Where Has The Month Gone?

I can’t believe we’re down to the last week of this vacation!!

A few more pics:

The Domingo Vineyards in Cafayate where we had one of our wine tastings

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Goat Stew….delicious!

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Beautiful mountains and rock formations south of Salta

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In Buenos Aires now and really enjoying this city.  It’s quite beautiful with many wide treelined streets, lots of parks and green space and some great buildings…..very European in many ways.

Traffic is pretty intense….but we’re getting good at crossing the streets here in the big city….lots of practice in those smaller places.

We’ve done A LOT of walking but also utilize the taxis to get around.  They are cheap and in abundance.

The weather has been a little iffy……very fallish, which of course it is down here but the temps are supposedly unseasonably low right now with highs 14-16C (60-65F) and lows around 8-10C (50ishF)  definitely a coat is needed in the evenings.  Today we had wind too which, when not in the sun definitely made it seem down right chilly.

Some really good meals, big and  small.  They are big on ice cream and flans…..had a delicious crepe slathered in dulce de leche, which is ridiculously sweet but oh so something that Ken would have enjoyed!!

We went to Uruguay today…..just for a day trip across the river to the lovely little town of Colonia (Santiago de Colonia….I think is the real name).  Very pretty resort town, in the summer months, lots of restaurants, nice shops, great little cafes and very quiet compared to BA.

Two more things planned……an estancia visit on Thursday to see Gauchos in action….probably very tacky touristy but oh well….and Friday we are going to a Tango show, which I’m hoping is relatively authentic as opposed to Vegas type glitz…..well see.

L.

 

Two Years Ago…..

 

It’s so hard to believe that two years has gone by.  Some days it could be like it was yesterday.

Today while walking around I thought of him often, so many times the tears started to come along…..he would have been taking all the pictures, stopping every now and again to have a look through the binoculars and he would have had those shorts on with all the pockets…..I would have asked him where his wallet was numerous times and he would have patted the front one with the button…..he never lost a dime…it was usually me that lost something.

Tonight when we go out for dinner I hope there is a good dessert because I’ll have a piece for him…..I’m not a big dessert person but it seems a fitting thing to do…..my kids are doing out to dinner and having dessert just “for Dad”.

Iguazu Falls are absolutely breathtaking!  I was going to post more pictures in order but I have to post these….

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My pictures don’t do them any justice, they really don’t.   I know Ken would have loved this place, especially the coaties and monkeys!  A couple times today I had to pinch myself to believe that I was here….

A sad day but one that I enjoyed and one that I know Ken would have enjoyed too.

L

 

 

Mendoza and Salta

We had a great time in Mendoza.  It’s a great city to walk in….lots of nice restaurants and cafes, some pedestrian only streets….which was a good thing.

The owner of the apartment we rented was super.  For $125US we did a day trip into the Uco Valley for wine tasting, which was a lot of fun.  A great tour of a lovely winery, Salentien, and two others, one of which was a locally owned small vineyard where we got to taste the “juice” right from the barrel.  We did another day trip up over the mountains (Andes foothills) on a back road….dirt and gravel….that just kept going up and up and up!!  I think it was probably a good thing it was cloudy until we got almost to the top!!  I’m pretty sure the drop off in some places would have scared me…a lot!

Our flight to Salta was really good….Aerolineas did not have some of the best reviews…..it was comfortable, on time and the views of the mountains was pretty incredible.

It’s a very different city here in Salta…..very much a working persons city.  Not “polished” like Mendoza.  Great plaza with lots of activity and some very nice cafes and restaurant.  Unfortunately most of the shops sell the same stuff that I’m pretty sure comes in by the container load from China or ?  There are a few really nice shops but nothing has caught my eye so far in any of them.  There are also two good museums that we’ve been too.

We did two day trips while here (only 5 days).  One up to a town called Humahuaca and another south to Cafayate.  Both were great trips….long…12 hours each…..but well worth it.  Really reasonably priced.  The first was on a bus with 14 of us and second we hired a guy who was a great guide and lots of fun.

Tomorrow we’re off to Iguazu Falls.  We’ll spend 3 nights there so we have two full days to see the falls….from the Argentinian and Brazilian sides.

