Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Beautiful Bariloche: Almost Like We Never Left Home

A couple of weeks ago Hubby and I left southern Patagonia behind... but only in the flesh. It will be in our hearts forever. Like all those places we've been that make us smile, and sigh, and say to each other... "Ahhhh... Dawson City (or Boltby, or Broome, or Ispagnac) remember when we were there?" So San Carlos de Bariloche, our next stop after El Calafate, was at a disadvantage from the beginning. Pity. I mean, I can't say that Bariloche wasn't beautiful, or that the people were unfriendly, or that the weather was terrible. Because it was lovely, the people were lovely and the weather was fabulous...except for one very windy, cool day. It's just that it wasn't El Calafate, or El Chaltan. 

And that it reminded us too much of home. This is the view of Lago Nahuel Huapi in front of our hotel. Blue water, mountains in the distance, and huge evergreen trees. Wait a minute, blink, blink, shake my head... am I in Canada? 

Looking out over Lake Huego in San Carlos de Bariloche 

We wandered Bariloche for a day before we picked up our rental car and headed for San Martin de Los Andes, an easy three hour drive from Bariloche. Along the way we detoured on a gravel road to the small village of  Villa Traful which was described in Lonely Planet as being "achingly beautiful." The drive was fun. We do love to get off the main drag, and this heavily treed road, with lots of ups and downs, and tricky bone-jarring sections... was just up our street, if you'll forgive the pun. But Traful was a disappointment. The lake setting certainly was beautiful. But the village is on its way to becoming much too cutesy and developed for our taste. The drive, however was worth the two hour detour.

the unpacked road to Villa Traful 

the road to Villa Traful, near Bariloche, Argentina 

Back on the main road we were treated to a variety of very pretty lakes along the highway before we reached San Martin de Los Andes. Each was as lovely as the last. And they all looked like this. Now I don't want to sound churlish, and maybe we're jaded, but after the first or second, we looked at each other, shrugged and kept on driving, thinking we might as well be at home. I admit that the one below is pretty gorgeous. But ...well... it seemed to us that it could be Banff, or even somewhere in the Laurentians. 

Los Lagos, near Bariloche, Argentina 

Our accommodation in San Martin de Los Andes was pretty cool. Hosteria La Posta Del Cazador was huge with heavy wooden furniture, dark beams, and lots of quirky touches, like antler door pulls in the hallway. But the town was obviously set up to serve the skiing crowd, and the prices in the restaurants made it clear that this was a town that catered to the well-heeled set. 

Hosteria la Posta Del Cazador in San Martin de Los Andes in Argentina 
 
Besides skiing, this area is renowned for its trout fishing and farming, so we figured at the very least that we would treat ourselves to a delicious fish dinner. This is the restaurant we chose below. Attractively quirky and casual inside and recommended in Lonely Planet, we assumed we were in for a tasty and relaxing evening. Hubby has been an avid trout fisherman for years and years, and we both know fresh trout when we taste it. I'm sorry to say that this is not what we were served up. Mine had a very nice lemon sauce... but frozen trout has a distinctly different taste and texture than fresh. And lemon sauce could not disguise the fishy taste of frozen trout. Sigh. I picked away at mine and enjoyed my vegetables, but Hubby was incensed. The thought of buying trout in a restaurant was an anathema to him to begin with. But I had convinced him that he hadn't had fish for weeks and he'd enjoy it. Ha. The bill being considerably larger than we had been paying did nothing to help his mood. 

restaurant in San Martin de Los Andes 

Maybe we should have gone for the parrilla, or should that be parrillada, instead. I took a shot of this menu page. I think something was definitely lost in translation here. And the punctuation does not help clarify matters. Unless "kidney Chicken, empty, guts" really are a thing. 

 

Ah well, poor San Martin de Los Andes did not redeem itself for us since we only stayed the one night before heading back to Bariloche. The huge cypress trees outside the hotel were diverting, though, I must say.

huge cypress trees in San Martin de Los Andes, Argentina 

The drive back to Bariloche the next day was pretty interesting. Lots of craggy rocks, and arid landscape not dissimilar to parts of southern Patagonia. And we had a gorgeous day for driving. This is Los Lagos below. 

lake enroute from San Martin de Los Andes and Bariloche, Argentina 

And we weren't permanently dispirited by our fishy suppers as you can see from the selfie I took below. Or should that be "selves-ie" do you think? I mean, we are on holiday. The scenery is beautiful. And considering the weather reports we've been hearing from home... we feel darned privileged.
 
