Pisco Elqui: where the Pisco Sours live.

Pisco Elqui Travel Blog

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Leo puts on the Party Hat.
Last night after landing in Vicuna we had a 45-minute drive to our hotel in Pisco Elqui. I was SO ready to crawl into bed, but played the good sport and went to dinner with Lisa, Mario, and Leo instead. I won't go into the gory details, but let me just say there was dancing on tables to The Cure. The night became morning, the staff finally left...yet we stayed. I gave out at 1:30, but Lisa made it to 4 am - what stamina!

This morning Lisa was a little under the weather and missed a nice breakfast of crepes with dulce de leche. I cleaned my plate as Leo picked at his, and Mario just sipped coffee (of course).  Our hotel, Refugio Misterios, is really cute, so I explored the grounds and pool area trying to figure out where our scheduled massages were supposed to be.
A poetic wall in Pisco Elqui.
  There were ancient looking bushes, many flowers - the fragrance of jasmine and lilac was just wonderful. Unfortunately the masseuse didn't show up so I went back to the toasty bungalow room, where the masseuse finally showed up 45 minutes late. We passed in order to go on a distillery tour - this is, after all, the land famous for its Pisco.

We visited Mistral for a typical distillery tour, which Leo translated for us. I passed on the samples as I planned to be flying later in the day. Lisa passed for other reasons. Then, after an excrutiatingly slow lunch, it was getting late, and we had to take off. 

Had another long (but really, really fast) drive to the Vicuna airport. Our taxi driver was the masseuse! (He changed from his "clinical" garb to his "driver" uniform -- how professional).

It was my turn to fly, and there was a nice wind down the runway.
Sightseeing.
ISWEAR I nearly clipped some trees at the end! We fly south at 5,500 feet, too high to see seals, but that didn't stop us from looking. Mario teased us and pointed out the "migrating penguins" down below. We went nuts and he and Leo had a good laugh. There were no migrating penguins.

There were many radio communications towards the end of the flight, with Mario telling Leo something in Spanish, and Leo telling me in English. It was vexing for me to simply parrot Leo's words - I am pretty good on the radio, and I wanted to do the communicating myself. It didn't go very well though, since I couldn't get the Spanish place names quite right and I got frustrated with too many people talking in the cockpit. I was a little snippy with poor Leo. 

On final approach to Valparaiso, the controller lost his English, and just started rattling off instructions in Spanish!  I should have said, "say again in English," which he would be required to do, but instead Mario jumped on and did the talking.
Lily in Pisco Elqui.
I was beyond stressed. My final approach reflected this. After doing a 360 turn to buy time for the checklist, I was then too slow and too low - not a good combination!  That was followed be a predictably awful Mario-assisted landing. How terrible. I wish I could have done it again! It's bad to walk away from the airplane like that - at home, I would have taxied back to the runway for another (hopefully more positive) attempt.







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Leo puts on the Party Hat.
Leo puts on the Party Hat.
A poetic wall in Pisco Elqui.
A poetic wall in Pisco Elqui.
Sightseeing.
Sightseeing.
Lily in Pisco Elqui.
Lily in Pisco Elqui.
Learning how Pisco is made at Mist…
Learning how Pisco is made at Mis…
Ready for take off!
Ready for take off!
2,442 km (1,517 miles) traveled
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Pisco Elqui
photo by: wendermilliken