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Day 10 in Chile - Jan 6th, 2011 - Our Last Full Day

For our last full day in Chile we had plans to go on another tour of the coast to a tourist village Pomaire, and  and then to Isla de Negra to the beach and to the home of a famous Chilean poet that had won the Nobel Peace Prize, Pablo Neruda.

After breakfast Veronica and I went to the supermarket to buy some food for our journey.  She had to work in the afternoon and wasn't able to join us.  We made sandwiches for our trip and packed some other snacks.  I love sandwiches with smashed avocado!  I have had it many times since I have been home.

We drove about an hour to Pomaire and walked around the streets.  It was a great little town where many people were selling their pottery and crafts.  I had to bring some Chilean pottery back home.  I bought a Pebre bowl with a design of a pig on it, another small pottery bowl, an ashtray and Ron bought a set of wind chimes.  I have all of them (except the ashtray) displayed in my dining room now.  Link to the City of Pomaire-->>Pomaire  I also bought a beautiful sweater and a poncho.  Bonita!

Chilean Pottery

After a nice visit to Pomaire we headed to Isla de Negra.  It was the only time in Chile that we were actually cold.  It was very windy that day near the coast and we couldn't swim.  We had our lunch on the beach.  We each had one sandwich but when trying to get a second one, they were soggy - my failure of not packing the cooler right.  Ha ha - oh well.  Can everything be flawless?  Of course not.  We stayed at the beach for a bit longer; there was a beautiful and rocky shoreline.  We then tried to find an ATM for us to get a bit more cash.  We decided (unfortunately!) not to go Neruda's home.  Next time.  We drove back to Talegante for our last evening meal.
Pablo Neruda

Juanca was preparing Salmon on the grill.  He cooked them over a bed of onions.  He was also making civiche, a traditional dish of South America.  Loly and Nino of course were there.  It was Nino's 76th birthday!  Also, Veronica's brother in law, Rodrigo was there and also her niece Gabriella.  It was good to meet yet more people.  Initially this meal was supposed to also accommodate Nino's birthday celebration but they had decided to do it on the weekend so their friends could drive during the day.  So the night was our farewell meal, I guess.  As the food was cooking everyone seemed to gather in the patio outside the dining room.  The site of our first day in Chile when we first met everyone and Monique was there for our first lunch.  Juan Carlos said a toast in honor of Nino's birthday and also said some very kind words for us.  I also wanted to say something to try to express my gratitude to Veronica and Juan Carlos and Juan and everyone for their hospitality.  I really am not great speaking in front of people but I had to do it and I really wanted to do it.  I won't disclose my whole speech/toast here on my blog as it was pretty emotional and I don't need to share everything on the Internet, but of course I cried. 

Dinner was delicious.  The civeche was amazing.  I had no idea that fish 'cooked' in lemon juice could taste so great.  For the main course I don't think I ever had better salmon.  Ron said the next time we make salmon, we will try to cook it over onions.  It seemed to make more moist.  Lovely.

Veronica's brother in law Rodrigo speaks wonderful English.  He works for a seed company and has traveled a lot internationally.  Gabriella has also traveled a lot and spoke well.  Again, I felt so inadequate speaking no Spanish.  I vow to learn the language in the next 6 months.  At least a s a novice.  Sara will help - she spent a year in Argentina!

I was getting so used to setting the table and helping prep for the meals and clearing the table - just being part of the whole process of eating and family meals.  I felt so at home (as I keep saying).  As I was helping with the dishes after our meal I realized that we were going home in 24 hours.

That evening after dinner, there was an explosion and then we saw smoke and fire in the neighbor's yard.  Earlier that day the power had gone out in the area.  Juan Carlos had a generator, however, so it was fine.  This neighbor, however, must have had issues with his generator because that is what caused the fire.  The building that housed the generator caught on fire.  That caused quite a bit of excitement in the neighborhood.  The fire department came very quickly and the fire was put out.  But, after that, the power was also out in our house too.  We all sat in the living room in the dark and listened to Sebastian play the guitar and sing.  He is very talented.

Off to bed for our last night in Chile. Tomorrow was Friday Jan 7th, the day we were leaving Chile.

Civeche (I don't quite know Juanca's technique but I took this version from Emeril)
  • 3/4 pound very fresh white fleshed ocean fish, such as cod
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (about 2) minced serrano peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup small diced avocado
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cut the fish into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a glass dish with the lime juice. Cover and refrigerate for several hours, stirring occasionally. Drain the fish and add the peppers, tomato, avocado, onion, cilantro, olive oil, and salt. Fold gently to mix.  Juanca added small shrimp too..

Civeche marinating in lemon juice
Civeche - The finished product

Juan Carlos preparing the salmon