Sunrise on South America

My whole life I have dreamed of going to South America. I think it had to do something with the million times I watched this movie as a little girl dreaming of adventure. LAN Airlines are the kings of the South American skies, and they wanted to take us around Chile to discover new things to be found #onlyinsouthamerica with them. The first stop: Santiago! I was expecting color and I was so pleased when I got it. Murals painted all up and down the street, some with the words of their Nobel Peace Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda and other times just beautiful birds or majestic headpieces and my favorite – romantic rusted iron roses crawling up the sides of buildings.  We stayed in the Bohemian quarter of Santiago – Bellavista – where on a walk about we saw many beautiful cafés, artisanal shops, and toured the famous poet’s unique city dwelling, one of my FAVORITE activities of the entire trip.

The first thing I found quite surprising was the quality of food. The food found only in South America was phenomenal. I don’t know if it has changed since decades past or if this is just the best kept secret…or if I’m just a sheltered American. For lunch we had tapas with local Chilean wine pairings at Bocanariz meaning, appropriately, nose and mouth. Dinner was at Europeo in a neighborhood I called the Beverly Hills of Santiago with drive-thru Hermes shopping and Bentley lots. Europeo was unlike any dining experience I have yet to have, with a tasting menu by 2013 chef of the year Francisco Mandiola of single-serve plates that look more like works of art than mere nourishment. Afterwards when the chef came out to greet us he explained about our favorite dish (two little mushroom raviolis in sauce in a small glass bubble) that he wanted it to be like a little aquarium – the broth is the water, the raviolis are the fishes!

The afternoon was spent exploring historic Santiago from the Gabriel Mistral Centro Cultural, Plaza de Armas to the Palacio Moneda and on our final morning (day 2) we explored the fascinating and culturally rich Vega Central food market. This place was so big I felt like you could have fit all of Manhattan in it! The colors, the exotic fruits, the gorgeous seasonal produce, the man sharping a knife in the middle of the aisle with a machine as old as the city…this was the adventure I was looking for….

Take a look at my first steps in South America~

“I want
To do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.”

~ Pablo Neruda


“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way than this:”

~ Pablo Neruda

“But I love your feet 
only because they walked 
upon the earth and upon 
the wind and upon the waters, 
until they found me.”

~ Pablo Neruda


“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, 
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”

~ Pablo Neruda

“so I wait for you like a lonely house
till you will see me again and live in me.
Till then my windows ache.”

~ Pablo Neruda


“As if you were on fire from within.
The moon lives in the lining of your skin.”

~ Pablo Neruda

Thank you, Santiago Adventures, for showing us just enough of Santiago to make us want to come back…

18 thoughts on “Sunrise on South America

  1. Jamie & Kevin, Thank you so much for reawakening my childhood memories. Being a chilean american/only chld of divorced parents I found it a blessing that my summers (really winters) were spent in Chile spending time with my father and granparents. Your photos accurately represent how my days were spent my my amazing grandfather. Days we spent at the musuem, we would sneak a movie in the middle of the city center and end the day with a quick stop at the Cathedral for a quick prayer or people watch en la Plaza de Armas. Thank you Thank you Thank you for slowing my day down enough to remember how lucky I was a child……..BTW the food at La Vega is to die for 🙂

  2. I LOVED this post, Jamie! I lived in Santiago in my early twenties, and it holds a dear place in my heart. I miss the food and drinking piscolas. I remember looking at the “cordillera” and being speechless.
    There was a wonderful Chilean restaurant in NYC, but it was closed recently. It was called Pomaire, in 46th st. I think you would have enjoyed it!
    Looking forward for the next posts, I’m excited to see your pictures of Southern Chile!

  3. South America is really gorgeous – sometimes I feel like the rest of hte world hasn’t quite properly discovered it yet. I’ve never been to Chile but your photos make it seem even more beautiful than I could have imagined! As they do everything 🙂 Will you be heading anywhere else on the continent anytime soon?

  4. its a little strange to read Neruda in english…
    and one more, it is not Centro cultural Gabriel Mistral, but Gabriela Mistral (She not he, the male name is Gabriel and female is Gabriela).
    Love your blog!

  5. To buy food from that market must be so inspiring to cook! The artichokes look like flowers ♥ Woooow this actually IS food art! I’m so hungry right now! We can feel the warm weather and the beautiful light through your pictures, am I wrong? -F, your loyal Belgian admirateur

  6. Thank you so much to you´re visit, it was very important to us. Welcome back anytime to try our new menu and other surprises. Warm regards from me and Europeo Restaurant!.

  7. Chile seems incredible. I’ve always want to go to SouthAmerica too, I love the colorful culture, the music, the artist…and Pablo Neruda is a absolute favorite of mine.

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