T HE M OUNTAINS
On Day 22 , after breakfast, we met with Luis, our driver, and got started on the road to the Andes. The little town/ski resort of Portillo is some 100 miles from Santiago. The drive was interesting since we saw lots of agriculture and Luis was very knowledgeable about what was growing in the fields. Chile is very much like Southern California in climate and soil conditions so much of what grows in the Imperial and San Joaquin Valleys grows here in Chile such as almonds, walnuts, nectarines, apricots, grapes (both table and wine), melons, raspberries, peaches, artichokes and asparagus. Among the more curious things we were shown were the Federal Prison at Colina and the Sanctuary of Chile’s only Saint, Santa Teresa de Los Andes. She was a sixteenth century nun who founded the Carmelite order. Luis told us we could go to the Sanctuary on the way home if we wished. He didn’t offer a prisonvisit.
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