Los Lagos, near Bariloche, Argentina 

We had a couple of nights back in Bariloche before we headed for the north. Time to squeeze in a little walking. The views were nice. But as I said before...except for the "hola" greetings of other hikers, we might be walking in Gatineau Park. 

San Carlos de Bariloche, hiking near the twon 

Hubby and I were both struck by the similarity to Canada in the number of tress and lakes and more trees we saw. We might have been at home. Well, except for the architecture of the town of Bariloche, especially the distinctly Tyrolean-style public buildings. Interestingly these buildings, so reminiscent of southern Germany, were built in the 1940's. Interesting, especially if you consider that Bariloche became infamous in the 1990's as the longtime place of refuge for a couple of Nazi war criminals. But let's not go there. 

public town square buildings in Tyrolean style in Bariloche, Argentina 

Did I mention the proliferation of chocolate shops in town? Oh my... the residents of Bariloche seem to be experts in everything chocolate. I resisted until our last night. And despite the chill in the air, I could not leave the next day without sampling the helado. Somehow I was sure that my Spanish was sufficient to order a small cone. But as Rosie commented on my Instagram post...the cone might be small, but the "helado" is huge! One lime scoop and one very rich, dark chocolate scoop. Heaven. And the coolish weather made it possible for me to eat it all (with a little help from my companion) without it running down my arm, or up my sleeve.
 

eating chocolate helado in Bariloche, Argentina 

After the ice cream we hoofed it back to the hotel to pack. We were heading north to Salta province the next day. Sigh. Bariloche was nice. The ice cream was stupendous. But it was all a bit too much like home. And a bit too touristy. And not nearly as spectacular as the other parts of Patagonia we'd seen. In fact we were surprised when we saw that when we arrived in Bariloche we were still in Patagonia. 

And we were reminded of when we were in Scotland years ago. We stayed for a time near Aviemore and hiked in the Cairngorms. And we thought we were in the highlands. But a week or so later when we stayed in the far north, we were disavowed of that. And told that Durness, where our good-natured host raised sheep and ran a B&B, was in fact the "real highlands." Okay. Point taken. And so we might say that as pretty as Bariloche, and the Lake District, is it will never be the "real Patagonia" to us. Sorry Bariloche. But our hearts still belong to El Chalten and El Calafate.


Hope those of you in the snow zones back home are digging out and keeping your spirits up. Easy for me to say. We are in Peru now, and off to Colca Canyon and hoping to see some condors tomorrow. I know! Imagine me actually wanting to see birds. 



Thursday, March 9, 2017

Falling in Love With Patagonia

Hubby and I are beginning to wish that we'd planned our trip differently. That we had not come to Patagonia quite so early in our South America adventure. Because, from the moment we stepped off the plane in El Calafate, we fell head over heels for the place, and the people. And, frankly, we're a bit worried that nothing else after this will measure up.

El Calafate. How to describe this town? It's a place of contrasts. Set beside the blue, blue waters of Lago Argentino. Surrounded by mountains, and dry gorsey plains. Kind of ramshackle. Kind of cutesy. Dogs wander the streets, some strays, some not, most of weirdly mixed breeds. All quiet, docile, and obviously used to traffic. They wait patiently at the door of the "Supermarcado," or curl up in a patch of sunlight on the sidewalk. The main street has many restaurants and stores that sell high-end outdoor gear and Patagonia souvenirs. Line-ups for gas stretch away from the service stations and down the street most days, and like in Cuba or Coober Pedy (in Australia) residents drive beat up old cars that we never see in Canada any more... except maybe up north. Not all the residents drive beat up cars, of course. But enough to make it noticeable. Our room the first night looked out on the main drag that takes people down town, and out of town. And the number of wonky mufflers and backfiring engines we heard was amazing. I even actioned my ear plugs to be able to get some sleep. 

