A Travellerspoint blog

Argentina

Mendoza malbec and more

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View A Rough Outline of our Trip on daveliz's travel map.

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MENDOZA

Mendoza, Argentina, was an area we looked forward to the entire year. We were supposed to start off our honeymoon in the romantic setting of vineyards and mountains back in November 2008, but a border strike prevented us from getting there. We finally rolled into Mendoza in December 2009 on yet another overnight bus (that is five in the last few weeks!) Mendoza is a beautiful, relaxed city with lots of parks, plazas and tree lined streets, but we set our expectations too high on the grape scene. The wine was fantastic, but we had a vision of peaceful vineyards and quaint villages sitting at the foothills of the snow capped Andes mountains, similar to regions we experienced in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and in the States. Rather, the villages were not that well kept and the vineyards were on fairly busy streets with unwelcoming security gates.

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Mendoza city has two main areas for vineyards, Chacras de Coria and the more well known Maipu region, which was the first in the nation and we believe started by a Chilean. Mendoza is one of the top five largest wine regions in the world, the largest in Argentina producing 70% of the country's wines. The area is best known for its red wines, especially malbec, as the climate for growing ripe fruit is excellent with dry, hot summers and cool winters.

This vineyard wasn't open to the public, but we enjoyed the view!

This vineyard wasn't open to the public, but we enjoyed the view!


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We toured the Chacras de Coria region by bike, making stops at Bodegas Alta Vista, Lagarde and Clos de  Chacras. The most picturesque vineyard we visited was Alta Vista. It also had the best wines we tasted that day.

We toured the Chacras de Coria region by bike, making stops at Bodegas Alta Vista, Lagarde and Clos de Chacras. The most picturesque vineyard we visited was Alta Vista. It also had the best wines we tasted that day.


These stainless steel tanks hold the cheaper and younger red wines, white wines and champaign for fermenting. Alta Vista uses huge cement tanks for the higher quality wines, because that allows for better temperature control.

These stainless steel tanks hold the cheaper and younger red wines, white wines and champaign for fermenting. Alta Vista uses huge cement tanks for the higher quality wines, because that allows for better temperature control.


The higher quality and more complex red wines age in these French and American oak barrels for six to 36 months. This process is the second fermentation period taking place after the wine has been sitting in the cement tanks.

The higher quality and more complex red wines age in these French and American oak barrels for six to 36 months. This process is the second fermentation period taking place after the wine has been sitting in the cement tanks.


The Alta Vista tasting room used to be one of the old cement tanks. The small window in the lower right displayed the three foot thickness of the wall. The floor and doors are made from parts of an old, giant oak barrel.

The Alta Vista tasting room used to be one of the old cement tanks. The small window in the lower right displayed the three foot thickness of the wall. The floor and doors are made from parts of an old, giant oak barrel.


Dave likes the torrontes best, a white wine unique to Argentina, with malbec coming in a close second.

Dave likes the torrontes best, a white wine unique to Argentina, with malbec coming in a close second.


We loved seeing the old cars en route.

Although drivers in Argentina have embraced new cars, they haven't forgotten about some old goodies. You see old Fords, Peugeots, Renaults and Citroens everywhere, probably very reminiscent of Cuba.

Although drivers in Argentina have embraced new cars, they haven't forgotten about some old goodies. You see old Fords, Peugeots, Renaults and Citroens everywhere, probably very reminiscent of Cuba.


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Mendoza city itself is quite vibrant.

Families gather on weekend days at Parque de San Martin.

Families gather on weekend days at Parque de San Martin.


At night, Mendoza is hopping with bar-lined streets. We tried our best to go out to dance, but with the start time of 1 a.m., us old farts were in bed. We were awake enough to grab a drink beforehand on Av. Aristides Villanueva

At night, Mendoza is hopping with bar-lined streets. We tried our best to go out to dance, but with the start time of 1 a.m., us old farts were in bed. We were awake enough to grab a drink beforehand on Av. Aristides Villanueva


Mendoza is also the nearest city to Aconcagua, which is is the highest mountain in the western hemisphere. Fortunately, Dave had no desire to do the 15 day hike to the top. Perhaps the thought of his complaining wife next to him gravitated him towards another glass of wine instead!

SAN RAFAEL

Before going to Mendoza city, we visited San Rafael, which is in the south of the Mendoza province and also known for its wine, fruit and olive trees. We visited Bodegas Valentin Bianchi, Suter and La Abeja. Argentinians rave about Bianchi and it was the best of the three.

