Photo: Tourism Chile
As part of an information morning on Tourism Chile recently, I had the pleasure of having a tour of The Esmeralda, a grand old ship who has sailed the world since the 1800's. She's an amazing vessel and I enjoyed every minute being on board to discover her history. However my tour wasn't all about The Esmeralda, it was about Chile as a travel destination. I also had the pleasure of meeting Mr Daniel Carvallo, Ambassador of Chile (pictured in gallery below).
Photo above: @SydneyEventBlogger - click gallery to expand
After the tour of this immaculate ship we were treated to some traditional Chilean food and drinks including: Fried pumpkin bread w Chilean salsa, Salmon ceviche w smoked chilli and spiced quinoa, avocado mouse canape, Crab and parmesan empanadas, Chicken skewers with chimichurri sauce, sweetcorn pie, lamb with mushroom sauce and mashed potatoes with smoked chilli and crackling as well as Chilean pisco and Chilean Carmenere and Savignon Blanc.
This was a nice introduction to Chilean food and wines. Earlier this year, I was introduced to Pisco by Chef Oscar from La Puerta South American Restaurant in Neutral Bay, and I must say it's something special. South American food, is fresh, interesting and of course flavoursome!
There are some very interesting facts about Chile that I wasn't aware of so those who love Trivia maybe take note:
Atacama: Is the driest desert in the world
La Tirana: Is one of the religious festivities of Chile
Astronomy: There are 42 Astronomical observatories; star gazers should visit Chile!
Chinchorro mummies: Are the oldest in the world dating back to 5050BC
Wine Valleys: Chile has 13 of them
Skiing: Los Andes - one hour from Santiago
Surfing: World class waves
Easter Island: Declared a World Heritage Site by the Unesco in 1995
Churches of Chiloe: Are constructed without nails
Trekking: Sendero de Chile is the most extensive trek in the world 3,000 kms long
Hot Springs: Chile has the largest concentration of them - over 270
Archeology: Monte Verde is the most ancient archeological site in America estimated 12,500 years
Caves: Impressive marble caves molded by glaciation
8th Wonder of the World: The Torres Del Paine National Park was chosen as the 8th Wonder of the World by Virtual Tourist
Glaciers: 3% of Chile's surface is covered by over 1,750 glaciers
My affinity with Chilean people goes back many years. My late brother, Gary, was very close to a Chilean family growing up. In fact, after his passing in 1998 I discovered he could speak fluent Spanish! None of my family knew this. Last year when my mother passed away, this family (the Espinosa's) travelled to the Mid North Coast NSW to attend the funeral despite that we haven't seen each other for many years. That's the warmth of the people from Chile, very friendly and family orientated.
Below are some stunning photos courtesy of www.chiletourism.travel and I don't know about you, but having sourced these photos and looking at all the tourism information I have received; Chile is on my Bucket List!
Click on Gallery to expand.