A Travellerspoint blog

November 2010

Argentina, Uruguay, and Argentina again!

3 weeks of pics...including fun with Petry Family!

semi-overcast 78 °F

Hola!

We wanted to send a picture update since Brazil. We crossed to the Argentine side of Iguazu Falls on November 9th (we think) and enjoyed a day at the falls before bussing it (20 hours) to Cordoba.

Close up of Devil's Throat from Argentine side

Close up of Devil's Throat from Argentine side

We were able to stay with our new friend, Nikki, who we met in Buzios, Brazil. She's from Orange County and has been working in Cordoba for the past year and a half for an architecture/design firm. We enjoyed Cordoba - reminded us a lot of Sevilla and Spain...general "university" feel.
Kate and the Santa Catalina Cathedral in Cordoba

Kate and the Santa Catalina Cathedral in Cordoba

Kate and Pig in the Market in Cordoba - they had everything

Kate and Pig in the Market in Cordoba - they had everything


Tim and our friend Nikki and the jacaranda trees

Tim and our friend Nikki and the jacaranda trees


Cordoba Fine Arts Museum - very fine indeed

Cordoba Fine Arts Museum - very fine indeed

Next, we headed to Mendoza by another overnight bus (a mere 10 hours) for a few days of relazing and wine tasting. We went on an amazing Wine Tour through the Lujan de Cuyo region and truly immersed ourselves in our wine education.
Tim in the Alta Vista Winery on our Mendoza Wine Tour

Tim in the Alta Vista Winery on our Mendoza Wine Tour

Our VIP tasting room at the Alta Vista Winery!

Our VIP tasting room at the Alta Vista Winery!

a pour of "unfinsished" wine straight from the tank

a pour of "unfinsished" wine straight from the tank

Outside the fancy malipel restaurant where we had a 5 course meal....note the teeth turning that lovely red <img class='img' src='https://tp.daa.ms/img/emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

Outside the fancy malipel restaurant where we had a 5 course meal....note the teeth turning that lovely red :)

a "constructed v. deconstructed" empanada appetizer...it was very tasty!

a "constructed v. deconstructed" empanada appetizer...it was very tasty!


Playing pool in old school pool hall in Mendoza

Playing pool in old school pool hall in Mendoza

Next, we headed to Buenos Aires for 5 days to explore the amazing city. It definitely has a very European feel with French colonial buildings and 18th century palaces converted into offices and apartment buildings. It's a fantastic city and one that we could easily visit again...mostly for the food!
LUNCH!!! Awesome at a hole in the wall parrilla.  Choripan is the greatest!

LUNCH!!! Awesome at a hole in the wall parrilla. Choripan is the greatest!

Kate in Plaza LaValle across from Supreme Court building

Kate in Plaza LaValle across from Supreme Court building

The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo marching as they do every Thursday in remembrance of those who disappeared (were killed) by the military government between '76 and ´82

The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo marching as they do every Thursday in remembrance of those who disappeared (were killed) by the military government between '76 and ´82


Tango in La Boca

Tango in La Boca

Torre de Las Ingleses in Plaza San Martin

Torre de Las Ingleses in Plaza San Martin

View of Plaza San Martin from our hotel

View of Plaza San Martin from our hotel

Kate celebrating passing the bar!

Kate celebrating passing the bar!

Tim celebrating Kate passing the bar!!!!!

Tim celebrating Kate passing the bar!!!!!

My brother, Matt, arrived the night of the 21st and the next morning we took the ferry (very nice one) to Uruguay! We spent a day in the cute cobblestoned town of Colonia del Sacramento.
Matt and Tim having a "mate" preparation and drinking tutorial by a nice shopkeeper...Matt has really taken to mate...I think it tastes like bitter grass

Matt and Tim having a "mate" preparation and drinking tutorial by a nice shopkeeper...Matt has really taken to mate...I think it tastes like bitter grass


the "gentilhombres" indeed

the "gentilhombres" indeed


What kind of Dinosaur is this, Alex???

What kind of Dinosaur is this, Alex???

Then we drove through Montevideo (not so nice) on our way to Punta del Este - "the playground of the rich an beautiful South American elite." We are sure it gets crazy there in December, January, and February, but for now the hundreds of high-end high-rise condos were completely vacant. We did enjoy the sun and surf (Matt braved the cold waters) and the amazing sunsets (best we have seen!)! Matt and Tim also got to try their hand at the parilla bbq. Tim managed to set up a nice log configuration for maximizing charcoal production.
Why does everyone always spell our name wrong?!?!?

Why does everyone always spell our name wrong?!?!?