Valentin Bianchi´s wine cellar was huge. It stores thousands of bottles of wine.

Valentin Bianchi´s wine cellar was huge. It stores thousands of bottles of wine.


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We tasted homemade marmalade from one of many shops outside a fruit farm.

We tasted homemade marmalade from one of many shops outside a fruit farm.


SAN RAFAEL is also known for the Cañón del Atuel and the El Nihuil Dam. The canyon is about 60 km long and made from a variety of rock types and formations. Unfortunately we don't have the best photos, because we went on one of the worst tours ever. . . only stopping at the hydroelectric plants and not sights of nature's beauty. At the end of the tour we had a really bad wine tasting too :(

The colorful walls of Cañon del Atuel.

The colorful walls of Cañon del Atuel.


Thankfully we did stop at the Valle Grande reservoir, which was pretty exquisite with its turquoise water and mountainous surroundings.

Thankfully we did stop at the Valle Grande reservoir, which was pretty exquisite with its turquoise water and mountainous surroundings.


This street sign in San Rafael marks where it all began. We bought our around the world flight ticket in Buenos Aires, and stop number one was Chile.

This street sign in San Rafael marks where it all began. We bought our around the world flight ticket in Buenos Aires, and stop number one was Chile.


Before getting on an overnight bus to Santiago, Chile, we spent a few hours on our last day in Argentina at the Termas Cacheuta, a thermal water park just outside of Mendoza. The natural, warm and bubbly springs promised to give us a bit of relaxation before returning home. Unfortunately, the million and one children running around had something else in mind.

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Twenty six countries later we have returned to Santiago, Chile, where we began our trip. We have come full circle before returning home to Boston.

- Elizabeth and Dave

Posted by daveliz 12:26 Archived in Argentina Comments (3)

¡Champaquí!

Hiking to the highest peak in the Córdoba province, El Cerro Champaquí (9,154 ft), in the Sierras Grandes mountain range.

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Cerro Champaquí, Córdoba, Argentina, through the clouds.

Cerro Champaquí, Córdoba, Argentina, through the clouds.


Elizabeth and I often reflect on our year of travel and have the strange sensation that the past 14 months have been a dream. We've found that one of the best ways to inject a dose of reality is to visit people we've met along the way. This is one reason why I was so insistent that we climb Champaquí, the highest mountain in the Córdoba province, with a few of the Argentinians I met on Kilimanjaro.

Perhaps, subconsciously, it was also why I misinterpreted the Spanish dossier sent to me by Miguel, my Kilimanjaro friend and guide for the Alto Rumbo Champaquí hike. I initially translated it to say three day hike with three to four hours of hiking each day, so Elizabeth agreed to do it with me. In reality, there were three to four hour hikes in the morning and then in the afternoon. Sorry Elizabeth!

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Elizabeth wasn't too happy with my mistake since hiking seven hours a day for three days straight isn't her thing. Now that I say it, it doesn't sound fun to me either! Never-the-less, she made it to the top easily with only a few (hundred) minor complaints along the way ;-)

Elizabeth wasn't too happy with my mistake since hiking seven hours a day for three days straight isn't her thing. Now that I say it, it doesn't sound fun to me either! Never-the-less, she made it to the top easily with only a few (hundred) minor complaints along the way ;-)


How many women would within a year live in a car, sleep in a tent, hike mountains in the rain, use bathrooms ill-suited for humans, take cold showers and not kill their husband? I'm a lucky man!

How many women would within a year live in a car, sleep in a tent, hike mountains in the rain, use bathrooms ill-suited for humans, take cold showers and not kill their husband? I'm a lucky man!


We hiked with a group of nine fun and friendly Argentinians. Raul, with whom I hiked Kilimanjaro, was the only English speaker.

We hiked with a group of nine fun and friendly Argentinians. Raul, with whom I hiked Kilimanjaro, was the only English speaker.


Miguel, our Alto Rumbo guide, describing the history and geology of Champaquí and the Valle de Calamuchita in Spanish. I tried to translate for Elizabeth, but my Spanish was pushed past my limit. Miguel would talk for five minutes and I would inevitably translate, "that rock is of some importance."

Miguel, our Alto Rumbo guide, describing the history and geology of Champaquí and the Valle de Calamuchita in Spanish. I tried to translate for Elizabeth, but my Spanish was pushed past my limit. Miguel would talk for five minutes and I would inevitably translate, "that rock is of some importance."