Schilling Hostel, in El Calafate, Patagonia, Argentine 
 
The shot, above, is our accommodation in El Calafate. Schilling Hostel Patagonica. Our home away from home for five nights. The rooms are comfortable, if a bit in need of an upgrade. The breakfast is good, but no different from anywhere else: toast, yogurt, cereal, cakes, and coffee and tea. But we loved it here. The owner, her son, and the two girls on reception could not do enough to make us feel at home. There is help-yourself tea (yah!) and a help-yourself bookshelf in one of the common rooms. Guests pore over the partly finished jig-saw puzzles laid out on various small tables. In fact, one couple swore they could not leave until they had finished theirs, and we returned from dinner late one night to find them still bent over their task. The kitchen is open to guests from noon onwards. This made so much difference to us. We were able to buy food, keep it in the guest fridge and make our own lunches and, on one night, dinner, and avoid restaurant food at least for a few meals. The best thing about places like this, though, has to be the people we meet. We chatted with three American kids the first night over wine. We made lunch one day alongside two girls, one from Switzerland who lives in Norway, and her friend from the Netherlands who currently lives in Australia, but is moving to Canada. We talked health care with an American medical student from Kansas City who ruefully said he feels as if he might emigrate when he finishes his studies. And over beers in the garden one evening we chatted with two delightful guys from Brazil about sports... soccer, hockey... and surprisingly curling. One of them is fascinated by curling, how it works, how to play. And Hubby was in his element, demonstrating stone throwing technique, explaining how the rocks curl, and how to sweep. Except, of course, without the stones or the broom. And, like every trip we've ever been on, we met someone from home. On our last day we ate lunch with a young couple who live in Malasia where the young woman works as a teacher. But she's originally from Almonte, Ontario... near Ottawa. And she even knows a former colleague of mine. Travel really does make the world seem small, sometimes.

 the road to El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina 

After two days in El Calafate we picked up a rental car and hit the road for El Chalten. A kind of hippie/ hiker/ frontier village in Los Glaciares National Park. We saw llamas, actually guanacos would be more correct, along the highway as we drove, lots of gorgeous views, and then finally this. I stood in the middle of the road to get the shot above. I was definitely NOT taking my life in my hands, since there was no other traffic. That's Mount Fitzroy up ahead on the right. Pretty darned stunning. 

the road into El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina 

This is the view as we rounded a bend in the highway and approached the village. We had worried that we might have gas problems here. The agent at the car rental company said there was a strike up north, and the tanker trucks had not been able to deliver gas to the one station in El Chalten. But he said if we were careful, our tank might just be able to get us the 214 km to El Chalten and back to El Calafate. Uh, okay. So we were happy when, as we neared town, we saw that the gas station was open and the line-up short. We pulled in and filled up. Phew. We were relieved that we would not have to undertake the drive back to El Calafate with the anxiety that we might run out of gas. Coz... other than the quaint hotel and restaurant at La Leona... there ain't anything between one place and the other, folks. One cool fact we learned when we stopped at La Leona for coffee, is that Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid stopped here too... back in the day, on their way to Bolivia. We hoped our adventure would turn out happier than theirs did.


Laguna Capri, near El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina 

And of course it did. No bank robberies, ambushes, hail of gunfire... or anything of that nature. Just lots of hiking. Beautiful, amazing scenery. Friendly people. And very quirky restaurants. So we walked, huffed, puffed, ate, and chatted for four days. Heaven. That's Laguna Capri above, the destination on our first hike. Not too far, but up hill most of the way.  And then, of course, down...which is easy on the lungs, but much more challenging on the knees.

At the start of the Loma Del Pleigue Tombado hike, near El Chalten Argentina 

Our second hike was a bit more daunting. Loma Del Pliegue Tumbado was recommended by one of the girls who work at our accommodation. Julia actually helped Hubby plan both our hikes. She is an experienced walker and climber and she and Hubby pored over the map one morning deciding what we should do. 

Stopping for lunch on the Loma Del Pleigue Tombado hike, near El Chalten, Argetina 

This is the most challenging hike we've done in a few years. Four hours to the summit, the last couple across scree. Three hours to the view above. As we sat here and ate our lunch we decided that this beautiful view suited us fine. Just fine. We did not need to scramble across the scree for another hour to the summit. Besides, neither of us thought we had another hour of uphill left in us. And the two and a half hours of sometimes steep downhill we had yet to navigate made us glad that we had demurred. My knees, hips, and lower back thanked me the next day, I can tell you.

