This week, I’m splitting my weekend into two posts: the first for Fiesta de la Cerveza, AKA Chilean Oktoberfest, and another will follow about my hike on Sunday. Read one, read the other, read both, whatever you please! I figured it would be more clearly organized this way. As my friends and family can attest to, I like things to be in order and as easy to read as possible. Speaking of which, the font size of my blog bothers me a bit: it’s bigger than I would like. I would prefer not to pay to update the size, so this is what I’m sticking with for now. My parents most recently commented on my list-making when I was told to send Christmas gift ideas, and shared with them a Google Drive document with categories and links. And some of the items on that list were things to organize my kitchen in Philly. MB, I’m coming for you and sorting the silverware drawer!
On Saturday morning, ER and I met up at La Vega Central, closer to the center of Santiago, to check out all it has to offer. La Vega is a huge farmers market: if it grows in Chile, you can find it here. Everything is fresh and you can walk from stall to stall looking at everything there is to offer. ER and I tasted fresh yellow oranges, and bought smoothies to sip on as we wandered. There were bins of Chilean chirimoya, different varieties of palta|avocado, some funky kiwi that grew in a two-for-one deal, and countless other fruits and vegetables, not to mention the spices, nuts, and other foods being sold.
When we were satisfied that we saw all we wanted to see, we moved on to a flower market nearby. While the market is always selling flowers, there were special arrangements on display for the weekend holidays: Día de las Iglesias Evangélicas y Protestantes and Día de Todos los Santos.
We continued a few more blocks to Mercado Central. I mentioned Mercado Central in a post a few weeks ago, but this time, we spent a little more time looking around. I plan to go back again before coming home for Christmas, as they have vendors selling Chilean trinkets, hats, and sweaters. I know it’s touristy, but I want to have a least one small souvenir. Plus I need to buy postcards: I keep meaning to but forgetting. I always remember when there are no stands in sight. Besides being a great tourist attraction, Mercado Central has fantastic fish apparently. I haven’t eaten there yet, but there are restaurants lining the central area, and vendors with fresh fish on ice around the perimeter. Fish this fresh comes with a price though: a floor greased with a soup of fish guts and salt water. Everyone else had the right idea and came in rain boots. Me? Flip flops. ER and I wove our way through the crowd, avoided particularly prominent puddles, snapped some pictures, and headed out to meet our friends for Oktoberfest.
On to Fiesta de la Cerveza! We hopped on a bus at Estación Central in Santiago, and about an hour later we were in Malloco, amongst stalls upon stalls of beer. You could taste the different beers at nearly every stall, as well as buy full glasses. Live music and typical Chilean choripán rounded out the day. We had a little trouble near the end of the day with Chilean men approaching us (loud and usually drunk) to take pictures with us. The gringas cannot blend in no matter where we go. We kept refusing, but they were persistent. Luckily, we had JR to back us up, and he pieced together a story and told the guys that if they really wanted a picture they would have to pay 1,000 Chilean pesos (a little less than $2) per dama|woman per photo, but that we would really prefer our privacy than any photos at all. Whether they believed it or not, they backed off, and we were free to enjoy the rest of our time. JR, you the real MVP. 🙂