South America Drive

Santa Cruz, Chile Part 2

January 22, 2014

“Gonzalo Moraga, our host, has been a godsend. He found us a place for our dogs and vehicle, and a storage room for our stuff for the month we were home. He is a knowledgeable wine guy who works for the Lapostolle Clos Apalta Winery.”

DSC06737With his connections, Gonzalo was able to make us lunch reservations at Lapostolle. Rodrigo, the chef and friend of Gonzalo, treated us to a fantastic, multi-course gourmet meal perfectly paired with their delicious wines.





We were honored when Rodrigo invited us to his home for dinner. This led to a wonderful friendship.





It also led to Rodrigo inviting us to spend a day in his garden and kitchen at Lapostolle. This was a dream come true for me.






First, we gathered the ingredients to go into making Lavender Duck. How cool it that!






These were the best cherry tomatoes I have ever eaten.



Our final bounty.

Time to head back o the kitchen.










(Above) This architecture is recognizable as Lapostolle.

(Right) The view from Lapostolle.

IMG_0126Putting the finishing touches on the Lavender Duck before it went into the Sous-vide. I really want one of these cookers.


The end of a perfect day.








If you are interested, Lapostolle has upscale lodging with 4 casitas, or cabins. Too expensive for us, but a perfect 10 if you can afford it.


Christine in pink.

Gonzalo also drove us to Santiago for our flight home, and arranged to leave his car for us when we returned. I’m telling you, this guy is incredible.

Our dogs stayed with Christine and her family. We added her phone number to their dog tags that had our email on it.



When we returned from the USA, we spent 3 more days in Santa Cruz at the annual wine festival, “Fiesta de la Vendimia,” or the grape harvest festival.

I loved the ambiance at this restaurant. The grapes hung down from the vines, right over our table.





This vine was incredibly old – look at the size of the vine!





My weakness: cotton candy. Chris says I’m crazy, but I say it even goes great with wine!




DSC06819We stayed at a B & B for the festival. The dogs were still with Christine so we had more lodging options. Good thing since Gonzalo was full. Here, we are packed and ready to leave when I decided we needed a quick picture. If it looks like I am gritting my teeth, I am. I just broke a toe tripping over a paving stone. Travel can be dangerous!

During the wine festival, most of the ATMs were empty or closed having run out of money. As it was, our cards only worked with certain banks. This created a problem. When they restocked the machine, after waiting in line to use the machine, you had to squeeze past the beggar sitting on the stool just outside the door to the ATM room. The police left him alone. It made us feel very uncomfortable.

Santa Cruz is a quaint town. It has become a tourist destination in part due to Carlos Cardoen. He owns Vina Tarapaca. In addition, he built an upscale hotel, refurbished historic homes, built a steam-train railway through the Colchagua Valley, and created a respectable museum. He is also considered an outlaw by the USA. This story is too good to leave at that. I am working on a DIDYA about him.

Note: Chile had a reciprocity fee of $132 if entering the country by air. We flew into Chile on March 3rd expecting to pay this fee. It was discontinued on March 1st. Canadians and Australians still have to pay. I guess the US decided to stop charging Chileans. Lucky us!

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