Chile… and Telluride

Chile… and Telluride

You're going to have to take my word on this one, at least for now: there is a Telluride connection. It goes through Rick Silverman and Telluride Mountainfilm. Sus can tell that story later. We've been off the radar for a while now, partly because we've been moving fast, partly because internet connections have not often been dependable.

We may have been off the radar, but that doesn't mean we have not been having a good time. We left Telluride on 3 November, watched the election returns on 4 November with a number of sympathetic people with Telluride local Jo Schernoff at her Denver condo. The next day we left for Santiago, Chile, where we were met by our young friend, Tomas Correa. Tomas came to Telluride in the Northern Summer, 2006, and stayed with Damon and Elaine Demas for nearly two months.

IMGP2130 The ostensible reason for our trip was to celebrate the 60th birthday of our hostess, Vivien Jones, combined with an early birthday for me, at Residencia Historica de Marchigue, a new resort in the Colchagua Valley wine growing region of Chile that Vivien and her partner, Silvio Castelli have created from the ruins of an old monastery.

Even for us it has been a wild three weeks: starting with the fiesta on 8 November, then on to the vineyard and winery of our friends, the Correa family, in San Vincente. After two wonderful days around San Vincente, Santiago Correa, Sr., took us to his new pride and joy, vineyards and olive groves outside of Cauquenes, several hours south of Santiago. Good food, lots of good wine, and star-filled nights (Santiago would have preferred moonless, the better to view the stars), wonderful conversation, and some horseback riding, and , too soon, it was time to head north for another perfect weekend in the seaside village of Zappallar at the home of new friends, Felipe du Monceau de Bergendal and Maria Karim. This meant more good food, more good wine, and more good conversation.

At the end of the weekend, we drove south again, spending one night in the Gran Hotel, Termes de Chillan, a Summer resort and Winter ski destination, on our way to the beautiful Lake District of Chile.

Bajo201108 049 In Pucon, we found another Chilean paradise, another place someone who loves Telluride would see as another aspect of home. We stayed at a Bauhaus-inspired hotel, Antumalal, on the shores of Lago Villarica, where, once again, the wine, the food, the service, and the conversations were world-class. Besides the enjoying the ambiance, we had an opportunity to partake in the outdoor activities available in the area: a long day hike in the national park, Huerquehue, and an exciting day rafting on the Rio Trancura with the adventure company, Politur. Sus was a bit apprehensive, but admitted after that it had been fun, and I didn't have to worry about a divorce… yet.  

One more wonderful evening with Silvio at Residencia Historica brought us back to Santiago, where we had a great evening with Brian and Sira Pearson, of Santiago Adventures, and Tomas Correa and his friend, Fernanda Sanchez at Zully, a restaurant in an old building in Barrio Brazil, in the center of Santiago, restored beautifully in a modern style without losing the beauty of the old stonework.

After a picnic in the mountains just outside Santiago (the Andes rise to more than Colorado heights just a few miles outside the city) for one of our young friends, we had a day to pack, do some business with Brian Pearson (including a nice lunch with Chilean wine), say farewell to Tomas Correa, and get ready to leave Chile. We can't wait to get home to Telluride, but we leave Chile looking fondly over our shoulders.

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