Let's just pause here to talk a bit about El Chalten the town. Although it looks nothing like Canada's Dawson City in the Yukon, it nevertheless reminded us of our visit there a few years ago. The same haphazard town "plan," gimcrack buildings that look as if there are constructed of tin and plywood, but of course they aren't. Dirt streets. Sidewalks that are so uneven it's safer to walk down the middle of the road, which is, of course, what everyone does. Backpackers abound. Camper vans are parked at the trail head, small lines of washing fluttering in the breeze. There are tons of small restaurants. Bars in the grassy front yards of many of these restaurants have wooden benches and thick tables right out of an episode of 'The Flintstones."

We dined one night at Tapena, below left, recommended by a couple we met in El Calafate, and our meal was delicious. But we loved best our meal at El Muro. Where we watched out the window as the owner chopped logs for the fire that was cooking lamb on a spit, then rushed inside, and reappeared in his chef's jacket in time to serve beer at the outside bar to a group of tired hikers. That's him below with Hubby and me after our meal. He kind of looks like a Spanish speaking Dennis Quaid don't you think? The shot in the top right corner below is our meal at El Muro, and the one in the bottom right is of one of two wide "boulevards" coming into town. The side streets are much narrower and not paved.  And overlooking everything is that amazing, gleaming, snow-covered mountain. 
 
Quirky restaurants in El Chalten, Argentina 
 
We were sad to leave El Chalten behind. The morning we checked out Tatiana who works the desk at Hosteria Kaulem and I exchanged e-mail addresses. What a cutie she is. Bright, friendly, always happy to chat, whether about our hike the day before, or her own travel plans when the tourist season is over. She'd stand with her tray balanced on her hip as Hubby or I regaled her with stories over breakfast, giggling, nodding and saying, "Si, si, si."  In fact, as we drove out of town heading back to El Calafate, Hubby and I remarked how great all the young people we've met who work in the tourist industry seem to be. From Alejandro in Buenos Aires, Tatiana and Julia in El Chalten, to the lovely Antonella at Schilling Hostel in El Calafate, they have all been wonderful: helpful, knowledgeable, keen to explain their world to us, and interested in hearing about ours. As Hubby said, someone, sometime has done their job well. Whether parents, teachers, mentors or whomever, someone has helped these young people become who they are, a credit to their country. Gad, I'm tearing up as I write this. What an old softie! 

But we still had one more thing to see before we were ready to fly back north. Perito Moreno glacier, in Los Glaciares National Park, outside of El Calafate. I tried to do justice to its magnificence but I'm afraid my shots are a pale imitation. So huge and so very blue, my camera would not capture its grandeur. It's one of the most amazing natural wonders Hubby and I have seen. Rising 50-70 metres above the lake at its face, it's one of the few glaciers in the world that is still growing. We took a boat ride out to the face. And then walked along the shore, up a series of stairs and platforms called the balconies. I tried to capture in a video the sound and sight of the chunks that sheared off right in front of us, falling into the lake and creating their own mini-tsunami. Each time we heard a crack and a boom, I grabbed for my phone. But alas, I'm no "Quick Draw McGraw." Ha. I'm afraid that only those of you who are my vintage and who grew up on American cartoons will understand that allusion.

Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia, Argentina 


the face of Perito Moreno Glacier, in Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia, Argentina 

 
view of Perito Moreno Glacier from our boat on the lake. March 2017. In Patagonia, Argentina
 
 And speaking of cartoon allusions. Let's discuss my ability, or inability, to speak Spanish. My frequent expostulations of "Ooh, la, la," or "Andale, andale. Arriba, arriba," are pure Speedy Gonzales, I'm sad to say. I can't help it. I grew up on Looney Tunes cartoons and those images and the voices of the characters are in my head for life. Still, Hubby and I have had so much fun trying to navigate the world in Spanish. With the help of kindly waiters, we've pretty much mastered the dinner menu thing. I've learned how to order chicken and not the game of polo, as I mentioned in my last post. I've learned that "bife" is not pronounced "biff," but should sound like "beef-ay." Which actually makes more sense. I've learned that 'g' sounds like I'm clearing my throat, that 'v' sounds like 'b,' which explains everyone being "berry happy" to see us. I now understand why no one knew what we were talking about when we asked for Vellagas Street. "How do I say that again, Suz?" Hubby queried the day after the clerk at our hotel taught us the proper pronunciation. "It's easy," I replied, "the 'v' sounds like 'b,' the double ll's sound like "sh" and the "g" sound is soft. Everything else is the same." Ha. He was not amused. 

