Valdivia Stories and Tips

Grocery Shopping and Picnicking

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member

If you catch a nice day, you need to swing by the Botanical Gardens on the university campus. There is a fantastic variety of trees and plants, and paths that wander through the wilderness. Pack a picnic and make a day of it.

Packing a picnic means (almost unfortunately) going to the grocery store, which is an adventure of its own.

We frequented the UniMarc, since it was near where we were staying. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so bewildered.

The store is huge, calling to mind your homeland favorites. When we first walked in, I thought we’d be able to find any food in the world. I quickly realized how untrue this was when I turned down the mayonnaise aisle: shelf after shelf of the same mayonnaise, in the same sized container. Then, for variety, some smaller bottles. An entire row devoted to mayonnaise, followed by an entire row devoted to rice (but no brown rice to be found), followed by a row of flour, and so on.

The fruit and vegetable selection was good (no jalepeños, though), and you can find a variety of meats and cheeses at the deli. Remember to grab a number and wait until it is called. The bread was all about the same: white and bland.

The Bigger is another grocery option, and even though it was smaller we liked it a lot better. Without so many rows to fill, they had to make better use of the ones they had, and I swear we had better luck finding the things we wanted here.

You can also try the market near the river. You can buy fruit, vegetables, honey, and the occasional toy, but the main attraction here is the fresh fish and other sea creatures.

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