Friday, October 27, 2006

Our plumbing is fixed!!
For the first time since Tuesday, I didn't step out of the tub with blisters from the hot water.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Des Nivel.

I don't think Chico and I said one word to each other over dinner last night except, "please pass the salt" and "should we order one more bottle of wine?" Des Nivel (in San Telmo) has the best lomo, chorizo, puree de papas, provolonetta, and tinto de la casa. And the best waiter. And the best meat man.

We're back in BsAs! Unfortunately, we came home to find we don't have any cold water. Makes for very interesting showers (ouch!) and flushing the toilet (gross). It's only been 2 days though, and the porter is here trying to figure out why we have hot water but no cold water. I'm crossing my fingers this is an easy fix.
Uruguay was absolutely amazing. We started off in Carmelo which is a tiny, sleepy town on the Rio de la Plata. We had a couple very relaxing days there... met 2 stray dogs that followed us around day and night.
From there we went to Colonia. Chico found a golf cart rental agency which he was absolutely ecstatic over. It was a great way to see the entire town. We stayed at the Hotel Colonial which I would highly recommend. It offered free bicycles, Internet access, comfortable rooms, great food and great people.
The next morning we made our way to Montevideo just in time for the quarter final football (or soccer for my American readers) game between Uruguay and Brazil. This was my first football match and I'm hooked (in fact, Chico and I are going to the La Boca match this weekend). The following day we decided to head into wine country as a suggestion from one of our guide books. We took a train (yes... there is a commuter train in Montevideo. We should have taken the fact that no one knew there was a commuter train as a sign, but we were determined to taste Uruguayan wine!!) We hopped on the train that surprisingly still ran considering it dated back to the 1920's with no updating whatsoever, and took the hour ride into Juanico. There are no signs alerting riders to what town they are in, so we found it out by asking the passengers several times at each stop (picture of Juanico above). We found the winery. We found the winery closed. We found a convenience store, bought 2 bottles of wine, and waited 5 hours for the train back to Montevideo.
The next day we decided to travel to Punta del Este, which is the playground for the rich during the hot summer season. It really is a beautiful city, but loud and the hostel we stayed at was full of 20-something boys who were on a week long drinking binge (not quite the scene we were looking for and so we checked out the following day).
From Punta del Este, we traveled north along the coast to La Paloma. We must have looked lost from our backpacks and both of us looking at the Lonely Planet for a map, because 2 Uruguayans stopped their car and asked if we needed help. They immediately called their friend for directions to the hotel for us and then asked if we would like to see the next town over (Las Piedras) with them once we got settled in. Later that afternoon, our friends picked us up and drove along the coast to Las Piedras. We walked along the beach and our friends practiced their English (no practice needed from what I could tell), and then stopped for a drink at a bar right on the ocean. They recommended dinner at a restaurant in town we might like. Oh. We did. It was run by 1 man who played the part of host, waiter, and chef. Chico had lomo and I had pasta. And it had FLAVOR! For anyone who might find themselves in La Paloma, visit La Choza for some great food. As we walked back to the hotel after dinner, we stumbled upon a fairly large drum circle and I decided I was going to live in La Paloma someday. We stayed 2 days there... sunning ourselves on the beach, drinking wine in the evening, relaxing and having a wonderful time.
Our porter just left. He was unable to find the problem with our water. I'm not sure if this means he will find someone else who may be able to help, or if we are just out of luck. Hmmm...

Monday, October 16, 2006


As I was packing my bags for Uruguay this morning, I checked my cell phone and came across a text message I received last week and had meant to write a post about. Here is exactly what came across to me (and millions of others with an Argentine cell phone):

Todos buscamos a Jorge Julio Lopez, si sabes algo llama al 911 o al 0800-333-5502. Gobierno de la Pcia. de Buenos Aires.

Jorge Julio Lopez went missing September 18th, the night before the conviction of a police investigator he was testified against. He was a key witness for the prosecution on crimes committed during the Dirty War.

