Fiestas Patrias III

On September 18, the city is quiet. Chileans have headed to their favorite vacation spots — mountains, beaches, Argentina — and the stores are closed. You’d better have bought your meat and your charcoal ahead of time (for the requisite “asado”), because not a grocery store is open and it may be hard to find a restaurant. This year, we opted for a quiet vacation at home, but after a drizzly morning, we decided to drive to the coast for the day. It was a good idea — the sun came out, and the afternoon was gorgeous.This lovely cove is in Zapallar, home of the fanciest beach homes in Chile, but thankfully, a public beach. After a couple of hours of relaxing, exploring, and shouting, “You’ll be sorry if you get your pants wet!” we were getting a little hungry, so we made our way around the cove to a restaurant which was, alas, just closing. We arrived just in time to watch a worker throw the discarded shells to the pelicans (the last picture), which was pretty entertaining, actually.
In an unfamiliar area on a holiday, we were a bit at a loss for a restaurant — there isn’t an Arby’s or KFC around every corner here, which is a good thing, unless you’re really hungry! Lots of places were closed, but we found a little coffee shop open for “onces”, which is an afternoon tea-time in Chile. (Onces means elevenses, just like the hobbits have, and I think used to be in the morning, historically.) Their selection was limited, but they had fresh rolls, and made us a warm ham and cheese and a cup of hot cocoa. Delightful.

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