So those of you who follow the blog probably might have heard, I'm on a social media consulting/wine tour of Chile and Argentina. The countries most known for their stupendous natural beauty, vineyards and warm hospitality.
Well the last two days upon my arrival have proved to be no exception to that.
We arrived in Rio to 20 degree warmth in the middle of winter and were greeted by lost luggage and a flight diversion, the staff at the airport were to a man kind considerate and helpful. They put us on a flight that was returning to Santiago Chile (our destination)which was practically empty with more hostesses than passengers. They assured us our luggage would follow via Sao Poalo.
The flight over the coast of Rio with its miriad off offshore islands bridges and hilltops, was incredible from our low altitude we could see aquamarine water fridged by the long white beaches stretching for miles. The Christ statue on a hilltop, ships coming and going. The scale of this country Brazil and its coastline and interior are mindbogling! and we boggled.
As we stretched out wherever we wanted, on the LAN state of the art, brand new jet and enjoyed our lunch and Chilean wine, I started to get into the Mood of South America, Caliente!
We flew over the vineyards of Mendoza and Cordoba in Argentina right on the border of where we were to land in Santiago Chile among foothills cascading with neatly tended vines. But first, we had to cross those white peaks that stretch into the blue heavens and form the spiny ridge that separate Argentina from Chile, The Andes. The very name of these soaring mountains, snow-covered almost always, but now in winter glistening white in the sun, inspires awe.
We landed and our hosts Davide and Annamaria and their family began to show us the beauty and hospitality that is Chile. Santiago is bigger and more modern than I thought, and the old town awaits my exploration this week.
We headed out to their ranch style home north west of the city at the foot of those Andes mountains very close to the big ski runs.
Their rambling Tuscan style home on the hillside with its view of the snow covered mountains greeted us in splendid sunshine. The warm hospitality we received at a BBQ aound their infinity pool which reflected the beauty of nature back at us, was a lovely welcome for us where Chilean friends joined us in drinking our first Pisco sour ever. A mountain of the biggest mussels Ive ever seen were steamed and eaten out of their shells with a lovely dressing, while, an entire Beef Sirloin which was slow grilled on the coals and sliced up to be served with a crisp salad and creamy potato dish was sublime. Washed down with great organic Chilean red from the brothers nearby estate. But more about the wine is coming, so follow the blog over the next few weeks, to discover how Chile unfolds itself to me via the vineyards and its hospitable people.
photos Donna Jackson
Social Communications and Branding specialist