All posts by Jennifer

Wine Cafe

Ivan and I went out at 10:30 am on December 19, 2012 to the Brazilian Embassy.  There was a long line, but it turned out that a few of the people were picking up their passports.  I’m glad the lady remembered me from yesterday.  I showed her the new statement with December transactions.  She crossed out Doesn’t Have In on my form.  She charged me 883.25 pesos which Ivan says is 200 more than it should be.  I guess she charged me more since I didn’t have my entry ticket and for not having my bank statement the first time.  I still think the lady is really mean.  The lady said that my passport would be ready tomorrow.  I asked her what time I could come and she said from 11 am to 1 pm.

I had to go to the Itaú bank nearby to pay the money for my Brazilian visa.

We went to the vegan restaurant Picnic for lunch.  Ivan got a wok while I got a falafel sandwich.  My sandwich was tasteless and needed hummus or something.  Ivan’s wok was okay.  I ate some of his since mine was so bad.  There were only two falafels in the sandwich which wasn’t even real falafel.  The restaurant has 8 things on the menu and Ivan thinks that they should make sure every dish is delicious since they ONLY have 8 items on the menu.  I would definitely avoid this restaurant unless you’re into bland food.

Ivan wanted to do a self guided walking café tour in Buenos Aires.  He picked a few cafes from the café crawl that’s listed in the Lonely Planet’s Best of Buenos Aries guidebook.  Ivan thought it would be good to get one or two things at each of the cafes we went to.  I thought it was a great idea especially since I was still a bit hungry after the light lunch I had.

Our first stop was Café Tortoni which is the oldest café in Buenos Aires opening in 1858.  The décor is great with the colorful stained glass ceilings. 

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Ivan and I each had an espresso.

We walked to the next café City London.  Ivan ordered a gancia batido for us to share.  This Italian apertif made with soda and lemon is tasty. 

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The café is known for its pastries – tried to order a flan, but they didn’t have any available.

Next stop was Café La Puerto Rico.  Ivan and I had a tasty slice of strawberry pie and a sparkling water. 

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I noticed a Malfada statue and thought it was really cute.  Malfada is an Argentine cartoon character.

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We walked to Bar El Federal which has a cool wooden arch over the bar.  The bar is lowered so that the barmen are eye to eye with the seated customers.  At first, Ivan thought the barman was a midget but then he remembered the description he read in the guidebook.  Here, we shared a tasty apple strudel.

Our last café stop was Plaza Dorrego Bar which has been visited by Robert DeNiro and Eric Clapton. 

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The wooden walls have lots of writing carved into it.  Ivan and I each had an espresso.

We walked around San Telmo where we browsed the unique shops.  There’s also lots of antique markets, but we didn’t check out the markets.

Later, we went to the Anuva Wines wine tasting.  Ivan and I were in a group with 5 other people for the wine tasting.  I was into writing down notes about each wine such as the color, aroma and taste of the wine that I forgot to take pictures.  We had 5 wine tastings which were paired with 5 Argentine tapas. 

Daniella told us about the wine which were limited edition wines.  The first wine was a sparkling wine called Hom which was very light and airy.  It was paired with a bruschetta with cheese, apple, arugula and walnut. 

The next was a white wine made from the Torrontes grape.  This Las Perdices wine was floral and bitter.  I have really liked Torrontes wine in the past at the Etchart winery, but this one didn’t have the best flavor.  Two lovely sorbets were paired with the wine: strawberry and banana and peach and orange juice.

The third wine was a Bonarda red called Mairena.  It was a smooth tasting wine that was paired with salami, grueyere and fontina cheese. 

It was nice that it was unlimited wine pourings if we liked a wine. 

The next two wines were presented by an English girl named Poppy who’s training.  The fourth wine was a red Malbec called Carinae Gran Reserva.  This was our favorite wine of the night which was oaky and plum in color.  This wine was paired with a beef and potato empanada. 

Our last wine was a red called Caluna.  This was a another tasty wine that looked like dark red paint.  It was paired with 2 types of delicious chocolate, one from Ecuador and the other from Venezuela. 

Here’s Ivan and me with Poppy and Daniella for one of our project pictures.

