Friday, January 28, 2011

Feliz cumpleanos

Dallas skyline from the Bar Belmont as we celebrate Megan's birthday. Great evening for a patio!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Way Down South: Torres del Paine and Estancia Cerro Guido

I am finally ready to start posting photos. I thought I'd start south and work north. Our southernmost point was Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. During our brief visit, we stayed at a massive ranch called Estancia Cerro Guido. The ranch itself was beautiful with stunning views of the landscape (including some amazing cloud formations). The hiking pictures come from a trail near Salta Grande within the national park.

At Cerro Guido, Megan and I got the chance to see how lamb asado was prepared from beginning to delicious end. First, the lamb is "crucified," or placed on a large metal rod. The rod is then leaned next to a fire so the lamb can slow cook over a period of four or five hours. The only seasoning is a light rub of salt, an epic load of smoke, and the herbal seasoning of the grasses the lamb ate.

We hiked up a hill above the restaurant at Cerro Guido to take in the views.

The black and white shot is of the front porch of the restaurant (and, oddly enough, matches a similar picture on the Cerro Guido website--an inviting view for others too apparently). The food and service was outstanding. Best pisco sour I tasted during my time in Patagonia. The picture with the horses was taken from our breakfast table.

After leaving Cerro Guido. We headed into the national park.

Some nourishment for the road back to Argentina . . .

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Leaving Buenos Aires

We are now at the airport waiting another hour or so to board the flight home. Unlike previous trips (Africa, for example) we are not quite ready to go. Our stay here has been wonderful, but we reluctantly head back to reality. A few thoughts as we leave.

Fireworks. We assumed we would not see any on new years. During dinner, we heard of a show from a nearby plaza, so we decided we would run back to our hotel to watch the show from the roof terrace. As it turns out, nearly everyone launches fireworks, and our rooftop terrace quickly became the center of a multicolored war zone. Great fun.

Steak. We ate lots of it, and it was cheap and delicious. Ate two filets yesterday at $7 and $12 respectively, each at or over eight ounces and each very delicious. A meat eater's paradise.

Flushers. Toilets here are far from uniform, and finding where to flush was often a puzzle.

Markets. There were craft markets, antique markets, and nearly anything anyone could need or want is bought and sold in streets and plazas. Today we went to a massive antique market in a public square.

Walking. Great city for walking. We wandered yesterday with Erin and Martin. Left from the architectural wonders of the Ricoleta Cemetery and wandered through gorgeous avenues and beautiful parks as well as along the Dakar rally course. Great hosts for a beautiful trek.

Once we return we will sort through our nearly 2000 pictures and post the best online as we are able. For now 11 hours on a plane, taxi to our house, and then I head to the office before an afternoon court hearing. The vacation is now over.

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