Matt getting the Parrilla coals/logs burning

Matt getting the Parrilla coals/logs burning


Tim hard at work

Tim hard at work


Family dinner followed by cards

Family dinner followed by cards


Brother and sister and the Jose de Ignacio lighthouse

Brother and sister and the Jose de Ignacio lighthouse


Man, mate, and open road

Man, mate, and open road


Our delicious dinner at Lo de Charlie

Our delicious dinner at Lo de Charlie


La Barra-Punta Sunset...the best in South America!

La Barra-Punta Sunset...the best in South America!


Dorks crossing

Dorks crossing


Cool hand sculpture

Cool hand sculpture


Action shot!  Kate attempting to scale the thumb...

Action shot! Kate attempting to scale the thumb...


Mate Amigo..truly Matt's friend.  Along with his Mate Listo Thermos

Mate Amigo..truly Matt's friend. Along with his Mate Listo Thermos

Finally, we returned to Buenos Aires to join my parents who arrived on Thanksgiving! Since their arrival we have had great steak dinners, an amazing set meal in a private home (casa feliz), wandered the city, shopped, enjoyed a Polo match, and caught up on family time. Tonight we are headed to dinner at the home of Patricia and Eduardo - a couple from Buenos Aires my parents met on the plane from Miami. My mom has a way of just meeting someone and getting invited over for dinner. Should be a nice evening!
Thanksgiving dinner. Steak at Don Julio's

Thanksgiving dinner. Steak at Don Julio's


Mom fell asleep at Thanksgiving dinner...granted it had been 30 hours of travel for them!

Mom fell asleep at Thanksgiving dinner...granted it had been 30 hours of travel for them!


Matt sharing his mate in Plaza San Martin

Matt sharing his mate in Plaza San Martin


Dinner at Casa Felix - excellent and innovative meal

Dinner at Casa Felix - excellent and innovative meal


Polo!  It was really fun to watch and the horses were beautiful

Polo! It was really fun to watch and the horses were beautiful


Touring the Recoleta Cemetary...Evita and many other prominent figures are buried here in very ornate mausoleum things.

Touring the Recoleta Cemetary...Evita and many other prominent figures are buried here in very ornate mausoleum things.

It's been great having them here and we all head to El Calafate in Patagonia tomorrow...so expect more pictures in a few days!

Love to all!
Kate and Tim

Posted by PetCon 12:13 Archived in Argentina Comments (3)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Love to family and friends from Uruguay and Argentina

sunny 75 °F

Hola!!!

We just want to wish everyone a happy thanksgiving and hope you have a great day with family!

Exciting news! My brother, Matt, met us a few days ago in Buenos Aires and we all headed to Uruguay to spend a couple days exploring Colonia del Sacramento, a quick lunch in Montevideo and our destination of Punta del Este-La Barra. Pretty beaches but quit til Jan.

Tomorrow we return to BA to meet my parents who are trekking from Newport for a proper Argentinian Thanksgiving dinner...Steak!!!! We are very excited to see them after 2.5 months! We are very THANKful to celebrate with family and miss everyone at home!

We will send pics of Argentina-cordoba, mendoza, BA as soon as we have proper computer access...using my brother's iPhone. :)

Love and thanks,
Tim, Kate and brother Matt

Posted by PetCon 13:59 Archived in Uruguay Comments (0)

Brazil - Beaches and Beaches...oh and a Waterfall

Rio de Janeiro, Buzios, Florianopolis and Foz de Iguaçu

sunny 81 °F

Hola!

We know it hasn't been too long since our last update, but we wanted to send along our thoughts on Brazil and pictures while we had the chance (we have several 20 hour bus rides ahead). Anyway, to sum up Brazil - GORGEOUS. Everything. The people. The beaches. The food (yummy feijoda and churrasco). The drinks. We loved it all.

Our first day in Rio we sadly fell asleep. Seriously, we arrived at 5:30am after a red-eye flight from Lima (post-Inca Trail) and ended up sleeping most of the day. We got our act together the next day and walked around Copacabana and Ipanema and a Lake near Ipanema.

Marriott was very sweet to us and surprised us with a honeymoon cake

Marriott was very sweet to us and surprised us with a honeymoon cake

Breakfast at Marriott on Copacabana

Breakfast at Marriott on Copacabana

view from our room

view from our room

Lake behind Ipanema

Lake behind Ipanema

Ipanema

Ipanema

Pretty sure the JW Marriott hasn't seen many backpackers

Pretty sure the JW Marriott hasn't seen many backpackers

We then spent 3 days/2 nights in Buzios (“the Hamptons of Rio”) and loved it. We, along with about 8 other people from our hostel, rented a boat to take us around from beach to beach with beers and caipirinhas and sandwiches. It was definitely one of the most fun days of our trip!
Our boat friends were awesome. Three guys from London, one guy from Spain, one girl from Canada, one girl from Ireland, and two girls from...LA (both grew up in Orange County)! One of the LA girls lives in Cordoba, Argentina now - we are going to see her Friday.
front of hostal

front of hostal

fishing boats

fishing boats

Pretty

Pretty

Nature

Nature

Harbor

Harbor

Boat Crew

Boat Crew

We like boats

We like boats

Happy

Happy

Snorkels...always good to wear them above water

Snorkels...always good to wear them above water

the group!

the group!

the guys!

the guys!

water

water


On a boat!

