Well, after being sick all week long with the kids, and still swollen from an immune reaction that I get about twice a year, we decided that a trip to one of our favorite places was in order; Cajon Del Maipo. Cajon Del Maipo is like our home away from home. We love to go horseback riding, eat empanadas and other local fare, breath fresh air, and just be around the people that we know and love with the sweet humility that sometimes comes with country folk. Cajon Del Maipo is a canyon that lies about 30 minutes South East of Santiago in the “Cordillera De Los Andes”, it is close to some very famous wine vineyards that lie in an área called Pirque. Some of the folks that live in the Cajon Del Maipo know our family (because we are a rare bunch of gringos). Anyway, we stopped for a simple Chilean style lunch in the rustic outdoor eating booths before we started our drive up the Canyon. The kids ate some empanadas, and I had a Pastel de choclo (A rustic pie of corn with onions and meat, slow cooked in a clay bowl). We also had some soup with some runny eggs, (because we know the owners of that stand and they wanted to make us something that they believed was ultra healing and comforting). After we played with their cute pug, we headed up the canyon to ride some horses, also with a family that we know from previous experience. Of course we love chatting with them because I grew up with horses and know how to ride, the kids are learning of course as well. After we went for a short ride, Jorge started feeling sick, so we stopped by another place that we know called Luna Llena (full moon). Luna Llena is a quaint Little country chocolate shop that serves hot chocolate, chocolates, tea etc. The owner Claudia has the most beautiful heart and spirit, she just bursts warmth and humility. We ordered a kettle of hot chocolate (but she gave us two) and she served Jorge a hot herbal tea. We chatted for over an hour and when we left, she walked us out to the car holding my hands with her arms wrapped around me. Of course she said goodbye to the kids with a kiss and hug and typical questions, “When are you opening your own store and moving here?” and also “You should move either to the south of Chile or here, the city is too hard for you”. She also gave me the name of a Mapuche indian pharmacy for my immune ailments. The whole thing just makes me think that I may work on getting into the country.
No one can deny that some of the people in Chile are lovely LOVELY people, serving you with so much love, taking into consideration the smallest detail, to give you as much comfort as they can, possibly because they know that life can be hard for a huge family living in Chile! So much love went into our trip today that I think I feel better already, now back to the city, for now.