When we learned last month that we could not extend the permission for our Chillean car to stay in Peru, Dimitri sprung a revolutionary idea on me. He said that since we had to drive back to Chile anyway, why not keep driving south and spend the 2007 winter in the Southern Hemisphere skiing in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina?
As usual, I was slow on the uptake of the idea. I had an idée fixe to drive back into Peru to Machu Picchu and Cuzco, after picking up the extension to our Chillean resident visa (hopefully in Arica). It turned out to be necessary to do the 5-day drive back to Santiago to pick up the extension to our resident visa (not wanting to wait the month or two in Arica while our paperwork was transferred from Santiago to Arica). And so our plans came together to drive south in Chile and then over the border into Argentina to ski from June to September.
Our then favorite Camènére was from Viña Casa Silva. The reserva is reasonably priced and excellent. We realized that the bodega was right on our way going south and that they had a small boutique hotel associated with the winery. While it was expensive to stay there, we decided to experience our one winery stay in Chile at Viña Casa Silva.
We left Santiago at noon and drove 150 km, arriving at Viña Casa Silva in Angostura, San Fernando at 1:50 pm. (Casa Silva Hotel, Valle de Colchagua, Hijuela a Norte s/n, 3 Casa Lote A, Angostura,San Fernando, fono 72-91 30 91, Casilla 97 web: www.casasilva.cl) Staying at the hotel cost US$150 with a bottle of Casa Silva Los Lingues Carmènére included (sold at a price of CLP$7.900 in their restaurant).)
The room was large but not too comfortable. It was really, really cold. The hotel explained that the gas delivery had not been made by Argentina and they couldn't (or didn't) turn on the heat. We were brought a portable heater and went to lunch.
The restaurant is lovely and the food was good but it is very close to the bodega itself and it was really, really, really cold there. There was heat but not nearly enough. Anyway, we had nice salads for lunch and spent CLP$10.700.
In the afternoon we sat in the lovely lounge and read magazines, not wanting to take a winery tour. We've done that so many times.... Then we had a lovely (and slightly warmer) dinner in the restaurant, spending CLP$24.000 and left the next day after (the included) breakfast.