On Day Six, the Monkeys woke up and had a delicious free breakfast buffet at La Pergola and then met our driver for our trip to Estancia Lolita.
We stood outside our awesome Hotel Jose Nogueira, and a Mercedes pulled up. I whispered to Mr. Monkey, "Wouldn't it be great if that were our ride?" And it was! No harrowing van ride today! Providence smiled upon us, and, in a great turn of events, the Monkeys and our private driver Claudio cruised along a beautiful smooth road in a Benz. Ahh...now this is the way to travel!
Claudio spoke no English, so Mr. Monkey and I spoke only Spanish for several hours. We learned that Claudio loved the NBA, and he and Mr. Monkey had a good time talking about team records and the latest pending trades.
After an extended discussion about the popularity of various sports in Chile, we arrived at Estancia Lolita, a small farm in the middle of nowhere. Strong winds gusted through the rolling hills and fields. We zipped up our windbreakers, threw on our hoods, and put on our warm gloves.
We observed a wildcat noshing on some bloody meat in the small shack behind Mr. Monkey in the photo above. The cat was just hunched there eating. In a shack. On a farm.
The Lion King.
Hotel Jose Nogueira, where I snapped a few last shots of quite possibly the grandest, most stately room in which we'll ever stay.
chupe (he really really loves it), while I opted for some simple tomato soup. He had the plain grilled conger eel, and I had the conger with seafood cream sauce and papas fritas. Everything was muy sabroso.
Hotel Jose Nogueira, we went to this little room. In the grand scheme of things, though, it's actually big for a ship cabin -- much larger and nicer than the cabin during our trip to the Galapagos Islands in 2004.
Six of the eight people at our table are or used to be lawyers. Obviously, the Monkeys accounted for two of the six. The others included a husband and wife from South Carolina (retired law professor and retired in-house counsel) and a brother and sister from Detroit (retired judge and city attorney). The non-lawyer couple was from Florida.
We were pretty happy with the seating arrangement, as we were a tad worried that, based solely upon our appearance and names, the powers that be would stick us with a bunch of Chinese senior citizen tourists who were on the boat.
Seriously. It has happened to us before.
When we went to the Galapagos Islands, our assigned seating was with Japanese people.
Because we were Asian.
All the other Americans sat at tables across the room, while we were forced to eat amongst our non-English-speaking yellow brethren. And then the crew was totally amazed at our perfect English. When they finally realized we were American (and not even of Japanese descent), it was too late to change tables.
(The story really isn't that bad, though. We befriended two very cool Japanese girls who were eager to practice their English with us, and it was far more fun hanging out with them than several ornery old American retirees and a really annoying rather overweight couple who constantly complained and hiked really slowly.)
Luckily, seating here was determined by reservations. Mr. Monkey and I were the first two people to book a table -- the one next to the window with the best view. Maybe that's why our table had six lawyers. We're all gunners.