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Exploring the Fjords of Patagonia: 1) The Australis

00 Australis

There’s a fascinating leg of our Patagonian journey which I haven’t shared with you yet.  We took a 4 day cruise into the Fjordlands at the southern end of South America, mostly coastal Chile and a bit of Argentina.  This journey into Tierra del Fuego was a truly memorable adventure!

The cruise began at the Port in the frontier town of Puenta Arenas, Chile.  Here we boarded the Chilean-owned adventure ship, Australis, which was to take us to the “uttermost end of the earth”.  Australis is an expedition cruise company specializing in exploring the waterways of Tierra del Fuego, including the Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel.  The Australis is relatively small, carrying only about 200 passengers, which is very much to your advantage …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 6, 2015: Well dressed trees

La Baco 2014 077

We’ve previously visited the colorful barrio of La Boca in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  La Boca, a tough blue collar neighborhood, is known for its flamboyantly colorful homes.  As I was going through my photos of this visit recently, I was reminded that not only are the homes brilliantly decorated, but so is the vegetation!  These colorful knit coverings were on the trees — even the fire hydrants!  It only adds to the many shades of La Boca.

Note sure I’ve ever been anyplace else that decorated trees with anything other than Christmas lights and related holiday decorations.  Have you?

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance)

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.All Trips / Argentina / South America

Two Restaurants worth visiting in Recoleta (Buenos Aires)

005 Grilled vegetables — amazingly good

 1) Buenos Aires Grill — an excellent Parilla
Dining is, of course, a huge part of traveling.  Experiencing a culture by visiting a restaurant and consuming its food is an excellent way to connect with that place — trying to understand the menu (always best to visit restaurants that don’t hand you an all English translation as these are where the locals eat), trying to converse and build a bond with a waiter, and finally enjoying the meal itself.  Usually these experiences jell into a wonderful experience although sometimes they don’t.

Among the finest food you can eat in Argentina (at least for those who are omnivores or carnivores) is its beef.  Argentine beef is grown on the pampas, is free …

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.All Trips / Argentina / Food / Food Tour / South America

A Tale of Two Food Tours: Buenos Aires, Argentina

San Telmo Food Tours 02-2014 (73)

It’s been my experience that food tours are growing in popularity across the globe.  If an army marches on its stomach, then so does the world’s growing flocks of tourists.  Experiencing local food for most travelers is an integral part of the travel experience — that’s certainly the case with me.

Food tours have an inherent appeal.  They can save you a lot of research time and are likely to give you a better dining experience than you’d find on your own.  You’re taken to a restaurant a local has selected as an excellent or high quality establishment indicative of that tour’s theme — local food, artisan food, etc.  Many of these restaurants are small “hole-in-the-wall” places that you’d be unlikely …

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Mercado San Telmo, Buenos Aires, Argentina

San Telmo Market 2014 025

Markets are popular destinations for travelers and I’ve visited many of them during my travels.  Today I’d like to share with you the Mercado de San Telmo, a large and historic market in Buenos Aires.

One hundred and fifty years ago San Telmo was the most upscale barrio in Buenos Aires but it was mostly abandoned by its wealthy citizens during a yellow fever epidemic in the late 19th century, its residents moving more inland to neighborhoods extending from Recoleta to El Tigre.  Poorer people moved in to the abandoned homes which were usually subdivided into apartments and rented out.  Today, San Telmo is a state of “elegant decay” — beautiful crafted old buildings which are neglected and in need of …

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.All Trips / Argentina / South America

La Boca, Argentina. Colorful, gritty, tough.

La Baco 2014 007

Having just returned from a 3 week vacation to South America, I saw and photographed many fascinating places which I hope to share with you in the coming weeks.  I thought I’d start with the very last but most colorful place we visited.  La Boca (or Boca) is among the oldest “working class” neighborhoods in Buenos Aires.  Settled in the 19th century, mostly by poor Italian immigrants from Genoa, it was built adjoining the city’s old harbor on Rio Riachuelo.  As with much of Buenos Aires, it retains a distinct European flavor, but Boca has resisted gentrification — it seems to enjoy being the tough neighbor.

The immigrants homes in Boca, cobbled together some 150 years ago of wood and sheet metal and painted …

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