On a boat!

Floating

Floating

Sunset in Buzios

Sunset in Buzios

Breakfast view from hostal

Breakfast view from hostal

Buzios fishing boats

Buzios fishing boats

Once back in Rio, we headed out to a local street party in Lapa with friends from the Buzios Hostal (featured above). Out on the street (in true Mardi Gras fashion) we drank caipirinhas and beer (and ate one of the best hotdogs ever) while rubbing elbows with local "Cariocas" (people from Rio) until 5am. Without much sleep, we finally completed tours of the must see attractions in Rio (Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf, etc) and then, sadly, made our way to the airport. Rio is an amazing city, one that both Tim and I seriously underesimated. If anyone is on the fence about visiting this incredible place (or Brazil in general) we highly recommend you do so!
Encountering Christ the Redeemer

Encountering Christ the Redeemer

Rio beneath the clouds

Rio beneath the clouds

What should have been our view (Tim took this of a postcard)

What should have been our view (Tim took this of a postcard)

Christ the Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer

Tim reflecting on our "view" of Rio

Tim reflecting on our "view" of Rio

Chelsea, Nikki, Kate and Tim out in Rio

Chelsea, Nikki, Kate and Tim out in Rio

We spent a few quiet days on the beach in Florianopolis. We worked on our tans and read our books and had one of the most heavenly meals "sequencia de camarao" - sequence of shrimp - which is exactly what it sounds like...several platefulls of shrimp prepared in different ways served one after the other and then delicious fish, rice, salad, and french fries as a final course (though we already felt full afer the shrimp). As a side note, if you were wondering if Gisele Bundchen is a freak of nature...she´s not. She looks like every other girl on the beaches of Florianopolis. Tim was doing his best not to stare...admittedly I was staring, too.
View of Ihla Santa Catarina (Florianopolis) from plane

View of Ihla Santa Catarina (Florianopolis) from plane

Arrival

Arrival

Happy OSU fan

Happy OSU fan

We reached a private beach on this hike...turned out it was really private...no luck for us.

We reached a private beach on this hike...turned out it was really private...no luck for us.

Hiking

Hiking

Our victory hike over Praia Mole

Our victory hike over Praia Mole

Slug on the move...again Tim committed to his animal photography

Slug on the move...again Tim committed to his animal photography

Giant Slug!!!! Look at that thing!

Giant Slug!!!! Look at that thing!

So...ya...natural? By the way, mother of two.

So...ya...natural? By the way, mother of two.

Yellow tassles? Really, is that necessary?  There is a child present!

Yellow tassles? Really, is that necessary? There is a child present!

We took a 15 hour overnight bus from Floripa to Foz de Iguaçu (Iguazu Falls). We arrived about 9 in the morning and headed to the National Park to check out the falls from the Brazil side. VERY impressive. We got soaked on one of the lookout points and then headed in for some super salty french fries.
Our first view of falls

Our first view of falls

Beautiful

Beautiful

Jungle

Jungle

Pre-shower in falls

Pre-shower in falls

Kate soaked

Kate soaked

Tim wet

Tim wet

Kate and falls

Kate and falls

Tim and falls

Tim and falls

Took bus over to Argentina today. Tomorrow we visit the Argentine side of the falls and then overnight bus to Cordoba.

Happy day,
Kate & Tim

Posted by PetCon 19:00 Archived in Brazil Comments (3)

Machu Picchu

Trail to the Lost City of the Incas

sunny 73 °F

Hola!

We hope all is well with everyone and that you enjoyed Halloween! We spent Halloween with an 8 hour layover in Lima (so we headed to Larcomar –a massive outdoor Cliffside mall (thanks Bart for mentioning it). It was cute to see that all the kids there trick or treating in the mall going from shop to shop and just shouting “Halloween!!!”

The big adventure since we left Pisco Sin Fronteras is that we did the classic 4 day Inca Trail trek. First we arrived in Cusco, Peru from Lima to acclimate for a few days...we found that burgers and beer helped the acclimating process. We really enjoyed Cusco after our time in Pisco. The central Plaza de Armas area of the city was so beautiful - very european-cobble-stone streets and little alleys. It´s the oldest continuously inhabited city in South America.

