Sunday, March 12, 2006

Pisco sours and a good old fashioned riot

04 March 2006

Yesterday was a pretty relaxing day after the hectic day travelling around the sites of Santiago. We paid a visit to Caroline´s cousin´s farm. Her name is Carolina - which can make things confusing. Carolina and her husband have a kiwi farm - but they also grow peaches and grapes. The farm was located in a beautiful setting at the bottom of a couple of hills that were covered in cacti. They also had a few cows and some horses. Carolina´s husband being a mad football fan is preparing a futsal pitch near his house. Over here they call futsal, baby football

In the evening we went out for a family dinner. There was heaps of people them - a lot of them were Caroline´s dad´s cousins - all up there was about 40 of us there. There was lots of kissing of cheeks and shaking of hands as we met them all. Festivities didn´t start up until about 10pm and dinner didn´t start until 11pm - which apparently is quite normal over here. We started off with a pisco sour which is like the Chilean national drink and they like to think that they invented it - but the Peruvians beg to differ. The main meal was a slab of meat and some salad. Being a vegetarian they gave me an enlarged Chilean salad that is made up of a whole plate of vegetables. I don´t eat a whole plate of vegetables at the best of times and it was a bit of a struggle. Can´t complain about the Chilean wine though.

A big part of the night was dancing and because we were from Australia we had to bust some moves in front of the whole restaurant. There is not much to Chilean dancing. They also had this Marco Antonio Solis (big Mexican singer) impersonator which all the girls loved. Caroline and I thought he was a bit gross. The night ended up about 4am.
Today not much happened until we were returning home from a relative´s house and we were driving along the freeway when we came across a massive traffic jam. We thought there must have been an accident or something because we saw a few ambulances drive along a side road. We had to turn around and drive the wrong way up the freeway. Luckily the police had close part of the freeway so it was pretty safe. When we finally made it home we found that there was a protest going on at the end of our street on the freeway with groups of people chanting around a number of fires. Apparently the government had wiped the debt of people who live in government housing but they hadn´t done it to all the residents and these guys were complaining. The police soon rocked up and were firing tear gas into the crowds to disperse them (apparently a tear gas canister hit a neighbours car). It was all a bit exciting and dangerous.


Caroline´s cousin Carolina´s kiwi farm

Carolina´s house down on the kiwi farm.

Marco Antonio Solis (big Mexican singer) impersonator with Caroline´s cousin Alex

Caroline dancing with her uncle Juan

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