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The wine tasting was great.  At the end, we got a price list of the wines which were expensive wines.  Ivan thinks the wine tasting is worth the $52 USD per person since the wines are pricey and you can drink as much as you want.

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Dancing the Tango

Ivan and I left at 10 am on December 18, 2012 for the Brazilian Embassy.  I had an appointment today, but Ivan didn’t write down what time it was.

There was a short line at the Embassy.  We found out that my appointment is at 1:15 pm.  Brazil charges Americans to enter the country since we charge Brazilians when they enter the USA.  We had lots of time to spare.  I had to print out my bank statement and my plane ticket exiting Brazil as part of my visa requirements.  Ivan kept asking where an internet café was and we couldn’t find one.  There was supposed to be one on Santa Fe but we couldn’t find it.  We hopped in a taxi to head back to the apartment to print, but then we spotted one in the taxi.

I got my prints and then we went to lunch at Libertad Plaza Café for the salad bar.

We went to the Embassy for my appointment.  The lady asked about entry to Brazil.  We said that we were walking in at the border at Iguazu Falls.  She said you’re going to walk to Iguazu Falls from here.  No, we’re taking a bus there I said.  She wanted the bus ticket to Iguazu Falls which is in Argentina… showing a ticket to the falls doesn’t prove I’m entering Brazil.  She wrote Doesn’t have in on my visa form.  She didn’t like my bank statement since it showed October and November, she wanted to see December transactions.  I told her that was the latest statement.  She said she needed December and that I had to come back tomorrow with that statement.. I think showing tomorrow’s date.  Great! 

Ivan and I headed back to the apartment and used the internet.  We went out again at 4:40 pm.

We went shopping on Calle Florida (Florida Street).  Ivan was looking for socks, but didn’t find any.

We stopped at a mall and got our haircuts.  The guy who did my hair was being cheeky when he said he was going to dry my ends, but didn’t tell me it was 50 pesos to blow dry it.  I didn’t end up paying for the blow dry since I told the lady at reception that I just wanted a haircut.  Still not sure how a blow dry is 50 while a regular haircut is 110. 

Ivan and I hopped into a taxi to Complejo Tango.  We signed up for the tango class before the dinner and tango show.  It should start at 7:30 pm, but Ivan read that it starts closer to 8 pm which it did. 

Our teacher was a man named Alejandro.  He showed the class how to do the basic box step.  First, the women were shown the move and then the men.  After we learned it, we danced together.  Ivan and I got to dance together at first and then switch partners.  The women had to dance the whole time since there were more men.  Some partners didn’t want to change and only dance with their significant other.  I think it’s good to switch since sometimes you learn more since you’ll dance with people who are better dancers than your partner. 

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The group was taught another move where girls turned on each side.  This was easy for the guys since they just had to move us to each side while we did all the work.  Alejandro is a great teacher who knows his tango moves and keeps the class laughing.

The last move had both partners move their hand up and then down.  Then, the man puts his right leg out and the girl wraps her leg around the man’s leg and both turn their heads and make a sexy face. 

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I had to do all the moves that we learned with a guy from London along with three other couples so that everybody passed the class.  Good thing we didn’t mess up! 

Here’s Ivan and me striking a pose.

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This tango class was so much fun.  I definitely recommend taking the class.  At the end, everybody got a certificate for passing the class.

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The group headed upstairs for the dinner and tango show. 

We got to pick our 3 course meal from different options.  We both picked salad for our starter.  Ivan picked fish and I went for steak for the main course.  I’m still being bad and eating meat.  For dessert, we picked flan with dulce de leche and a brownie with ice cream.  The food was tasty and it came with unlimited wine.

The tango show was next and it featured 3 couples dancing.  It was amazing.  The dancing was erotic and very captivating. 

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I was trying to take pictures, but it didn’t turn out that good since they’re constantly moving around.  Plus, I was so enraptured with the dancing that I didn’t want to stop watching.  I definitely prefer watching tango than flamenco since it’s more exciting and has more moves.  This was a great night filled with lots of wonderful tango. 

Watch some of the dancing we saw at the show:

You should definitely check out a tango show like Complejo Tango if you’re ever in Buenos Aires.  Ivan called up to book the show and haggled a good price which gave us closer seats.. we were front row right by the stage.