The Inca Trail was AMAZING. Truly some of the most breathtaking scenery and it all felt more fulfilling knowing we were working our butts off just to be standing just under 14,000 feet in the sky overlooking the Andean mountains. Our first day started off rough with a downpour and heavy winds, but by the lunch break the rain had stopped and the temperature had risen significantly. Basically each day we woke up between 5:30am and 6:00am to our wonderful porters tapping on our tent offering us morning tea. Dress, pack up sleeping bags and sleeping pads and clothes, eat breakfast and begin hiking. Hikes ranged from comfortable inclines to deathly peaks and valleys. Weather would go from cold to hot to freezing in no time at all. It was all gorgeous, difficult, and fun.
The start, rain and wind won´t stop us

The start, rain and wind won´t stop us



Our last day we only had about 2.5 hours total to hike into Machu Picchu. Our agency had us up before all the other companies so we could be the first ones in to the Sun Gate. That meant we were up at 3:00am and hiking to the checkpoint at 3:30am. We then sat at the checkpoint for 1.5 hours waiting for it to open at 5:30am just as the sun came up. Tim and I played cards with our dorky headlamps on the whole time. As the sun rose high in the sky we all cued up and we were up front. Then someone shouted, “ Sh@#! Look at those spiders!" and 50 heads looked up to see about 4 massive tarantula-looking spiders just above the ticket window (only 5 feet above where I´d been peacefully sitting playing cards). I screamed (only one to do so) and as soon as my guide handed my ticket over I sprinted through the entrance gate. We kept up the pace for the next 45 minutes arriving at the Sun Gate about 35 minutes ahead of schedule. Tim arrived at the Sun Gate in Second Place, and I was close at his heels.

The trek was ridiculously difficult at times, but it was well worth it. We met some great people in our group from London, Canada, Germany and, of course, the U.S.

We had two days back in Cusco to rest before Rio. We will follow up with a Brazil post shortly (we LOVE Brazil).

Lots of love,
Kate and Tim

Cathedral and Plaza de Armas

Cathedral and Plaza de Armas


Tim´s winning photo

Tim´s winning photo

Kate and Cusco streets

Kate and Cusco streets

The trail begins

The trail begins

First night campground...amazing

First night campground...amazing

Porters and group

Porters and group

Tim, toothbrush, and moon

Tim, toothbrush, and moon

So pretty

So pretty

Kate found a dog to love on the Inca Trail!

Kate found a dog to love on the Inca Trail!

Tim

Tim

Look at Tim and then look at the tiny red line in distance - those are our porters!

Look at Tim and then look at the tiny red line in distance - those are our porters!

Pretty

Pretty

Our victory routine

Our victory routine

The High-Five

The High-Five

The low-five

The low-five

Follow through

Follow through

Feeling like winners

Feeling like winners

The group

The group

Hiking

Hiking

Arriving at a peak that was in a cloud.  Cold and cool.

Arriving at a peak that was in a cloud. Cold and cool.

The group

The group

Speed racer up the trail

Speed racer up the trail

Tim and ruins along the trail

Tim and ruins along the trail

Beautiful glacier peaks in distance

Beautiful glacier peaks in distance

Ignorantly playing cards beneath massive spiders

Ignorantly playing cards beneath massive spiders

Arriving triumphant (and sweaty) at the Sun Gate

Arriving triumphant (and sweaty) at the Sun Gate

The mist enveloping Machu Picchu as we hiked in from Sun Gate

The mist enveloping Machu Picchu as we hiked in from Sun Gate

More of ruins

More of ruins

Kate and Cave

Kate and Cave

Playing in the Machu Picchu Rock Quarry

Playing in the Machu Picchu Rock Quarry

Machu Picchu - the postcard shot

Machu Picchu - the postcard shot

Llama - sort of - Tim got better

Llama - sort of - Tim got better

Llama at Machu Picchu (Tim put in great effort for this shot)

Llama at Machu Picchu (Tim put in great effort for this shot)

Night on our Cusco rooftop

Night on our Cusco rooftop

Being fancy at the Monasterio Hotel

Being fancy at the Monasterio Hotel

Fireworks in Plaza de Armas (we´re pretty sure these were for us finishing the Inca Trail...that or Day of the Dead)

Fireworks in Plaza de Armas (we´re pretty sure these were for us finishing the Inca Trail...that or Day of the Dead)

Kate with her second(!) bullseye!

Kate with her second(!) bullseye!

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Posted by PetCon 04:04 Archived in Peru Comments (2)

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