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Everyone made it to the top successfully just in time for siesta.

Everyone made it to the top successfully just in time for siesta.


Our group at dinner the night of the summit. Even though we didn't understand everything they were saying, they made the experience enjoyable. We made them all a bit jealous with our 14 month trip. Extended travel is even more unheard of for Argentinians than Americans.

Our group at dinner the night of the summit. Even though we didn't understand everything they were saying, they made the experience enjoyable. We made them all a bit jealous with our 14 month trip. Extended travel is even more unheard of for Argentinians than Americans.


"Equipo Kilimanjaro." Me, Miguel, Viviana, and Raul.

"Equipo Kilimanjaro." Me, Miguel, Viviana, and Raul.


After the hike we explored Villa General Belgrano, a little German village that serves as the base camp for Alto Rumbo.

If people weren't speaking Spanish you'd think we were in Germany.

If people weren't speaking Spanish you'd think we were in Germany.


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It's amazing how many towns and cities we've seen in a year. We've taken countless bus trips from town to town. Córdoba was the next city to mark off on the map. We got a small dose of life in the city before our next destination, the province of Mendoza.

Elizabeth gets cozy for our overnight bus trip.

Elizabeth gets cozy for our overnight bus trip.


Córdoba has an extensive network of pedestrian ways.

Córdoba has an extensive network of pedestrian ways.


The ubiquitous Argentinian town plaza with man on horse in the middle. Every city and town in Argentina centers around a large square.

The ubiquitous Argentinian town plaza with man on horse in the middle. Every city and town in Argentina centers around a large square.


The architecture is very European.

The architecture is very European.


Córdoba is a Jesuit town with churches on every corner. Each one has its own character.

Córdoba is a Jesuit town with churches on every corner. Each one has its own character.


Córdoba has the largest university in Argentina. Nearing the end of the school year, sorority girls make a little noise marching down the main street.

Córdoba has the largest university in Argentina. Nearing the end of the school year, sorority girls make a little noise marching down the main street.


We had to buy the peculiar looking green fruit from this peddler. Two days later we realized it was a fig and not some tropical Argentinian fruit.

We had to buy the peculiar looking green fruit from this peddler. Two days later we realized it was a fig and not some tropical Argentinian fruit.


One thing we find hard to swallow in Argentina is the diet. Individually the meat, empanadas and sweets are delicious. However, a typical breakfast is white bread with dulce de leche (caramel spread), lunch consists of ham and cheese on white bread, and dinner is some type of meat, meat, meat with a combo of rice, potatoes or pasta. Fruit and vegetables are rarely on the table. We were surprised that even the athletic hikers didn't vary their diet to give them more energy. Meanwhile, our insides feel like glue.

Onwards . . . a few more bottles of wine, a handful of empanadas and alfahores, and some Latin dancing in Mendoza and our trip will quickly come to a close. We're looking forward to seeing our friend Valeria and her family in Santiago, Chile, soon where it all began. It's sure to be a sentimental and emotional experience!

- Dave

Posted by daveliz 03:38 Archived in Argentina Comments (3)

Mission accomplished! Salt Flats.

Our journey to Salta and Cafayate, Argentina

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View A Rough Outline of our Trip on daveliz's travel map.

Coke is it! The biggest thing around. Salinas Grandes, Argentina.

Coke is it! The biggest thing around. Salinas Grandes, Argentina.


From the beginning of our world trip, I wanted to visit a salt flat, a dried lake of salt, which looks like a snow covered desert. Our goal was to visit the world's largest salt flat in Bolivia, but unfortunately relations between Bolivia and the US have not been good. When we started the trip in Oct. 08, there were travel warnings for Americans to stay out of Bolivia. Now, Bolivia wants US citizens to pay $135, give bank statements from the last three months and requires a passport photo on a red background, which is absurd. I can go into all of the political reasons for this, but Dave and I simply decided that getting this visa was not worth the hassle. It is apparent to us that newly re-elected President Evo Morales does not welcome Americans right now, which is a shame, because Bolivia is a beautiful country and many of its citizens depend on tourism dollars that will no longer come from us, among others.

As a consolation we settled for the more convenient Salinas Grandes north of Salta, Argentina.


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Salt Flat Romance.

Salt Flat Romance.