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Walking around BA

I woke up in the middle of the night on December 17, 2012.  I tried going back to sleep and I just kept tossing and turning.. but I think I slept for a little while.

I woke up before Ivan and Lil Dave at 6:50 am.  Breakfast was being served which was a muffin, toast with jam, a wafer covered with chocolate (alfajor), orange juice and hot chocolate.  Lil Dave munched on a few bananas for his breakfast.

The bus arrived in Buenos Aires at 8:15 am.  Ivan and I got a taxi to the Airbnb apartment we’d be staying at.  We had to wait for the cleaner to arrive.  One of the doormen called the cleaner for us since she was late.

The cleaner showed us around the apartment and gave us the keys.  Ivan and I took showers and went out at 10:30 am.

We got a taxi to Plaza del Congreso for the meeting point for the Buenos Aires Free City Tour.  Our tour guide was Juan with a group of 35 people.  We saw the Congreso building which took 40 years to complete. 

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Juan told us that at one point there was no middle class in Argentina and lots of Italians immigrated to Argentina.  No wonder there’s lots of pizza and Italian restaurants in Argentina especially in BA (Buenos Aires).  Juan’s friend says that Argentinian people in Buenos Aires look Italian, act British (since they love football), speak Spanish and their city looks French (with the French architecture). 

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The group went to many places like Avenida 9 de Julio where I found out that July 9, 1816 is Argentina’s Independence day.  The avenue was once the widest in the world.

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We also saw Calle Florida, Café Torino (the oldest café in Buenos Aires), Plaza de Mayo, the Pink House and Obelisco. 

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Juan talked about the politics and the history of Argentina and Buenos Aires.  It was a great tour. 

After the tour, we walked around to find lunch.  We ended up at an Italian restaurant called La Continental.  Ivan got a salad with eggs, peas, beets, onions and apples.  The salad didn’t come with lettuce like most salads in Argentina.  Ivan got a tri-color fettuccine with white cream, pesto and tomato sauce while I got a fettuccine with a scarparo sauce with scallions, garlic, pesto and tomato sauce.  Lil Dave got a spaghetti dish with bananas.

We got a taxi back to the apartment and took a long nap.

Later that night, we walked around the neighborhood to find a restaurant.  There wasn’t much open.  Ivan and I went to La Guidita.  We shared a pumpkin ravioli (which we think was actually cheese ravioli) and salmon.  The meal was okay.

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Off to Buenos Aires

On December 16, 2012, Ivan and I slept in.  We had breakfast after 10:15 am.  Ivan thought that we should leave a day early since there’s not much to do in Mendoza except visit wineries.  Our original plan was to leave tomorrow at 5 pm by sleeper bus to Buenos Aires.  Ivan changed the bus to tonight since we were excited to get to Buenos Aires.  We were supposed to head to the camp site to do a major truck clean, have a special BBQ created by Mel and say good-bye to everybody.  Lenora said we could leave our backpacks in the room since we were leaving later tonight.

Ivan contacted Jamie and found out that he and a few other people were in the city using the internet café.  So, we got a taxi to the café.  Ivan and I wrote a card for Mel with a tip and asked somebody to give it to Mel.  Kerry volunteered to give it to her.  We said good-bye and gave hugs to Jamie, Pete, Kerry, Wilco and Bob.  We had a great time on the Oasis South American trip.  It’s definitely good to be off the truck since we’ve been tired of the long journeys.  Overlanding is a great way to travel since you don’t have to plan things.. but it is a different way of traveling.  Ivan loves it and I thought it was good.. just not my favorite way of traveling.  I definitely prefer backpacking since that’s what I’m used to… with Ivan and the cheeky monkey Lil Dave.

Ivan wanted to check out a restaurant that was highly rated on Tripadvisor.  It was a short walk in the hot sun, so we stopped to get an ice cream. 

We walked to the restaurant, but it was expensive and not much fish on the menu.  We went to La Florencia instead.  Ivan and I shared a salad, sardines with onions and a grilled trout.

Walked back to Mi Casa and used the internet.  Ivan and I packed our backpacks up.  Jorge called us a taxi and we left at 6 pm.

Our luxury bus left at 7 pm headed to Buenos Aires (or as most people call it BA).  The bus has chairs that recline all the way back to make a bed.

