Santiago & Farewell

“In those days people will live in the houses they build and eat the fruit of their own vineyards.”

Isaiah 65: 21

I was talking with one of the Gallery owners in Alegre, he was a medical Doctor, who loved art and opened the Gallery because it was his passion. As we walked through the rooms he explained to me about each artist’s work.

The conversation somehow moved to family and I discovered he was Basque. We discussed our families and when I told him my family name was Barrenechea, he laughed. He said there is a District in Santiago called Lo Barnechea, settled by Basques. He told me it was a very nice part of town and that I must visit it while I was in Santiago.

We packed up the last of our belongings early on Saturday morning before heading to breakfast, our last meal on the ship. The trip was a wonderful experience, and met our expectations, but, after 21 days we were ready to spend some time on dry land. We left the ship for the last time and boarded a bus for the 1 1/2 hour ride to Santiago from Valparaiso. The drive was scenic through the hills and across picturesque valleys dotted with farms and vineyards, with tractors moving through the fields.

As we arrived in Santiago the vast city was laid out before us. We dropped off at a hotel which would be our departure location in the evening for the airport. We met a friend of ours Steve who lives in Santiago and he showed us the town on the final day of our trip. We visited the Basque Club (Mary-Beth’s father had spent time there in the 1950’s) for lunch with Steve and his two daughters. We shared an authentic Basque meal and then headed for Lo Barnechea.

The taxi dropped us off at a corner cafe where we went in a had dessert and coffee. The Lo Barnechea District was nestled at the foothills of the towering Andes. They almost did not look real, more like a painting as they soared into the sky. Wow, it was impressive!

Santiago is a bustling modern City of almost 7,000,000 people. We enjoyed the summer heat, a nice contrast from Southern Patagonia. It was great to see this impressive city and learn some of its history. Most of all, it was a fine place to end our journey to the end of the world. Thanks for joining us for this journey of a lifetime.

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