Here is a link to a CNN article on this story...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Wish List Part 2

1) Horseradish
2) Tomato juice
2) Cheese. Anything other than the white rubber that everything here is.
3) SPICE. I miss hot food!

Ok... I realize this entire post is about food. That's because I'm starving and looking over my grocery list of items that are impossible to find here.
Chico's visa is up on Tuesday which means we need to leave Argentina. We were planning on having our housewarming party on Saturday, but I think we are going to postpone that for a week or 2 and travel for a few days instead. Our current plan is to take the train to Tigre tomorrow and then take a boat into Uruguay. Our friends have strongly recommended visiting Colonia, which I know nothing about. Either way... it will be an experience and I'm really looking forward to heading out of the city for a bit. For more than just the day trip to Tigre, Lujan, or San Antonio. All of which were absolutely beautiful, but I am excited for a longer trip.
Chau for now!

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Chico and I decided to take a little day trip out of town. Over coffee that morning, we read that there was a market in Tigre (32KM North of BsAs) and thought it would nice to get away, even if it was just for the day. We took the hour long train ride to Tigre which let us off right at the Tigre River. As we were walking and ready to ask someone to point us in the direction of the market (we both forgot to bring our guidebooks) we saw that there were boat tours. We bought a ticket right away.
We hopped on the boat and took a 45 minute trip through the Delta (3 rivers: The Tigre, The Lujan, and The Reconquista) to a hostel called Bora Bora. Tons of little canals and waterways surround the island. We had a lunch while sitting outside looking out onto a little pond surrounded by an immaculately manicured lawn.
I don't think I realized how much I missed the quiet of the country...It was nice to leave the hustle and bustle of the city for the day.

Friday, October 06, 2006


1) Malba (Museum of Latin American Art)- best way to spend a quiet afternoon. 2 favorite pieces: "Desert People" film by David Lamelas and the Frida Kahlo self portrait.

2) Cockroach- very large. Larger than the one I had in the electrical outlet in my apartment in San Diego.

3) Brothel- very nice. Mistakenly took it for a "regular" bar in which we could grab a quick beer on the way to the market for dinner. Group of 7/8 women clustered at the end of the bar gave it away.

4) Pompeya- best collection of crap. Tons of little second hand shops all close together. Bought patio furniture and a gorgeous rendition of the Mona Lisa.

5) Floralis Generica - best mechanical sculpture in BsAs. Created by Eduardo Catalano, which actually opens during the day and closes at night.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Feria de Mataderos

Oh my God. I am in love with gauchos.

Every Sunday, about an hour's bus ride northeast of Buenos Aires, there is a traditional gaucho market. Booths are set up where vendors sell everything from crafts to food and drink. There are the traditional folklore dancers and tango singers in which the public (not many gringos at all) is encouraged to join.

We spent the first part of the day walking through the tents sampling wines, cheeses, olives, and dulce de leche (if I leave Argentina being able to eat meat again, then I am hoping for the same with dulce de leche). After we finished our lunch, we were on our way to the ring races. And here is where I fell in love. Ring races, known as carreras de sortijas, is a competitive sport in which the gaucho rides his horse at full speed under a post to snag a ring the size of a large coin with a spear the size of a ballpoint pen. There were about 7 or 8 men participating in the sport, the youngest the age of 6 and the oldest seemed to be in his sixties. This particular race was held on an urban street with cars parked on either side, and sand spread on the ground. There were a great deal of spectators in a single file line on both sides of the street. After about 30 minutes of watching the gauchos and of being in utter amazement that this was even possible, the most horrifying and yet exciting thing happened. A gaucho, riding full speed, was almost to the ring, when his horse spooked and bucked him off. The crowd gasped and watched, stunned, as the horse went careening into the crowd opposite the side I was on. The horse then changed direction, and the spectators were literally jumping over parked cars for cover. That is when the gaucho of my dreams saved the day- the people- and the horse. After a few minutes, everyone was calm (including the horse) and the races continued.