Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Salta la Fria

Oh the icy beauty. And Salta looks nice too. I am seconds away from being told not to take her picture because she doesn´t feel good (she has a cold). Winter was cold enough the first time, I can´t believe we went back for more.

Snowy palm and orange trees.

This picture sums up our last week. Aimless wandering and freezing rain.

This is a kiln that belongs to some potter in... some small town in the northwestern corner of Argentina. We bought some stuff, to our tour guide´s relief. He "loaned" the guy 50 pesos to show us around and when Levi bouth something he got it back. We weren´t supposed to notice, but you have to get up pretty early (say 10:30) to fool the Chelsea-Adam-Levi team.

Colorful hills in Purmamarca. A beautiful little town where we spent the night. The day before we went up to 4,000 meters above sea level and back down to 2,000. I vomited. Totally worth it.

On a cable car in Salta. Pretty cool.

Look how excited Chelsea is to be on a cable car.

Salt Flat Fun

The Salt Flats aka. prehistoric photoshop.

Levi snack.

Salta la Linda

Ruins of a pre-inca town. No one knows what happened to them.

Me: Pierre, can we run up that mountain until we find precolombian ruins.
Pierre: You won´t find any on that mountain, but I know one where we will.

Having a private tour guide is awesome.

We made a friend.

Very cold.

Cordoba to Salta

Friday, July 9, 2010

cordoba pictures!

"Tenedor Libre" literally "free fork" an all you can eat buffet. This one happens to be the largest in the country.

This church is missing a steeple to symbolize human imperfection (see above). It also had cool animal head scupltures and the pillars were Alteses

Runner up for my "about the author" picture. The winner didn`t make it to the blog. Sorry reader.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Our stay at Mendoza

Here´s a view of the place Adam and I have been calling home the last week. We head to Cordoba tomorrow and we´re sorry to say goodbye to Hostel Lao, with it´s wonderful staff, cozy rooms and homey atmosphere.

Last night Adam and I went to Plaza Independencia where there is an artisan craft fair each weekend. Among all of the cool pottery, tapestries and jewelry were a ton of leather goods, which Argentina has an abundance of since there is so much cattle here. Anyway, they had these really great belts that Adam bought a couple of (his old one was in shameful condition as he had had it since 8th grade). Above you can see the guy that makes them cutting the belt to the right length for Adam´s skinny hips. They were decorated with really beautiful patterns that you can see if you look closely.
Above is a picture of a usually crowded street during the Argentina World Cup game on Saturday. The streets and buses were empty and all was quiet while Argentina got their asses kicked by Germany. The handled it pretty well, we only saw a couple of people crying. It was actually really depressing, people walked dejectedly home from watching the game in their striped blue and white shirts, trailing their celebratory flags behind them. Maybe next World Cup....
The other night a dog followed us home. We picked him up outside of a McDonalds he was lounging beside, I guess he liked the look of us because he jumped up and walked about a mile beside us, crossing at stoplights with us, all the way to Hostel Lao where Adam and I said an emotional goodbye to him, who we had fondly called ´´Amigo´´.
Lo and behold Amigo found us again tonight when we were walking home from dinner with our British friend Ben, and he again followed us loyally all the way back to our hostel. Another emotional farewell. I gave him my leftover burrito. We were thinking about the reaction of US customs if we tried to bring a stray dog back from South America. We wish...

Next time we post it will be from Cordoba!

I leave you this time with a quote from ourselves...

(Walking back late one night and passing a bar) (all in Spanish)
Waitress: "Would you like to come in and have a drink?"
Adam: "I don´t know...Chelsea?"
Me: "Hm...it is cold"
Adam: "Perhaps we came back later"
Me: "Good Afternoon"

Saturday, July 3, 2010

This is Adam. Above is a slice of Argentinian wine country. Pretty spectacular. That´s the Andes in the background and some soon-to-be Syrah or Malbec in the fore. We toured two wineries and ate lunch at a third one. At the first our guide (forgot her name, sorry tourguide) told us all about the wine making process and how each type of grape has different ¨descriptor chemicals¨ which suggest the flavors of other foods. I´ve always wondered how wine experts come up with "a hint of strawberry and toasty oak" when then drink wine, and dismissed it as bourgeois foppery, but I guess I was wrong. The flavors are very subtle and I can see how people become connoiseurs (read alcoholics). There are worse ways to spend a day than being drivin around this beautiful countryside to taste different wines.
An epic Andean valley. Day before yesterday we took an excursion with a local travel agency from the city into the Andes up to the Chilean Border. On the way we crossed the precordillera, a range of foothills before the Andes proper, which are older and smaller. It reminded me of pictures of Afghanistan.

The rest of the pictures are us in the Andes and some a picture from the van on the way back.

Here´s an experience our Kiwi friend Earl had in the U.S.:

American: Oh you´re from New Zealand, what do you speak there.
Earl (messing with them): We speak New Zealander
American: Say something in New Zealander!
Earl: Gooday.
American: What does that mean?
Earl: It´s a greeting.

Talk to you soon.