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We were served a 4 course meal with sandwiches, tart, bread, chicken, a cookie and a cheesecake.  Dinner even came with unlimited wine.  Ivan and I watched Wild Bill which turned out to be a really good movie.  Before bed we were served a glass of champagne.  Fancy!!

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A Feast with Wine

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 8:20 am on December 15, 2012.  Ivan and I had the free breakfast which was a fried egg, fruit salad and freshly baked bread.  Lil Dave had two bananas.

We walked to the main square Plaza Independencia at 9:40 am.  We saw a few people waiting there for the bus to pick us up.  Today, most of the people from the Oasis group were going to a winery for a 9 course lunch with wine pairing. 

At 10:15 am, the bus arrived and we were taken to Bodega Santa Julia

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Our tour guide was a girl named Milagros.  She took us around the winery talking about the process of making wine.  Ivan and I have been on so many tours that we didn’t really care about the talk of the grapes and barrels.. we just wanted to get on with the wine tasting.  I’m so glad that we think along the same lines.

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The wine tasting was up next with some lovely wines. 

The group walked across the street where lunch was being served at the restaurant Casa Del Visitante. 

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There was a lovely outdoor area with lots of trees and grass.

Lunch was up next with the 9 tapas with wine pairing.

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The dishes were actual decent sizes of gourmet food so I would say it was a 9 course meal with 7 different wines.. with unlimited servings of wine.  I decided to go with the regular menu with the meat options while Ivan substituted the veal steak with trout.

Our first dish was a raspberry gazpacho, trout tartare and caramelized sweet potatoes.  It was the prettiest dish and tasted really good, but not the best dish of the meal.

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There were lots of unique dishes.  I would say one of my favorites was the asparagus cold soup with bread and olive oil ice cream, bacon oil and almond biscuit.  It was a great combination.

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The lamb’s liver was too heavy.  I don’t think I’ve ever liked animal body parts.. it just never tastes right.  Ivan had this dish and he gave his away to Kerry.  I took one bite of my liver and then gave it to Katie since she really enjoyed it.

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One of my wine glasses had Consume Responsibly written in Spanish on the bottom of it – for some reason I was the only one with this message written on their wine glass.  The wine just kept coming and I had to pace myself or I would probably end up passed out on the floor if I wasn’t careful.  Maybe that’s what my glass was trying to tell me….?

The veal steak was lovely and I’m glad it wasn’t a huge portion since I was getting stuffed since it was the 6th course. 

The next course was Cucumber spray and tomato jelly with lemon balm aromas.  It actually came with a spray bottle filled with a cucumber spray. 

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Ivan liked spraying it on his face while I thought it was refreshing sprayed in your mouth. 

My favorite dish was the last dessert which was a chocolate and carob parfait with rye bread, a touch of olive oil and sea salt. 

Ivan and I were so stuffed after the delicious feast and wanted to take a nap when we got back. 

We got the bus back and then we got a taxi and arrived back at the house at 4:30 pm.

I took a long nap while Ivan used the internet.

We dressed up a bit since it would be the last big night out with the group.  Ivan and I walked to the square at 8:30 pm.  We saw Anna and she said that Melinda and Franco were running late.

We met up with the group and walked to a buffet.  Mel wasn’t sure if we wanted to do it since it’s was 70 pesos per person.  I don’t think a buffet was a good idea when most of the group went to the 9 course lunch earlier today which was quite filling.  We walked to a place down the street that sold pizza and empanadas.  That didn’t sound appetizing neither… the pizza looked really gross, like something you’d find in a school cafeteria.  Ivan and I decided to find food somewhere else.  Ivan was disappointed…he thought Mel would have found a nice restaurant since it would be the group’s last meal out with the current group. 

Ivan and I ate across the street at Ailen.  It wasn’t anything special with a salad with eggs, beets and cheese and a salmon ravioli.

We walked across the street to see what the group were up to.  Some people were still eating.  Mel said that some people were going out to a club.  Ivan and I decided to head back to the house since the clubs don’t start hopping until really late.

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Mendoza

Ivan made breakfast with his cook group at 6 am.  We packed up the sleeping bags, mats and tent.

The group left on the truck at 7:30 am headed for Mendoza, Argentina.  We stopped at a viewpoint for a nice picture.

