Valle del Elqui

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
1
15
300
Trip End Nov 04, 2008


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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Well...after driving around for over 3,500kms since we started we both decided it was time to have a rest away from the dirt roads and connect the camper to the electricity mains to get some real chillin´ in the on board fridge (that butter really was starting to smell similar to some hippy produce).

Our thirst for adventure took us away from a first camping we found which was clean, had a restaurant (chicken roast) and a perfectly nice swimming pool...we decided to keep going and investigate further away from Pisco Elqui which has now become a bit of a tourist trap.

So a few kilometres from there we found a dirt track which was definetly not appealing for your everyday tourist - especially the wooden bridge after 1 km which stated "no heavy vehicles" stopped most people. We investigated our vehicle papers and as it certainly did not state "this vehicle is heavy" we decided to risk it...and it took our weight. We later found out that most tractors and lorries constantly used it - but the important part is that we were brave and foolish (an essential part to travelling...or not).

We found a wonderful little camping called "El Retiro". An incredible place given it was still under development. The current managers have leased it for 20 years and were in the process of building it up. It counts with a strong river flowing down one of the sides and plenty of walking space. $4,000 pesos per head.
http://www.exploraelqui.cl/

As pictures show our entertainment perfectly here go a few: horse-riding ($3,500 per person for a morning), swimming in the freezing river, trekking, BBQing and staring at the stars which are particularly intense in this valley.

Of course some Pisco Sour tasting was not missed. This is the old centre of production for Pisco Sour with plenty of vineyards and production plants.

New Year´s Eve Menu:
- Elquil bitter olives
- Seafood pate
- Steak
- Corn on the cob
- Baked Potatoes
- Xmas Biscuits

- Cristal Beer
- Maipo Red Wine
- Undurraga Champagne

12 grapes each at midnight with the fireworks....
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