Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas in El Tabo, Part III: Christmas Lunch and a Visit to Patricio's

Once Rodrigo's family had gone on their way to their cabin in Algorrobo, it was time to return to mama's ranch for some Christmas lunch, which was basically leftovers from the night before.  The only thing different this time was the first course, a blandish soup consisting of one big potato, some noodles, and a strange looking piece of barbecued meat.

Now here's one of those times when my not-so-fluent Spanish got the best of me.  Rodrigo could see that I was a little confused as to the contents of the soup and he tried explaining it to me.  In his description, I thought he said the word 'conejo,' which means 'rabbit.'  I smiled and nodded, but inside I was completely grossed out!  I'm pretty adventurous when it comes to new foods, but rabbits are sooooo cute!  I'd never eaten rabbit before, and I really would never want to.

Not to be rude, I ate the contents of the soup...all of it...and oh so slowly, too.  I later confirmed from Jorge that it was not rabbit in the soup, but beef cooked a special way.  I wish I'd found out earlier...the whole thing would have definitely gone down smoother!

By the time dinner was finished it was nearly 5 o'clock already.  Between getting up late and it being summer, there were still plenty of daylight hours left (the sun is up even longer down there than here in sets at almost 10 o'clock!), so even though we'd had a full day in just five hours, there was still plenty to come on this eventful Christmas Day.  Our next stop was to visit Jorge's cousin Patricio, who lived nearby mama's house.

Patricio is an eccentric fellow, for sure.  He's got a lot of money and according to Jorge he has so much of it he doesn't know how to spend it.  I'd bought a laptop computer and a karaoke machine (those Chileans LOVE their karaoke!) for him at Best Buy and we were delivering the items to him.

Much of Patricio's wealth comes from the property he owns, which is expansive and takes up much of the hillside where Jorge's mom and other family members live.  On the way to his house, Jorge had explained that Patricio likes to buy 'stuff,' and he wasn't kidding.  Oh, the show Hoarders would love to visit this house!  The man's immense home was filled to the brim with huge collections of all sorts of things, from Matchbox cars to dolls, plates, name it.  Virtually every inch of the house was filled with some sort of collection.

The house itself was very old fashioned and very beautiful.  It actually reminded me of a much larger version of a 19th Century house I once lived in and I wouldn't mind living in it.  I quickly found out even before seeing the collectibles that 'things' weren't the only items Patricio liked to collect.  Upon our arrival, we were greeted by not only Jorge's cousin, but by 14 dogs, too, and there was a collection of about 100 chickens out back. Oy!

We didn't spend a lot of time at Patricio's house.  While we were there, he served us a couple of shots of some sort of alcoholic concoction he had made himself and I think I grew a couple of new hairs on my chest from the experience.  Afterwards, he took us outside to see one of the most incredible things I ever saw.  Patricio had a two-story guest house built in a tree towards the front of his property, which he gave us a tour of.  It was incredible and I wish I had taken pictures, but I didn't want to be rude.

After our visit with the cousin, it was off to Massael's, Jorge's thrift store in town, so that Rodrigo could take a shower (there's no hot water at the house!).  Little did I know at the time, there'd be much more still to come on this Christmas Day.

Sunset in El Tabo on Christmas Day

Stay tuned...

Check out the first two parts of Christmas in El Tabo:

Christmas Eve

A Christmas Morning Surprise

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