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Later on, we stopped at a Walmart in Mendoza for 45 minutes.  I didn’t know there were Walmarts in other countries – it reminded me of home. 

The truck arrived at Camp Suizo shortly before 6 pm.  On their website it shows they have cabins.  Ivan asked about upgrades along with other people and they didn’t have any.  The lady who runs it rang a place and they had upgrades, but it was a drive away.  Ivan said he’d just find something online.  We didn’t want to do any more camping. 

Ivan booked a place online.  We decided to stay for dinner.  Ivan and I cleared out our locker and packed everything up.  We also gave a lot of stuff away since we had bought lots of stuff for the trip like sleeping bags, mats and panchos. 

The cook group was Paul, Will and Lydia.  Paul doesn’t like anything spicy.  It showed in their cooking since there were no spices at all.. which made it really boring and bland.  Dinner was risotto which tasted weird and undercooked with flavorless vegetables.  I knew that we’d be getting something to eat later on tonight.

Ivan and I left by taxi with Paul and Bob who were going into the city.   We got to Mi Casa which is a family home.  We met Jorge and he was very nice.  He gave us a map and showed us places in the city. 

Ivan and I took showers and then went out later for dinner.

We walked down Arístides Villanueva Street which is filled with restaurants and bars.  Ended up at 390 Pastas.  Ivan and I shared a tagliatelle with tuna and a tortelloni with squid, tomatoes and garlic. 

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I thought the squid was too fishy, so I only ate some of the tortellonis.  The owner was super friendly and kept talking to us.  It was a tasty meal.

When we came back to the house, we met Lorena who is Jorge’s wife.  She gave us both a kiss and a hug.  She’s so very friendly.  We talked about the tapas meal with the wine pairing that we’re doing tomorrow at a winery.  She asked if we liked white and red wine and we said yes.  She made us a tasty drink with fruit and white wine.  We said good night to Jorge and Lorena and went to our room to get some rest.

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Driving Crumble

I had to wake up at 6:30 am for my cook group on December 13, 2012.  I had woken up in the middle of the night because mosquitos kept biting me.  I had to put on insect repellent before going back to sleep. 

Anna was getting things ready and there was no sign of Raoul.  Anna and I set up the cereal.  Extra bread was found, so we decided to make toast.  Raoul came late and started chopping up the bread and then started toasting it. 

The group left at 7:30 am on the truck.  It was a really long drive day.

We stopped at a viewpoint and took a picture.

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It was time for more driving.  We’ve been getting sick of being on the truck, but we don’t have much longer on the trip now.  We arrived at the bush camp at 6:30 pm. 

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Ivan joined Wilco and Sarah for his cook group to make dinner. 

I went to make the tent and Will helped me put it up.

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Dinner was a salad with sardines and peppers for the vegetarians.  The side was a goat cheese and pear salad.  The best part was dessert which was a delicious apple crumble. 

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Ivan made a choco tea made from the cocoa bean shells that he got from the choco class we did Cusco, Peru. 

Ivan and I made it an early night – we watched a show on the laptop before going to bed.

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Biking, Wine and Cheese

I woke up at 5:30 am on November 12, 2012 since I had to use the toilet – it’s a long walk to the bathroom.  I woke up Ivan as well.  Good thing we were able to go back to sleep.

We woke up before 8 am.  Breakfast was a pancake with bananas.  Lil Dave decided to go explore Cafayate on his own since it’s not really into wine.

The group walked to the bike place at 9 am where we rented bikes for 90 pesos each.  Today, we were going to bike around Cafayate and check out the wineries.

It was getting late and there wasn’t much time to go shopping for cook group.  I didn’t think we’d make it for the 10:15 am wine tour.  Anna and Raoul wanted to shop.  Raoul said I should go to the wine tour since he missed the shop the other day.  I caught up with the rest of the group while Anna and Raoul went shopping with Mel.  Ivan was going to go later with his cook group since they had to shop for 3 meals. 

Our first bodega (winery) was Bodegas Etchart.  Our group was given a tour of the bodega and then we watched a video.  The wine tasting was up next.  Ivan and I actually had their Torrentes wine when it was given to us as a welcome drink at Delvino in Salta. 