Dave is in the palm of my hands.

Dave is in the palm of my hands.


Salt forms in a honeycomb shape as the earth moves.

Salt forms in a honeycomb shape as the earth moves.


Salt is collected for human consumption and use from these pools dug into the salt flat, which are constantly regenerating themselves with new salt. Iodine is added for eating purposes.

Salt is collected for human consumption and use from these pools dug into the salt flat, which are constantly regenerating themselves with new salt. Iodine is added for eating purposes.


En route to the Salt Flats we drove along the road next to the Train to the Clouds.

Tren a  Las Nubes runs on the third highest railway in the world. It is now only used for tourism purposes.

Tren a Las Nubes runs on the third highest railway in the world. It is now only used for tourism purposes.


We climbed up steep mountain roads, passing colorful mountains made up of several types of rock.

We climbed up steep mountain roads, passing colorful mountains made up of several types of rock.


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We also passed desert filled with cactus.

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And stopped in small Inca influenced villages.

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Colorful quilts for sale on the streets of Purmamarca, a small, touristy town.

Colorful quilts for sale on the streets of Purmamarca, a small, touristy town.


Purmamarca is known for the Cerro de los 7 Colores, but when we arrived and the sun was setting only about 5 colors appeared on the mountain.

Purmamarca is known for the Cerro de los 7 Colores, but when we arrived and the sun was setting only about 5 colors appeared on the mountain.


This small town was straight from a western film.

This small town was straight from a western film.


Doesn't this town look like Lego Land?

Doesn't this town look like Lego Land?


The northwest of Argentina is quite rural and poor. Sugarcane and tobacco production are the main agriculture industries in the area, which help the local economy. We learned that Virginia tobacco either directly or indirectly supports about 500,000 people a year in this region.

SALTA is the capital of the Salta Province. It is a medium size city with a nice square in downtown and pedestrian shopping ways.

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Salta church.

Salta church.


Direct deposit hasn't made its way to Argentina. Bank lines are incredibly long, wrapping around buildings, especially at the beginning of the month when seniors want to collect government checks.

Direct deposit hasn't made its way to Argentina. Bank lines are incredibly long, wrapping around buildings, especially at the beginning of the month when seniors want to collect government checks.


CAFAYATE is a quaint town about two hours south of Salta. It is influenced by Spanish architecture and ancient tribes.

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Cafayate rests in a valley high above sea level and is known for its wine.

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We rented bikes to ride around the wine region, not really thinking about the high altitude, dirt roads and affect of the wine. Hmmm. We really enjoyed wines from Finca Los Nubes and Domingo Hermanos, especially torrontes wine grown from a grape native to Argentina.

Here are some scenes from the bodegas:

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AMAICHA DEL VALLE is home to the Pachamama museum, which is not to be missed in the middle of this small town on the way to Tucuman from Cafayate. The property is part sculpture park and part art/history museum solely designed by artist Hector Cruz. Pachamama means mother earth, so the focus of the paintings, tapestries and sculptures is on nature and the aboriginal culture in Argentina.

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Like the locals in small town Argentina, Dave flagged down the bus to take us to Tucuman so we could catch another bus to Cordoba. It was a long day!

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With less than one week left, Dave and I are trying to enjoy every minute, but are sad about the impending end to our adventure.

Coming up . . . hiking to the top of the highest mountain in Cordoba, plus wine tasting and canyons in San Rafael.

- Elizabeth

Posted by daveliz 11:34 Archived in Argentina Comments (1)

Ruta 40

Our journey to the end of the earth

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Our journey on the infamous Ruta 40 started out nice enough. While driving out of Bariloche we were treated to great views of it's pristine lakes and mountains that are all part of Nahuel Huapi National Park. For the first half of the day there were paved roads, several cars and buses zooming past, lots of sheep and horse ranches, and plenty of Patagonian wildflowers to keep our curiosity arroused. At around 3 p.m. the pavement ended and the bus slowed to 30-40 mph, starting to bump, clunk and swerve as the driver navigated the dirt road for the rest of the 24 hour trip.

(Elizabeth´s two cents: If you thought the drive from Boston to Rochester was bad with no exits for 30 mile increments, then don´t do Ruta 40. No exits. No drastic scenery changes. And a ride where you probably should wear bike shorts on the bus for ultimate comfort!)

