Grounded by the weather

Trip Start Jul 28, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Saturday, August 18, 2012

Patrick has been under the weather. The last few days have been very intense. Over breakfast we discuss staying another day or pushing on. Perhaps rest will help Patrick recover.  He feels that he wants to push on.  The decision is made.  We are at the airport by 9.  The sky is cloudy.  Patrick goes to file the flight plan and commence the process for checking out of the country.   The weather person at the airport suggests that there is an opening to the west where we can safely pass.

Patrick continues with the paper work when the weather person corrects his earlier report.  That 'opening' to the west was actually the Andes rising above the cloud cover.  Duh!  It will be a day of rest regardless of what we want. 

We return to the hotel and our same rooms.  Greg and Cathryn go for a long walk around the town and meet up with Patrick for lunch.  There is a sign promoting tours to the wine country, but they depart in the morning, so Greg and Cathryn hire a cab to drive them through the region.  

The surrounding area is arid.  We drive into the picturesque village of El Valle in nearby La Valle de la Concepción.  The driver suggests we go into La Casa Vieja, perhaps the oldest winery in Bolivia.  It is a unique tasting experience.  The host pours a glass almost to the brim and presents it to us to taste and pass on to the others who happened to enter the winery at that moment.   The last to taste is then admonished to finish the glass.  After the second glass has made the rounds, the petite woman on the end trades places with her husband.

While the wines left a bit to be desired, the winery was beautiful and the experience well worth the trip.
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