I must admit though, that it's highly unlikely that I'll return home fluent in Spanish. I will, however, have a hard time breaking the habit of speaking English with a Spanish accent. I know. I'm such a mimic. I don't do it on purpose. I just open my mouth and it comes out. I can't help it. Seems like I can't help a lot of things these days, doesn't it? Sigh. I guess we can't all be perfect.

And speaking of perfect. Or imperfect, as the case may be. I've had trouble again, finding time to finish this post. I sat down a few days ago and in a couple of hours had it done. Then in my inexperience with this new ap, and the fact the internet went down when I was staying to save... I lost all my work. Crap. But there was nothing to be done but pack up the i-pad and go out for supper. After all we're in beautiful, historic Salta, now. There are sights to see, vino tinto to sample, and beef-ay ... always beef-ay... to eat. 

We're exactly half way through our adventure now. Only one more road trip to the "outback" of northern Argentina left on our agenda, then we're off to Peru. I will try to stay in touch. But don't be too hopeful, my friends. I may have to wait until I'm back in Ottawa to post again.

flying over Patagonia, Argentina 

Monday, February 27, 2017

South America: Parte Uno

So. South America. We're here. Have been for a while. But I want to begin this story at the beginning. I told Hubby this afternoon that I was going to sub-title this post : "The Urban Sophisticates Do Buenos Aires." Sadly, he was trying to settle down for a nap and falling out of bed laughing was not conducive to his rest. Urban we are not. Not really, not deep down. And sophisticates we definitely ain't. Ha. So being in South America is pretty big for us. We've travelled a lot, but this feels completely different. Seriously different, and seriously cool.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. This is what we left behind  in Ottawa not long ago. A recent snowfall that we were relieved did not happen on our "getaway day" as Hubby always calls our departure day. This time of year in Canada, snow can derail even the best laid plans. That's our deck below. Snowed under, you might say. 

 

This is what we piled into the neighbour's car for the trip to the airport. One small spinner bag each, my weekender tote bag, and Hubby's backpack. Not much for six weeks, and three climates. But we had planned carefully, and hopefully it would suffice. In fact, after over a week on the road, I'm beginning to think that I could have pared it down even further.

 

We were 28 hours in transit between Ottawa and our hotel in Buenos Aires. We had a 5 hour lay-over in Toronto, and a two hour stop the next morning in Santiago where we had to leave the plane and do the whole security thing all over again. Standing in a long line of sleepy, jet-lagged, confused, hot, and cranky travellers. Then after the last leg of the journey, another hour in the customs line in Buenos Aires, and a two hour drive into the city through sluggish traffic...meant that our 3:30 arrival was now looking like 7 pm. Thank goodness the desk staff at our hotel was friendly and cheerful, suggesting we try the casual restaurant on the corner for dinner before we staggered back to our room and fell into bed. The shot below was taken as we flew into Santiago. The Andes, I presume.

 

Buenos Aires was everything we thought it would be, and nothing like we had imagined. If that makes any sense. Beautiful and majestic with wonderful buildings reminiscent of Paris. Much of the architecture of 19th century Buenos Aires was built in the French style since, as we were told, France was much admired here for its style and beauty. I regret not doing more reading on Argentine history and architecture. But research for travel can get pretty confusing sometimes as you struggle to make sense of a place you've never seen. 
This is the church of "Our Lady of the Pilar" in Plaza Intendente Alvear, near the famous Recoleta Cemetary. It's beautiful against the blue sky, isn't it? 

 

We strolled through the famous Ricoleta Cemetary on our first day. The eternal resting place of the great and good, and the rich and not so good of Buenos Aires for generations. An amazing kind of city of the dead. It certainly is stunning. Overwhelming. And not a little eerie. 

 

 

Like everyone else we wanted to see the grave of Eva Peron. She's buried with her parents and sister in the Duarte family tomb. Our guide on the second day of our visit told us the stories of the numerous times over the years that Evita's body has been "kidnapped" for political reasons. 

 

I had to get a shot of this kitty. Not all the residents of Ricoleta Cemetery are dead, apparently. 

 

We took a bus tour one day. It helped us to get our bearings and showed us parts of the city we could walk back to later on our own. This is the Floralis Generica sculpture in the Plaza Nasciones Unidas. Cool, eh? The aluminum and steel petals open in the morning and close at night.

 

Buenos Aires is full of colour, and vibrant street life, and art. Like these murals on the buildings in the neighbourhood of la Boca. 

