Monday, December 2, 2013

Announcing Los Parronales 2014!

Your Best Writing Experience Ever!
 Jan 19th–Feb 1st 2014

A 14-day, 13-night Adventure in Santiago, Chile.

Be inspired relishing a second culture, in a village outside the city, with inspiring writer-editors Stan Dragland and Beth Follett. Stay in the home of long-time Chile residents and grape-growers Susan & Gordon Siddeley. 
Sleep, after gazing at a sky full of stars, waken to the sight of the snow-tipped Andes Mountains, and the throaty crue of owls.   

Writing Workshop Itinerary:

Sunday: Be met and welcomed at the airport and lunch on Merlot, empanadas and Chilean tomato salad. Walk through the vineyard, explore our lower hill slopes and meet our wonderful on-site family. In the evening dine on salmon and sip Chardonnay.  

Monday & Tuesday: Read, write, listen and discuss during the first Morning Session. Lunch on traditional soup and salad, relax and enjoy afternoons of free writing, consultations and possibly a trip to Chile’s famous Jumbo store.

Wednesday: Love our Day Out at the coast! Travelling down Ruta 68, past eye-burning, pink Bourgainvillea, marvel at the pristine vineyards as we head for Isla Negra, favourite museum home of Nobel, prize-winning Chilean Poet, Pablo Neruda. It’s perched on the cliff tops overlooking the rolling breakers of the South Pacific. Run your fingers along his desk, appreciate his rooms, admire his amazing collections. Then, buy arty souvenirs from local writers and craftsmen in the nearby square. Returning via Ruta del Sol, explore the village of Pomaire where people devote themselves to pottery -making and afterwards swap notes over tea in a rustic restaurant.  

Thursday & Friday: Morning sessions and free-time afternoons. Now is the time to go walking…enjoy the gardens and hillside views. In the evening join in a game of Scrabble or our hilarious Dictionary Game!

Saturday: Our 5th morning session, and after lunch, taking advantage of a quiet weekend (many Chileans go to the beach in January) we head for the City Centre for an afternoon of sightseeing. This includes the Presidential Palace-La Moneda, Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral and the Pre-Columbian museum. We sometimes manage to squeeze in a drive around Las Condes, passing the impressive Canadian & American Embassies on our way to Los Dominicos, a high-end craft market in a historic cloister - a tourist favourite for shoppers before travelling home.

Sunday The morning is free, but we have horses! Those who would like, can join us  on a ride around the neighbouring hill where the last of the real huasos (Chilean cowboys) live! After a traditional Sunday lunch of empanadas we return to Santiago to see Pablo Neruda’s main house in the bohemian Bellavista District, We usually eat out there, with your choice of restaurant – choose from chic to the popular Chop (beer) and Papas Fritas,  pub-style eateries.

Week Two: Repeats the pattern of Week One

… Except forWednesday, when we go to Valparaiso, Chile’s amazing world heritage port; a stunning semi-circle of hills, covered with pastel-coloured houses packed precariously on the ravine sides. Views are astounding, especially for those who take a deep breath and ride up in one of the creaky funiculars. Valparaiso is also the site of Pablo Neruda’s third house. High on a hill, this one so tall and narrow, tours are self-guided. We usually taxi up and walk down. Also to see are the unusual Parliament buildings, docks, Naval Headquarters and vivid street murals.

Saturday: The wrap-up session with a celebratory Despedida (good-bye) lunch and the treat we all enjoy - our own Folklore Show where the local family so kindly show us how to dance! It is always as moving as it is brilliant.

Cost: is $160 per day (single room)* inclusive of the workshop sessions, consultations, breakfast, lunch, Happy Hour, dinner with wine, tea and coffee. Plus: Free airport pick up and drop off.

Please email

For costs re: shared rooms and non-workshop participants

Does not include: Airfare, meals eaten ‘out’ or the small charge (about $20 per day-trip) to cover transport costs.
Medical insurance - a must!
to see our slide show on Shaw Guides
See more information at Spirit Level Workshop!

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