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As the journey progressed we noticed fewer signs of human life. The sheep were appearing more and more emaciated. A few wild horses and road runners crossed in front of the bus on occassion. Water was scarce, but to my amazement we passed a tiny pond after lunch that had pink flamingos basking in the sun. I wondered what the heck pink flamingos were doing near the end of the earth in the Patagonian desert. Although known for its mountains, Patagonia is primarily desert. I pointed the flamingos out to Elizabeth and she acknowledged them with little reaction. So, I figured I must have missed out on the Patagonian flamingo Discovery Channel special.

As we continued, the sheep were bordering anorexia and not due to a recent sheering! We then saw a strange species that was a cross between a llama and a deer. Elizabeth coined them Llameer, to later find out from a postcard they are really guanacas.

The flamingos had been on my mind for much of the day so I finally said to Elizabeth, "Who would have thought that pink flamingos would be in a place like this?" Apparently she didn't believe there were flamingos in Patagonia either. She thought the pink things in the pond were just pink booeys. Since there didn't appear to be much shipping traffic in the miniature pond, and it certainly couldn´t be designated a swimming area with population zero, we were at a loss as to which one of us was halucinating.

Moving on, we stayed the night in one of the few towns between Bariloche and El Chaltén called Perito Moreno of which there is nothing to say except our hotel was very sketchy. As efficient as it sounds, think twice about staying at a place where you can shower, brush your teeth, and go to the bathroom all at the same time.

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The next day, another 12 hour drive where the land became more barren. The amazing thing was we still stared out the window and enjoyed the scenery. Perhaps in amazement of the emptiness of this large landscape. We did see one strange species on this day, a group of mountain bikers biking the desolate Ruta 40! It probably took them at least a couple of weeks to complete the road.

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Nearing 10 p.m. and still light outside, things finally started to spring to life. We reached a huge lake, mountains, a river, sheep and horses as we neared El Chaltén. What a journey!

We spent a few days in El Chaltén, a city built circa 1985 that used zero urban planning skills. Built by a bunch of 20-something mountain guides for the sole purpose of trekking in Parque Nacional los Glaciares, this town has very little character, lots of old beater cars lying around, half built houses, and a location smack in the middle of a long, windy valley (this place might beat Mt. Washington in the Whites for avg. wind speed!)

(Elizabeth´s two cents: I´m taking the title of ´windy city´away from Chicago. They don´t deserve it! In El Chalten I could barely get my footing outside to make progress down the road. )

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Never-the-less we enjoyed two days of hiking around Mt. Fitz Roy. The hikes were long, but not too difficult. The first day was a beautiful six hour hike to Glaciar Torres. The highlight was on the way back when we learned a very valuable travel lesson. A herd of llamas came stampeding down the trail followed by their owner. Elizabeth and I jumped out of the way, but they were eventually slowed by a group of German hikers. The llama owner politely asked , "permiso?" which in spanish is short for "please permit me (and my llamas) to pass." I'm afraid in German it might mean "you are permitted to hug the animal." The owner quickly yelled and stopped the embarrassed German girl from petting the llama before it bit her hand off. It gave Elizabeth and I a good laugh for the better part of the two hours left in the hike. Moral of the story, if you don't understand the language, be careful what you assume someone is saying to you!

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The wind on the second day was so strong that Elizabeth couldn´t stand up straight, so started, but didn´t feel comfortable completing the hike. I went on and was rewarded with a truly special view of Fitz Roy Mountain and Laguna de los Tres. This glacial lake was such a bright emerald green I was suspicious the glaciar was contanimated with anti-freeze! Beautiful never-the-less.

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Elizabeth couldn´t take the wind anymore, so we got back on Ruta 40 and headed to El Calafate, a town with a lot more charm, artesenal shops, and home to one of the few expanding glaciers in the world, the Perito Moreno Glacier. We did an ice trek around the glacier and were awed by its immensity. The amazing thing is that the Perito Moreno Glacier is a tiny fraction of the immense size of the Patagonian ice field that it is attached. The glacier is 8 km wide and the ice cap is 84 km wide and nearly as long as Patagonia itself. Another interesting fact is that the glacier exists below tree line near sea level and in a relatively warm climate due to the snow generated by the Pacific Ocean and Andes Mountains. We enjoyed listening to the loud cracking and splashing as large chunks of ice continually broke and fell into the water. It was so loud that it could have been confused for sounds of a war going on in the distance.

