. I thought it was delicious, especially with a squirt of the hot sauce from the bottle on the table, but it was just too much. I came away from there feeling as if I didn't need to eat anything for the next 3 days.
But of course, we all still had dinner at the hotel. It took a while to get back, and we all nappped in the car. Then, we met up with the two last missing members of our party and caught up on family gossip. Around 8, our tummies finally were willing to accept more food.
The restaurant was nice and the food was good, but I didn't really need to eat so much of it after that huge lunch. I can recommend the pumpkin soup though.
We went to bed a bit too late considering our flight is at 5am, but by staying at the airport hotel, at least we know there won't be traffic on the way and we won't have to worry about a late ride.

Posted by spsadventures 11:29 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

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