“Pic of the Week”, July 16, 2021: Grass Cutters of Machu Picchu

00 Llama, Machu Picchu

It’s tough for people to cut grass that’s terraced or growing on steep hills, but it’s enjoyable for llamas and alpacas.
When we visited Machu Picchu, we noticed a number of these woolly creatures grazing on the grass, or resting and chewing their cud.  The grass was well trimmed throughout the site.  A practical solution to a problem.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge and right arrow to advance slideshow)


 
 

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A Final Hike in Tierra del Fuego National Park

01 Tierra del Fuego National Park

The final chapter of our exploration of Patagonia was a visit to Bahia Lapataia (Lapataia Bay).  Here you’ll find the southern most point of the Pan-American Highway, the longest highway on earth.  At a parking lot beside the road’s end,  you’ll find this sign marking this important landmark.  It’s only about a 45 minute drive from Ushuaia, but is the farthest south you can drive in the Western Hemisphere.
We drove to the area, parked, and hiked a little through a swampy forest of beech and evergreens.  Fortunately there were boardwalk trails through the wettest areas, so our feet didn’t get soaked.  The weather was wet and cold and windy — not exactly terrific hiking weather, but typical of the area.  The …

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Trekking on the Original Inca Trail

00 Inca Trail

I’ve enjoyed hiking and walking all of my life. One of my most memorable treks was the Inca Trail in Peru. Hard to believe it’s been 25 years since my brother and I did that walk, and I’m glad I did it then because my worn knees would not be up to the task today.
The hike lasted four days and wound its way up and down and across the Andes, starting in a desert climate and ending in a cloud forest. Our highest altitude was 4200 m (13,800 ft), a level at which it’s quite cool even when so close to the equator.
The trail has a lot of ups and downs, and it’s hard work as the pitch is so …

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The Train at the End of the World, Ushuaia

One Clue Mystery (2) – Copy

One of the better known attractions in Ushuaia is a journey on a short (5 mi – 8 km) but scenic stretch of railway known as ‘Tren del Fin del Mundo,’ or the ‘Train of the End of the World.’   As Ushuaia is the southern most city in the world and this the southernmost railway on earth, the name is not as hyperbolic as it might originally seem. 
The first tracks were constructed in the late 19th century to transport supplies to the penitentiary being built in Ushuaia.  These tracks were made of wood and used for ox-pulled carts, but by the early twentieth century they had been upgraded to iron rails that conveyed a steam …

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Rambling around Recoleta

00 Around Recoleta

Recoleta is an upscale residential neighborhood in Buenos Aires, where my wife and I stayed during our visit to that city.  The area has interesting historic architecture and is where you’ll find the Recoleta Cemetery and the Nuestra Señora del Pilar Church.  Some of the most expensive real estate in Argentina is in Recoleta.

Plazio Sarmiento (Ministry of Education), Recoleta

Plazio Sarmiento (Ministry of Education), Recoleta


This post is a compilation of some of the sights we encountered during our wanderings around this part of the city.  One of these features Pizzurno Palace, also known as the Sarmiento Palace (home to the Ministry of Education).
Recoleta is a place families live and play, with some nice parks and green spaces. There’s some interesting public art and …

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A Visit to the Maritime and Prison Museum, Ushuaia

03 Ushuaia Marfitime Museum

The Maritime and Prison Museum was originally constructed in the late 19th century as a prison (by prisoners).  It consists of 5 two-story wings built onto a central hub.  The prison became the most southerly situated jail in the world and was where Buenos Aires sent prisoners it didn’t want to house locally — sort of like the English sending prisoners to Australia.
The prison had 380 cells which housed up to 800 inmates ranging from political prisoners to murderers.  In some ways the prison was reformative, prisoners receiving a basic education and pay for work performed (which they could take with them when — or if — they ever left).  The prison ran various shops that served the needs of …

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“Pic of the Week”, October 2, 2020: The Coin Artist, Ushuaia

00 Ushuaia Coin Man

In a park along Ushuaia’s waterfront is a small market featuring small “mom and pop” gift shops, like this one.  Most sell junk like crappy t-shirts and hats, but this one caught our eye.
This gentleman is an artist.  He takes coins from around the world, meticulously cuts out the artwork within them to make lovely pendents featuring animals, flowers, buildings, heroes, etc. — a large assortment of beautiful items.  I’d only in decades of traveling seen one other display of its type, and that many years ago.
My wife is extremely fond of horses and purchased several horse pendants for herself and as gifts.  The artist was appreciative and pleased to know his handiwork was traveling to California and Washington state.
(Clock …

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Chocolateria Ovejitas de la Patagonia, Ushuaia

Chocolateria Ovejitas de la Patagonia 05

Ushuaia, even during its summer, is a cool, wet and windy city.  My wife and I spent several days here and wandered many of its streets and attractions. During our exploration we came across this rather cute chocolate and coffee/tea shop, and thought a jolt of warm caffeine and sugar was just what we needed.
We were pleasantly surprised by what we found inside.  A large and beautifully presented selection of sweet treats as nice as any I can recall seeing.  Huge slabs of chocolate and fudge dominated, with bon-bons and a large variety of gift items. We settled for a huge slab of delicious cake (to share) and nice cups of cappuccino.  We took along a few slices of chocolate …

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