Elqui Valley, Chile
It was absolutely magical waking up at the domes, and I really can’t get over how beautiful everything is here. We ate breakfast at the main dome before heading out for a day of pisco, beginning at Capel Pisco, where we had a private tour and pisco tasting. We ate lunch in Viucñya, followed by an ice cream buying experience that involved purchasing a coin and then trading that coin in for ice cream. We had some communication issues, as I really just wanted her to give me her favorite ice cream, and I ended up with chirimoya, guava, and canela, which was just delightful. We went to another piscaria, Aba, which was a lot smaller and felt less corporate. We tried more pisco, plus some cola de mono (which, not surprisingly, I do not really like, and I felt glad we didn’t have more of it over Christmas). We ended our drink tour at Guayacán, the local brewery that everyone could not stop talking about. I was a little drink/sun-ed out at that point, though, so I didn’t even make it through a full beer! Oops. Although the tasting room was on the brewery premises, it was set up more as a bar than anything else. We went back to the dome for massage appointments, which somehow came with the room? I have never had a massage before, and it is not something I was particularly interested in, but in the spirit of trying new things and questioning my assumptions, I decided to give it a try. Which confirmed all of my beliefs, and I was glad it was free and glad when it ended. Oh well. We had thought about going into town for dinner, but we loved our dinner at the domes so much last night that we decided to eat there again. We were the only ones again, other than a couple eating dinner at a table upstairs, with a fancy tablecloth, flowers, candles, and champagne? But we enjoyed several frozen picso sours before an astronomy talk, at the hill at the top of the domes. It was interesting and the sky was beautiful, although I’m also really glad we did the much more serious and in-depth tour in Atacama, because this was enjoyable only as a supplement. And, with that, we collapsed under the stars again.