San Rafael...feels like home.
I traveled to San Rafael to visit a friend and fellow adventure motorcyclist named Alejandro whom I had met while traveling from Peru to Chile. Alejandro's family welcomed me with open arms. Upon my arrival I had the chance to meet his mother Rita, his girlfriend Noelia and his cousin's family. Alejandro is a chemical engineer by profession and works at a local university. Rita is a retired teacher. Noelia is an art instructor. And his cousin and wife are both physical education instructors. The kids are just kids, they like to play. The first thing they introduced me to was a nice lunch.
In the afternoon, Alejandro took me to a place called Valle Grande. It was a beautiful area which contained a lake and river surrounded by a mountain range.
We were taken on a tour of the facilities. I learned that the process for producing champagne is a bit different than the process for producing wine. Essentially, there is a second fermentation which may take place in the bottle, an aging on the lees, riddling, disgorging and dosage.
We passed by this old bank which has been converted into a municipal building.
My first shot hit the outer ring... 1 point. After I realized how delicate the trigger mechanism was, I took another shot. My second shot hit a 9. Not bad for a first attempt with an olympic rifle. Guns and shooting... it is in my blood as a native Texan.
I must say that I was happy to visit Alejandro and his family, but I was sad to leave. They truly made me feel at home. Alas, the weather was starting to turn cold. I needed to head north before the cold, rain and snow set in.
I rode off into the cold, but with a warm heart.