Chile - The Generosity of Strangers

In general, I think most people are nice.  And in my travels, I've met very few jerks.   I also think that the impression that you have about a place is often based more on your encounters with the local people than it is about the buildings and statues you might visit.

During my April, 2014 visit to Chile, it was the Chilean people who make it into such a positive experience, especially on the Saturday my friend Scott Yurcheshen and I decided to visit a winery.

The Cousino-Macul Winery was a one-hour bus ride from our hotel.   And then a 10-minute walk.   We left the hotel and got to the bus stop, just in time to see the bus we needed leaving.   We had no choice but to wait for the next bus, which was expected in 30 minutes or so.  We were the first to board when the next bus arrived.  But upon entering the driver told us in Spanish that we needed tickets.  The guy behind us, explained in English that you had to buy tickets BEFORE getting on the bus.  We had no experience with the Santiago bus system and had just assumed we could buy them online.  As we started to get off the bus, the English speaking passenger behind us his bus pass and swiped it twice, allowing us to get on bus.  We thanked him and offered him money to pay for the tickets.  He declined saying that someone had once helped him when he didn't have a ticket and he was happy to do it for us.

It was a nice ride to the winery.  We got off the bus and started the walk to the front gate.  But when we got there, they were closed for the day.   We had missed the last tour.   We found a guard and he confirmed there were no more tours.  We explained we had taken the bus to get there.  He was very kind and told us we were welcome to walk around and said the gift shop was still open.

We headed to the store and as it turns out, the last tour of the day was just arriving for their wine tasting.  We hadn't paid to be a part of the tour, but the guide told us we could take part in the tasting since we were there.   

Scott Yurcheshen at the Cousino-Macul Winery

We were really amazed at how nice everyone was being to us.   Scott and I agreed that the least we could do was to buy a bottle of wine.    I selected the wine that I liked best from the tasting.  It was a Carménère.  I was almost afraid to ask the price.   As it turns out, it was the CHEAPEST wine they had.  I don't remember the price, but it was a good price.   Scott also selected a wine, but he apparently has more expensive tastes than I do.

We didn't get the full wine tour, but we at least got a little taste of Chile because of the kindness of the people who helped us out.

Linked below is a video I made of our trip to Chile and Peru.

Dates of Travel

  • April, 2014

Places Visited

  • Santiago
  • Viña del Mar
  • Valparaiso




This post is part of my series "One Photo - One Country."  I'm am selecting one photo and writing one story from every country I have visited.   Your comments and questions are welcome.  

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