Well it’s official now – we are over 1/2 way on our journey through south america. Technically it was last week (9th) that’s the 1/2 way mark, but last night we were talking about all the things we have done in the first three months, sort of wondering what’s coming in the next three. We leave on Monday to head to Iguazu Falls – should be a three day drive, then back down to Salta Argentina for about a week, then we will cross into the Atacama desert and into Chile on our way to Peru. It’s always sort of stressful to plan out where you think you will be and calculating travel times, distances, where you think you can find gas, etc. But we think we have a tentative plan for the next two or three weeks until we cross into Chile. I think that crossing is at about 14,000 ft. We also have to start dealing with Peru’s altitude issues so will slowly aclimate back to being at higher altitudes. We have been working out regularly by running around our local park, doing pushups, situps, etc. – all hoping that we can do more advanced hikes on the next phase of our journey.
So what’s been going on? We’ve been in Buenos Aires sort of hanging out. I won’t say ice cream every day, but it sort of is ice cream every day… We met up with new friends from Boulder who have been here since January – we went to Polo with them – they took us to a great Asian Noodle place close to us. Very very good and we will try to get back before Monday.
It’s been fairly hot until yesterday (80F+) so sometimes walking through the city can be extra sweaty with the humidity. We’re getting pretty well adapted to being here. We’ve been taking taxi’s and the subway regularly. We did goto the San Telmo market which is an amazing open air market with hundreds of booths and local stuff. It also has outdoor tango going on, music being played, small restaurants and cafes around – so all very nice. We did find several places that are selling antique selzer bottles so we are going back for further research.
We did goto the Evita Peron exhibit/museum the other day and that was nice to learn more about her history and story. It is a close walk for us so good to get everyone out of the house. We also went paddle boating in the park with a lake that is nearby. B.A. has done a good job of having parks and areas where people can go where you can walk, run, bike, etc.
Last night our apartment manager came over and made us Asado (beef) grilled on the Parilla dinner (bbq). It was a great time – he brought the beef and wine, we provided the chips and salsa. Grilling here is much different than the US – you light the fire next to the grill and let the wood burn down to coals. Once you have coals you slowly move small pieces under the grill where you place the meat. The temperature is basically low and you are slow cooking the meat – but also get a ton of smoke flavor from the wood that you are using. It’s a great way to cook – and as we discussed last night having an Asado in Argentina is more about talking, having wine, cooking the meat slowly and then finally eating. People here can sit and talk for hours – 4 hours over a cup of coffee. We see people on their mobile phones, but when you see them out they are engaged in conversations and not checking FB, twitter, email, texting, etc. It’s nice to see and I wish more people in the US would take notice.
That’s about it for today. We are starting to get ready for the next phase. I checked the car yesterday and it’s good to go – the place we have parked it is about 100 yards from our apartment – $4/day for 7×24 enclosed parking isn’t so bad. That’s not to say that things are cheap here. Real Estate is cheap – you can buy a very nice townhouse/apartment for less than $100k. Food is the expensive thing. When you go out a meal may cost about $20/pp on average. We’ve found some smaller things that are great to eat and not so expensive. It also depends on where you shop – if you goto the big grocery store items are more expensive than the smaller local places like meat, vegtables, etc. This is why we see so many people at the open air market on saturday. For example, six eggs in the market was $1.50 US – at the market you get 15 eggs for the same price.
i’ve found some great scooters here – the boys and I really like looking at them. the Zanella is pretty cool, made in ARgentina – probably don’t have them in the usa.
that’s it for now.