We’re back home in Louisville now, but I am only just getting the photos downloaded from our last days in Chile. I have some beautiful photos from Santa Rita vineyard, a couple of shots from another grill out we had to celebrate Colo Colo’s decisive win in a tournament final, and another 3,000 (or so) shots of Ignacia (just in case I didn’t have enough already).
One adventure that didn’t involve my nice camera was our trip to Banderas, a street in downtown Santiago that is basically the thrift district. If you’re like me and enjoy thrifting, knitting, and ceviche, let me walk you through a splendid day in Santiago:
Start off early at Calle Banderas. We visited two blocks of thrift store after thrift store, and I came away with some really fun finds. The stores aren’t as cheap as goodwill, but they have comparable thrifty prices. I struck gold in sweatshirts – Javi found this incredible University of Kentucky sweatshirt (what?!) celebrating the 1996 team dubbed “the untouchables” – coached by Rick Pitino, 34-2 season and NCAA champs (over Syracuse, and by the way, I found a vintage Syracuse sweatshirt too). I walked away with Alabama, Ohio State, Syracuse, UK and Alan Jackson (ha!) sweatshirts, a UCLA windbreaker, and a super fly traditional German dress with some pretty incredible embroidery detail. Now, these thrift stores are for “ropa Americana,” so you (probably) won’t find any cool old wool or alpaca sweaters from Chile (I looked, but not EVERYWHERE, so you never know).You might be thinking you can thrift in the US so why waste the time in Chile, but there were some *old* articles in these stores tucked away under piles of forgotten clothing, and I found it highly entertaining to go on a treasure hunt like that in another country.
After Banderas, turn the corner onto Rosas. Rosas is the yarn / textile street, and a few blocks down you’ll find a series of stores chock full of fabulous colorful yarns. Many (most) of the yarns are synthetic acrylic,but they’re much cheaper there than they are at Michaels. I was specifically looking for Chilean wool / alpaca yarn, and the store I visited (the first one I went into, which suggests to me that they’d all have pretty similar selections) had a wonderful selection of natural yarns. I walked away with 10 skeins of 80% wool, 2 of 100% alpaca and 4 skeins of a wool / alpaca mix. Textile gold.
After all that shopping, you’ll be hungry! So go to the best restaurant in Santiago: Louta. It’s so good we had to go twice before leaving, and it’s the only restaurant we visited on this trip. Javi got the paila marina (seafood soup) and I got the reineta ceviche both times. I’m also hooked on their natural juices; mango is my favorite and raspberry is Javier’s.
And that’s that! Trust me, on a Santiago summer day that much “to do” is enough to make you want a glass of wine and peace and quiet for the rest of the evening. We were wiped after Banderas and Rosas; Louta actually happened on a separate day in our own experience. I wish we had a Chilean restaurant like Louta in Louisville! Actually, I wish we had the whole Rodriguez fam in Louisville. It’s hard to put into words how much we love and miss them, but hopefully we’ll be able to see them soon – at least, sooner than what we’re used to!