Argentina, Uruguay · 7 Days · 9 Moments · December 2017

Martha and Scott’s New Year in Argentina

2 January 2018

Some reflections on Argentines. Family is important on the holidays - the city was practically a ghost town this past weekend with most shops and many tourist attractions closed so the workers can spend time with families. A bit of a hassle for tourists but very nice for the locals. They are also generous - I saw many begger families with young children living in the street and I regularly saw locals giving them money. A begger approached our taxi on the way to the airport and the driver stopped to give him some money. And they were also pleasant even when they had no idea what I was saying! Time to take Spanish lessons. Time to board my flight to JFK - it’s been fun sharing with you.

1 January 2018

Today we again had an out of city experience - but this one also involved leaving the country. We took a high speed ferry over to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay. It is a charming colonial village that is a joy to walk around. Its best attractions are the sidewalk cafes. The plan was to have 3 1/2 hours there to sightsee and have a nice lunch before returning for our flight home tonight. However .... since it was a holiday there weren’t many ferries running and then the one we took was delayed and you have to go through customs and passport control on both sides. So we did Colonia in 45 minutes including a stop for empanadas (which were the best I’ve ever had). Probably not much for the 5 hours of travel time but I really did want to see it. As you can see it is lovely.
Some views of the city of Buenos Aires

31 December 2017

We escaped Buenos Aires today and rode 2 hours west to ranch country for a gaucho visit - not a real ranch but a place where tourists can learn about the gaucho experience. It was a lot of fun - lots of barbecued food (empanadas to start, first course was sausages, second course was chicken and third and fourth courses were beef cuts), great music and dancing entertainment, a horseback ride and a gaucho show. Now it’s time to rest up so I can stay awake for fireworks.

30 December 2017

A quintessential day in Buenos Aires. Still really hot (95+ all day) but we managed. Highlights of today were the Evita Museum and the Tango Dinner Show tonight. We also fit in a walk through the Ecological Park (we pretty much kept looking for pieces of shade to be in) and a stop in San Telmo - older artsy neighborhood. Most important, I was able to find a restaurant that still had an open spot on its reservation list for New Years Eve. No such thing as a normal restaurant meal - everything is pre-pay, 4 course extravaganzas at 3-4 times the usual cost that are expected to last from the seating at 9:00 until 1:00 am. Not sure Scott and I have that much conversation left in us! Tango show was touristy but we enjoyed it - great dancing and singing. Have to do it when you’re here....

29 December 2017

Scott and I have something in common - we don’t like being hot- which begs the question of why we chose to come to Buenos Aires in the summer. It was 97 today; we tried a bus trip since it was too hot to walk around but the traffic is awful so the bus was sitting in traffic a lot of the time and we were in the open part on the top (only place where the audio was available in English). After 1/3 of the trip we abandoned that idea and found an air conditioned restaurant for lunch. But the city is interesting with lovely colonial architecture. Tomorrow is supposed to be hotter - not sure how we’ll survive. Here are some photos of the city.
Today Scott and I headed north for close to two hours to the village of Villa Le Angostura - a ski village that could be Colorado or Vermont or Zermatt. We were still along the shores of the same lake as in Bariloche - Nahuel Huapi - which tells you how huge this lake is. Today our treat was to go boating. The tourist boats took 3 hour trips and we didn’t have that much time so we went out on a smaller sailboat - and had the boat to ourselves! It was lovely although the wind was so strong I was afraid it would blow my phone out of my hands! But it was fun to be out on the water. Here are some photos of that trip. Tonight we leave for Buenos Aires where it was 96 today. Time to pack away the long sleeves.

27 December 2017

Today was all about the scenery - which was spectacular. The lakes are crystal clear with glacial water that varies from deep blue to green. And the mountains that surround them are often snow capped - even today when it was fairly warm out. Scott and I took some hikes and rode a chairlift up to get some panoramic views. I finished up the afternoon with a swim in the hot water pool at our hotel and a nap - a perfect vacation day!

26 December 2017

After 2 flights totaling 13 hours we have arrived on the Llao Llao peninsula in Bariloche- the northern part of Patagonia in the west of the country. This is best known as ski country but the scenery is amazing. I’ve posted some views from our hotel room and our ride here. The trip started with a few hiccups (forgot to pack my glasses so we had to do a small detour back to the apartment to get them, the prepaid reservation I had at the offsite JFK parking was full so they wouldn’t take us and everything else was also sold out, and the currency exchange at the airport ran out of pesos). But we made the flight and ATMs work here so all is good.