We’ve had some good meals and some not so good….not bad really just not quite what we expected.  Chimichurri, we’d been told, is one of the main condiments down here….not so!!  Did not once see it on any menu so we asked our guide the other day about it…..aparently it is only used in the high Andes, not locally or in Buenos Aires….which is too bad because what I’ve tasted at home was really good!

Internet connections have been a little iffy…..not enough bandwidth I’ve been told.  But I will try and post more pics soon.

It’s really a very beautiful country…lots of great scenery with many different microclimates all within a few miles of one another.  Cacti and scrub one minute, then subtropical forests.

Lots of crazy drivers….we decided to cancel our rental car.  If we were staying a long way out of town at an estancia or somethig, we would have needed one but definitely do not want to have to drive anywhere in or near the cities.

L.

The Road Over The Andes

Just posting a couple of pics, but this is, so far, one of my favs!

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Street art in Valparaiso

They have taggers, grafittists and muralists……some of it is pretty amazing and where they manage to do it is even more amazing!

Mendoza is a beautiful city.  All streets are lined with either plane trees (platano?) or jacaranda.  There are a couple of pedestrian only…not a bad thing here….streets with many cafes and restaurants.

We did a wine tour to the Uco Valley with the owner of the apartment we are renting.  He is from Texas, lives down here now and speaks Spanish, which is definitely helpful…..and he charges 1/2 of what the tour companies charge.  Tomorrow we’re off with him again into the Andes to see llamas and whatever else he has planned for us.

It’s been a bit of challenge getting our tummies on their schedule.  The first day we went to an Irish pub (yes!!!) for lunch at 12:30 and they were still serving breakfast…..we’re getting better and will be pros by the time we hit Buenos Aires…..I hope!

We’ve covered a lot of the city on foot….very walkable with some caution when crossing the streets but generally no problem at all.

Being a 3rd person has not been an issue and because I’m with good friends feel remarkable comfortable doing this kind of vacation.

L.

Hello From Argentina

We are here and having a great time.

Things startedout a bit rocky with our flight out of Toronto being delayed because of……SNOW!!

Valparaiso Chile was an amazing place……sensory overload with the sights and sounds.  Now that we are settled in here in Mendoza for a week I’ll try to get some pics loaded and write more about the last fews days.

We did walking tours through the old town and rode bikes around a vineyard….and then tasted of course.  Ate some great food and seen so much.  Would like to go back one day just to wander around the hills and streets.

The bus trip through the Andes to Argentina was incredible…..parts of it not for the faint at heart!

Our apartment here in Mendoza is in a great location……very nice, a bit small but good enough…..and the owner picked us up at the bus depot which was a bonus.   After only one day here we decided to cancel our car rental….not necessary.  The owner is organizing some wine tours and tastings for us for pretty much what the car would have cost…..and certainly a lot less stress doing it that way.

Life here is so alive…..but it doesnt start until late at night.  Dinner at 9:30!  Glen has a hamburquesa and fries last night……he said Ken would definitely approved!

Today we’re off to explore the beautiful tree lines streets full of cafes and shops….many lively parks to wander around too.

L.

 

 

 

Ready!

Today is pedicure day and house cleaning, lunch with some of the kids and dinner with my daughter and Bev.

I’m feeling anxious, which I think is excitement and a little apprehension.  My first vacation rental type trip with friends, Buddy the cat having his issues and leaving my daughter to deal with him and whatever might happen.  I’m so lucky to have my friend Bev!!  She is going to come over every day and help hold Buddy while he gets his fluids.  I don’t know how I’ll ever repay her for everything that she does for me…..and making her dinner every now and again just isn’t enough!

I’ve never had a pedicure…..I think it’s just weird that people have to touch your feet.  I don’t even like touching my feet!!  It’s another first for me….I’m getting good at those.  Everyone tells me I’ll love it but we’ll see.

I know I’ve packed way too much as usual. The good thing is that there is still room in my luggage and it’s expandable.  I’m not sure what I’ll buy…….which is what I always say….but I seem to have to use that expansion on just about every trip….or as I’ve had to do on occasion…..buy another bag.  But really….what is there to buy in Chile or Argentina??  Food, but I won’t be bringing that home, except maybe on my hips!

I’m off bright and early tomorrow morning so my next blog post won’t be for a few day.  I hope it’s from bright, sunny and warm Valparaiso.

I’ll go over my list AGAIN before I go out this morning just to make sure I haven’t forgot anything.  I think I’m good but you never know……

L.