Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Books and Food in Peurto Montt on our last day

This poster is in our hotel lobby here and shows the many waterways
around Peurto Montt

Today is our last day in Peurto Montt as we catch the 8:30 am bus and travel to Beriloche on a 7 hour journey. I hope there are not many mountain passes involved.  Beriloche was originally established by German immigrants and is a large ski area this time of year. However we hope to enjoy the beauty of the multitude of lakes there and the quiet of a smaller city. Besides we still have about 500 books to read on our Kindles.

Today we walked into town and explored a more affluent area of the city. We needed to get some Argentinian pesos as Beriloche is in Argentina. 

We are doing okay even though the Argentinian peso is stronger than the Chilean peso, the Australian dollar is stronger than the U.S. dollar so the exchange rates continue to be favourable.

We walked along the waterfront again and ended up at the big new mall that is in Peurto Montt. It is certainly a contrast to the bus station end of town. As it was too early for lunch we decided to go inside and have a look.  We are not big fans of malls as we think they all look exactly the same no matter where we travel but we did want a cup of coffee and thought we'd find one there.  

I was also curious if there were any book stores inside or if I would be able to find something along the book theme to keep up with the spirit of this blog to photograph.

Yes,, Believe it or not,
 Ripley's is the name of the anchor store of the mall.

We found a little food court that had very good coffee and sat at our table people watching people which is one of our favourite past times. Across from the cafe was a chain bookstore and we decided to go in and have a look. We realised everything would be in Spanish but I particularly enjoy seeing the various covers of books I am familiar with in Tasmania with different covers. They also had some books in English as a salesman was quick to tell us but we have all those books on our Kindle and travelling with books is just too hard.

This child's version of Don Quixote struck my fancy.
  I love Don Quixote and the representation here of  the characters made me laugh.
I know I will have to endure seeing copies
  of this book both in new and second hand book 
shops & op shops, for years to come. 
I think it is just akin to bad graffiti. 
The layout of the books was fairly
traditional in this chain store.

A couple of popular books translated into Spanish.  

We tired of the mall fairly quickly and decided to do one last walk around several city blocks and then it would be time for lunch. We saw an interesting restaurant on a corner we decided to go back and try it  as it was filled with people which is always a good sign.
Lunch is served here.

However we still seem to be struggling with the menus in Spanish.  We look through the menus which are usually vast. We focus on the specials because that eliminates a lot of fruitless translation.
Today we knew we were NOT going to have a hamburger. Yesterday we ordered hamburgers and got chicken burgers. No idea how that happened as we did not see the word ' pollo' anywhere which means chicken.

We were seated quickly in a booth by the window, opened the menu and decided we wanted sopapillias. We know what they are.  The waitress came and between Spanish, English and gestures we decided on the sopapillias.  The entry under that item also intimated the sopapillias would be mixed. Some would be filled with chicken, some with another meat, etc.

The plate of sopapillias arrived. They come with a mild tomato/onion salsa mixed with parsley and also another more pungent hot sauce.  We looked at the plate and thought, "Okay a nice size platter for lunch." They were hot, non greasy and delicious. However they were empty.  We opened each of them with our fork and just air inside. What about the meat and chicken fillings. We polished them off and as they are a dough they are very filling.  We started talking about what we would do after lunch.
Just as we were finishing the last crumb and the sauce the waitress turned up with a big smile and.......

A BIG MIXED PLATTER..     Vegetarians? Look away...Here was the filling of our sopapillias all right.

Four large pork chops, two smoked sausages that were really thick, two very long hot dogs, plus two chicken thighs attached to two chicken legs. At the bottom of this dish are two very large peeled cooked whole potatoes all swimming in a sauce at the bottom. The bottom dish had a lit candle in it and everything was steaming hot.

We burst out laughing because we could not believe we were meant to eat all of this food.  We aren't big meat eaters however we do eat meat.  So in thinking, while in Rome............
We ate what we could but only made a dent on a chop each and a single bite from a big fat sausage. 

There was no way we could eat it all. We are also concious this is a poor country and we could not let it go to waste. 
Then we noticed a saving grace. Doggie bags!  Everyone was packing up their food to take home. Well we couldn't keep this at home or in our hotel room but we are aware of the starving dogs everywhere in this town.  Yesterday we handed out an entire box of dog bone treats we bought at the supermarket.

We didn't know how to get this food to homeless people but we knew how to feed the dogs. So off we trotted out of this restaurant with our wrapped package of meat.  Off to find a dog. This would be a quick job as there are dogs everywhere. Do you think we could find a dog? We walked blocks and could not find a single dog. Yesterday we walked blocks and found 30 of them.  
We walked closer and closer to our hotel and in the end I hid all of the food in the tall grass at the bottom of the steep hill our hotel sets on top of.  We then went upstairs to our room. I sat down at the computer, looking out the window and watched and waited for a dog, any dog to come along and find this.  It took about 20 minutes before a very skinny young black dog we had seen hanging around found this food.  We sat in the window and watched him eat every bit of it. He must have thought he won the lottery.  It was too bad we couldn't have fed a human but we don't usually put much difference between humans and animals and dogs feel hunger pains just as humans. So all was not lost and the food was not wasted.

I think we will be studying the phrase book a lot more before our next restaurant meal. Tom's Spanish is very good in most situations but we just haven't transferred any skill yet to menus....except "Cerveza"  (Beer)

It felt great to get back to our hotel room.

1 comment:

  1. Harry is a clever canine and has booked a flight to Beriloche and should be there about dinner time. He will look after your excess meat next time.
    Keep the stories rolling we lokk forward to the next.
    Jed and jeltje


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