horno de barro

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Autumn Sunday in Cajon del Maipo

This past Sunday, K and I, along with a couple of our Chilean friends, headed up to Cajon del Maipo for a barbeque and some hiking. Both K and I were more than happy to head out of town and get some fresh mountain air.

Cajon del Maipo is about an hour away from downtown Santiago. It is a canyon located within the Andean range. Several small towns dot the main road that spans the region.

En route, we decided to stop by one of the many small open air shops that sell authentic empanadas and pan amasado, made in traditional outdoor earthen oven called horno de barro. These wood-stoked ovens give the empanadas and breads incredible flavour. It was delicious! This was a real treat since ovens like these only really exist out in the countryside and not in Santiago. For this reason, tourists and locals alike flock to the Cajon del Maipo on weekends for fresh air and good eats.

There were many hiking routes available, but our hosts decided to take us to Cascada de Las Animas. We really enjoyed our Spanish-only guided hike. We had great views of the mountains, learnt a bit about the flora and fauna around us and visited a couple of waterfalls. We loved how we could smell the trees and the leaves. As night fell, we reluctantly left Cajon del Maipo.

It was a fantastic way to spend a brisk, Chilean, autumn Sunday. Can’t wait to go back.