Mañana, domani, tomorrow

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Hello friends, readers and passers-by. From tomorrow, for the next 40 days, I will be travelling with my husband in Chile and Argentina. You’ll be able to follow us on a purpose-built blog called Mostly Patagonia. So pop on over and sign up for postcards from the end of the world! We’ll see you back here in late December or so. Thanks for following!

La Morada, Montserrat, Buenos Aires – Locro and Empanadas

On this day last year I was in Buenos Aires with my beloved Andrew eating empanadas and locro. And today I found out that I may have relatives in Argentina.

A cousin who is is researching the family history along with my sister and I said that our great-grandfather Antonio Pergolini had a cousin called Camilo Pergolini. Camilo had 2 daughters, one with the married name of DiFuria, a son named Atilo who went to America and another son named Camilo who went to Argentina!

So, another trip for family research is in order! Calling all Argentine Pergolinis with Abruzzi heritage.

Buenos Aires – 25 May 2009

Hola chicos,

Excuse typing errors – very worn out keyboard…We are back in Buenos Aires and I must say, this could be the undisputed capital of empanadas.  Today we went to a place called Ña Serapia, Las Heras, Av. 3357, and the empanadas were fragrant, delicate and so very delicious.

http://www.guiaoleo.com.ar/detail.php?ID=917

As well as the empanadas we had Locra which I can only describe as a soup or stew with heaps of corn and beans and other yummy things.  And just because it looked so good, we also had by far the best tamale I have ever had, anywhere.  This is definitely one to experiment with when we get home. We only have 24 hours left in BA and we are considering going back tomorrow before our flight…

So a bit of a recap since the transport strike.  We did manage to get to Machu Picchu and it was quite a journey.  Once in the town of Aguas Calientes one must locate the office to buy the entry pass and pay a rather large sum of money.  I think it equaled about 60 Aussie dollars.  Then you locate the place where you buy the tickets for the bus, and fork over another 15 or so bucks for a 20 minute all uphill, hair-raising, nail-biting bus ride.  Once inside the grounds you go up about a thousand steps to get the vantage point for the postcard photo of the actual Inca Ruins and the huge hill, Waynu Picchu!  Unbelievable.  After seeing it in so many documentaries and photos it is hard to believe you are actually standing there.  The depth and scale of it all is overwhelming!  I am so glad we got there.

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We spent about 5 hours walking around and I think Andrew took over 100 photos.  It seemed we walked forever.

Back in town that evening we made good use of the hot springs that give the town it’s name and soaked our aching muscles.

Machu Picchu was the pinnacle for sure, but we also visited many other Inca ruins (Sacsayhuamán, Pisac, Ollantaytambo to name a few) and walked up and down numerous sets of stairs and terraced agricultural sites! The combination of altitude and stairs has been tough!

We got back to Cusco and enjoyed a few more meals at a favourite traveller’s haunt called Jacks where we had warming soups and herbal teas.

It has been an amazing adventure, not without a few hitches. Our flight from Cusco to Lima went fine then we sat in Lima airport for 5 hours waiting to get back to BA.  We finally arrived at our accommodation at 2am.

The B&B we are staying at in Recoleta is friendly and very comfy so we are resting up for the big flight back home.

What do we miss?  Our own bed and decent pillows! And Andrew’s Prawn and Pernot Risotto which he’ll make soon after we get back.

Would we do it again?  YES!  We are already starting sentences with “next time we come to South America…”.  There is so much more to see.  We would like to focus on Southern Argentina and Chile (and La Cumbre to see Tuti!).  But that’s another email.  We’ll let you all know when we get home safely and will post pictures on our Flickr site, eventually…

Mendoza Argentina – 29 April 2009

First let me apologise for my typing on a spanish keyboard with different characters and some of the letters worn off!

Greetings from Mendoza Argentina, wine country.

The vuelta de empanada continues.  We would like to say we have not had a day without an empanada but that would probably be false. However some days we have had two lots to make up for it.  By far, the best we have had was a Quatros Quesos (4 cheeses) in Puerto Iquazu!  It had delicate pastry and inside were the 4 cheeses: manchego, cream, parmesana and roquefort!  Had to be tasted to be believed.  The super-chilled Patagonian beer washed it down perfectly! And it topped off a pretty grand day of walking around the falls at Iguazu!

There have been other highlights and Andrew is attempting to photograph them before we scoff them down. Refer to our Flickr page for photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lou_roo/sets/72157619047932933/

Empanadas seem to be found in the loftiest restaurants as well as the humblest corner stores.  Most advertise that they are Artesanial indicating that they are home made on the premises by a master!

We have had other food.  With a large Italian heritage, there are pizza and pasta joints everywhere as well as the ubiquitous ´Parilla´ or charcoal grills where huge sausages and slabs of meat are cooked.

Our hostel in Buenos Aires had a live music night up on the rooftop garden on Saturday and the did 10 peso (less than $5 Aussie) Beer and Churi Pane.  Churi Pane is a Big sausage (Churi) in a crusty bread roll (Pane).  It was great value and we went back for seconds.

Sunday night we went to a more fancy Parilla with our friend Amalia and her husband Gustavo.  They introduced us to some fantastic Argentine Malbec wines.

Deserts are pretty special here too.  Flan is very popular as is ice cream called Helados here.  We have sampled a few flavours.  Another unique food is a sweet breakfast spread called dulce de leche kind of like a thick caramel spread.  Of course it is also a helados flavour and as a filling in chocolate covered cookies.

So although this is a vuelta de empanada, we are by no means restricting our diets.  And we have done other things besides eat!  We have been to the falls at Iguazu, and in BA been to the MALBA (Museo del Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires) museum, seen the strange National Library, been to Evita´s mausoleum at Recoleta, seen the Botego torso sculpture and the giant flower in the park, walked the modern Puente de Mujeres at Puerto Madera strolled Calle Defensa on Sunday for the San Telmo Feria (markets), and visited La Boca briefly (it was very touristy so got a bus the hell outta there).  There are paintings from both Frida Kahlo and Diego Riviera at the MALBA for my fellow fans!!  Oh and we spent a day in Colonia Uruguay, the ciudad vieja which is World Heritage listed! Very charming indeed and an hour´s ferry ride away frm BA. Photographer´s paradise!

We are hoping to do a short bike ride around the Maipu wine area tomorrow befor heading off to Santiago Chile on Thursday.

We hope this finds you all well.

Cheers for now.

Lou & Roo