 

And of course there was colour everywhere we looked in the famous "Caminita" street in La Boca. 

 

Not to mention tango dancers vying for our attention. And even a statue of the pope on the balcony of this building.

 

The Caminito is home to many artists. I'd have loved to bring home one of these brightly coloured paintings. But I settled for a photo.

 

With all the whimsy and colour it's easy to forget that this is still a very poor area of the city. Despite her big smile and practised banter, the tango dancer's velvet dress was a bit tatty, and her shoes well worn. And just down the street, well, life looks quite different.

 

 

What we loved best about Buenos Aires was exploring our own neighbourhood of Retiro on foot, and the adventure that was dinner each night. Alejandro, the lovely concierge at our hotel, sussed us pretty quickly. When we asked for restaurant recommendations he sent us to unpretentious, local, neighbourhood places. 

Like El Norte. Where we had huge portions of pasta, good wine, and lots of chuckles with the waiter who spoke no English, and kept forgetting our water. The third time I asked he slapped his forehead and laughed. We forgave him, though, since his attention was much distracted by the adorable antics of the young grandson of his friends who were sitting across from us. In fact it looked as if almost everyone else in the place knew each other, and all the staff... given the shouted greetings, the kisses, and the table hopping. 

 

 

On Sunday we strolled through an outdoor craft market. I bought a handwoven bracelet made by this fellow as a souvenir. 

 

On our last night we dined at Teodoro, another of Alejandro's suggestions. I loved this restaurant, its bright blue walls lined with framed photos from the forties and fifties.

 

Hubby had Argentinian beer and homemade ravioli. I had vino tinto and... a small steak. Ha. It was pretty big, for a small steak... just not quite as big as it looks in this shot. And man, oh man, was it delicious. That teeny plate of grilled vegetables you see on the table is the most vegetables I'd had in days. It's very hard to eat healthy in a town that seems to dine exclusively on meat, more meat, pasta, and cheese.

 

As we toddled back to our hotel after dinner... maybe that should be "waddled" not toddled... we reflected on our experience thus far. Buenos Aires is historic, sophisticated, and beautiful, which we expected. I know according to Hubby this post has not done justice to its magnificent boulevards and grand buildings. Sigh. Everyone's a critic, eh? So, the beauty and grandeur of the city we expected. What we didn't expect was that the people of Buenos Aires would be quite so friendly. Virtually everyone we met was unfailingly polite, helpful, and gracious. From hotel staff, to waiters, to the lady selling programs at the Ricoleta Cemetery, who when she found out we were Canadians wanted to talk politics, and regaled us with stories about their former government run by "the lady" as she called their ex-president, saying how relieved she was at the regime change. And we were surprised too at how very patient everyone was as we struggled to use our few words of Spanish, and in my case tried to remember to say "si" and not "oui." As I said to Hubby, I never knew how much French I had salted away in my brain until I tried to speak Spanish. A rueful smile and lots of hand gestures also helped to bridge the language barrier. And funnily enough our love of cooking Italian food came in handy when deciphering menus. Except when I pronounced the double "l"s in pollo when trying to order chicken, everyone laughed. I guess the word "pollo" here is used only to refer to that sport with horses. They pronounce it "po sha" when they mean chicken. Travel is so educational, isn't it? 

 

We bid adios to Buenos Aires the next morning and made tracks for the airport. Patagonia bound. Hiking boots all polished up and ready to roll. We were excited. For, as much as we loved Buenos Aires, we're not really city people. And the mountains and open spaces of Patagonia would be much more our style. I snapped the two shots, below, from the plane as we flew into El Calafate. Looks like lots and lots of open space down there, folks.

 

 

Parte Uno of our South America adventure was history. We were about to find out what Parte Dos would have in store for us. Lots of sunshine, fabulous views, and some strenuous exercise we hoped. And maybe, just maybe, some vegetables? 


I've been having great difficulty writing this post with the ap "Blogsy" which has not interacted well with 'Blogger" lately. And then it stopped working for me altogether. I've just downloaded a new ap. But I know that some things will go wrong for some reason, and I won't be able to do anything about it. And then my little perfectionist brain will explode. So I'm going to try very hard to ignore all this. Hopefully the new ap will work. 

I can't say when I'll be able to write the next post. The wifi has been sketchy in places. And I haven't had as much time as I had hoped to write. So please be patient.