Had breakfast this morning in the Hyatt Concierge lounge, and checked out of the hotel at 8am. Our bus tour/transfers to Valparaiso was promptly waiting for us.
We were the first two on the mini-bus and our host Jacquie gave us a warm welcome. Dos had already had the luggage sent down and it was on the bus when I got there – no small feat considering how much luggage we had! We then rode to the other hotels to pick up the rest of our fellow passengers who we will be cruising with for the next 14 days. While the Infinity cruise does not leave until tomorrow, all of us are staying overnight in Valparaiso, as it is a good 2 hour drive from Santiago.
Our guide Jacquie explained that there were major fires in Valparaiso, so the road closures could affect our itinerary somewhat today. Fortunately although two of the main roads were closed as we approached Valparaiso, another road was open and we arrived at our hotel around 4:30pm after a day of touring.
We made several stops along the way, including a nice stop at Emiliana Organic Vineyards.
Emiliana is owned by Concha y Toro, the largest winemaker in Chile, and the grounds are beautiful. Like yesterday, we had great sunny weather, although it was a bit smoky as we got towards Valparaiso with the fires.
Later as we drove thru the tunnels towards Valparasio, literally underneath the Andes mountains, and up and down a super curvy highway, we stopped for lunch, right by the beach on the Pacific Ocean! Jacquie arranged for us to be at a military site that provides rustic vacation accommodations for members of the service, mainly the Air Force. As it was a small gated community, it was nice and quiet, and we had a picnic barbecue in the open-air setting, complete with charcoal grill and picnic tables. While Jacquie was setting up for lunch, the group had time for a nice stroll on the beach there. Quite a remote area, there were some families vacationing there, and it had a rustic feel of the 1950s, but was quite charming, while the scenery was priceless.
As we headed back for lunch, Jacquie was hard at work preparing the meal, along with a local man who cooked the steaks and chicken on the grill. I had to get a photo with Jacquie as she was wearing a Mickey Mouse and friends apron!
After lunch, it was on to Valparaiso and our hotel. Most of the group was staying at the Ibis close to the port, but we are staying at the Sheraton Hotel. It’s a beautiful hotel right on the water. We have a nice corner room on the 5th floor overlooking both the water and city. Now just packing up for our Celebrity cruise tomorrow. Here’s a couple shots from the balcony of our hotel. Buenas Noches!