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(Elizabeth´s two cents: A few other notes about El Calafate. Dave found an inexpensive wedding ring to wear during our year trip. Although his bargaining skills aren´t up to Chernack standards, he is now wearing a fantastic, unique ring made by a local artist. ((Dave´s two cents: Who bargains for a ring that costs just over $18 U.S.?)) Also in El Calafate, there was a power outage while we were using an ATM machine. Dave´s card got sucked in and never popped out. The next day we spent several hours at the bank, where lines are worse than any deli counter during Thanksgiving. Good news though...he got his card back! To kill time while he was in the bank, I went to the drug store to get anti-itch creme for some bug bites. With my little Spanish, I simply pulled up my pant leg to show the pharmacist the bites. He said, aha, and came back with several Veet hair removal products. I got a good laugh on that one and got the subtle hint too! With a little more charades, I was successful and left with calamine lotion.)

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Over the past few weeks we've also been getting to know great people from all over the world. Tonight we had drinks with Jelle and Evelyn from Holland, Kath from South Africa, and Syndey from Atlanta, Georgia. One of the best parts about meeting up with other travellers is sharing stories and getting their thoughts and tips on places we may visit in the future.

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In El Calafate we also solved the pink flamingo mystery with yet another informational post card. Sure enough, pink flamingos migrate to these parts during the Patagonia summer (Nov. - May).

We're now in Puerto Natales, Chile, and off of Ruta 40. This is our launching point for our trek in the Torres del Paine National Park where once again we'll be out of internet range. So, until we arrive in Punta Arenas (the land of penguins), signing off!

- Dave

Posted by daveliz 10:53 Archived in Argentina Comments (2)

Bunking in Bariloche

Our week in Bariloche, Argentina

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Most honeymooners sleep on a king size bed covered in rose pedals. Dave and I prefer bunk beds .... at least our wallets do. Thus, we bunked in Bariloche for the week!
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Bariloche, Arg. is another Swiss-like ski village in the lakes region of Argentina. It is the entry way to Patagonia where all of the glaciers are located. In appearance it is a cross between San Francisco with curvy streets and Lake Tahoe with a pristine lake surrounded by beautiful mountains.
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We were here for seven nights, a bit longer than needed. The week started slow with a chair lift ride up to Cerro Campanario for a lazy man´s view of Bariloche. Our second hike to the top of Cerro Lopez took a little more skill. It took five hours and was steep, starting on very dry and rocky ground, finishing at a snow topped peak.
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Our third hike was around a popular trekking and bike circuit called Circuito Chico at Parque Municipal Llao-Llao. Here we enjoyed our typical lunch of the most fabulous sweet croissant (stolen from our free breakfast) with sliced tomato and avocado bought from our favorite neighborhood produce store.
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Even on the go, we also appreciate the traditional siesta where everything closes from 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. This is a lengthy siesta, but in a town where the nightlife starts at 1 a.m. and goes until 7 a.m., it is much needed.
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Our 9 p.m. dinners cooked in our hostel, Hostel 41 Below, were considered early by Argentinian standards.
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In Bariloche for dessert, and breakfast, lunch and dinner where applicable, chocolate is the food of choice, originating from the city´s Swiss ancestry. Without hesitation, Dave and I took a self-guided and self-created chocolate tour, hitting two factories and several shops on popular Mitre and Moreno streets. In addition to free samples galore, we bought one or two items from each store to make sure they were safe for the general public ; - )
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After three shops, I was on to something. One of the most popular chocolates was fudge with a mint center. Aha....Andes Candies, a favorite of Dave and my grandmothers'. We suspect some American entrepreneur stole the idea and brought it back to the U.S. for us all to enjoy!
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To close, just a few other observations on Bariloche:
- The town mascot is the St. Bernard, although a smattering of other street dogs are everywhere.
- No one in this town can make change. The bank even sent us to a change store, who then tried to send us back to the bank.
- This is a very expensive South American town. We found that activities like rafting and kayaking, and lodging were double the price from neighboring Chile and from what we´ve heard, more than quadruple the price of Bolivia.
- Like most of South America the plumbing is not what we are used to in the States. Flushing systems are unique and all toilet paper must be thrown into the bucket. Oh the smell!
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At 6 a.m. tomorrow, we head on the legendary Ruta 40, a three-day bus ride down a dirt road to the epicenter of the Patagonia region.

Until then,
- Elizabeth

Posted by daveliz 08:24 Archived in Argentina Comments (3)

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