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We tried four different wines.  My favorite was the Reserve Torrentes since it was slightly sweet and smelled like cotton candy.  I do believe the regular Torrentes we had before was even better.

Some of the group were headed to the Nanni Bodega next, so we decided to join them. 

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We got there early and joined a wine tasting that was just beginning with a bunch of women.  Ivan and I got to try three different organic wines.  The wines paled in comparison compared to the Etchart wines.  The rest of the group arrived while we were trying the wines.  Their wine tasting would be in 15 minutes. 

Ivan and I had lunch at Nanni’s restaurant Retoño which is outside. 

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The waiter was super friendly even though we didn’t really understand what he was saying since he only spoke Spanish.  We shared a salad with goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes, carrots and oranges for a starter.  We also shared a vegetarian wok with almonds and a spinach pappardelle.  The food was delicious with a red wine.

We found out that we missed the wine tour at Nanni which we didn’t mind.  We said hi to the rest of the group who were sitting in the garden eating cheese and crackers while drinking wine.  I’m not sure how they could only have cheese and crackers for lunch.. I would be so hungry and drunk.

Ivan and I wanted to try the wine ice cream at Il Cavillo Helados, so we biked there next – it’s located next to the bike shop. We sampled the two wine ice creams and they tasted off. Ivan and I got ice cream in a small cone and chatted with Bob, Lydia, Ty, Raoul and Will who were drinking wine.

Next, we biked to the Cabras de Cafayate which is the goat cheese factory.  We got there before 2 pm and it opened in 15 minutes.  A guy opened up the stores.  Ivan asked about the tour, but unfortunately the tour is in Spanish and it seemed like you had to book it ahead of time.  We decided to do the cheese tasting which is 5 pesos per person. 

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It was 7 different cheeses and was done at the counter.  3 of the cheeses were very tasty while the rest were okay.  Ivan asked if we could see the goats.  The guy said he was the only one working and couldn’t show us.  Ivan asked again, but he didn’t want to show us at all.  Ivan wanted to get a picture with a goat for our project.

Ivan and I biked back to the camp site.  Ivan found out that we could book a private room with two bunk beds for the night.

I packed our sleeping bags and wanted to pack the rest but it was hot in the tent. 

Ivan went to return the bikes and met up with his cook group at the market.  He told me to meet him at 7 pm in the square. 

I used the internet and worked on the blog before walking to the square.  I noticed the interesting building with the birds. 

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Ivan arrived a few minutes late.  He told me his group kept waiting for the market to open and it finally did at 7 pm.

We walked around to find a nice restaurant.  We went to Terruño.  Ivan and I shared a vegetable salad with corn, avocado and a fried egg, a pumpkin cream soup and trout.  It was a good meal. 

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The Drive to Cafayate

Ivan, Lil Dave and I had the free breakfast buffet on December 11, 2012.  We packed up and then checked out.

We all piled into a taxi at 11:10 am and went to the Municipal Carlos Xamena campsite where the Oasis group have been staying. We didn’t see anybody around.  Ivan and I put our stuff on the truck. 

I noticed Bob and asked if he knew where everybody was.  He told me that Kerry went to the hospital and he went but it was a joke since it was a dirty hospital. 

We went to the café to use the free wi-fi and a few people from the group were there.  We found out the meet-up time at the truck was 12 pm. 

The Oasis truck left at 12:10 pm and drove to the big supermarket Libertad.   I went shopping with Anna from my cook group for the lunch we’d be doing in a few days.  I was going to meet Ivan in the food court, but I was taking awhile.  Ivan bought lunch in Libertad for us to eat on the truck. 

The group got on the truck and we drove for more.  The scenery was quite lovely.

We stopped at another Devil’s Throat to hike around. 

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I had a headache, so I didn’t feel like going all the way up.

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Franco drove us further on for a few minutes and stopped at an amphitheater, but we didn’t go out to see it.  I heard that it wasn’t much and filled with lots of people selling things.  

Our last stop was a viewpoint. 

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We drove more and got to the campsite Camp Luz y Fuerza in Cafayate, Argentina at 6:20 pm. 

The cook group started cooking right away.

Ivan and I used the internet. 

Dinner took a long, long time (usually it takes 2 hours) and was ready at 9:10 pm.  The vegetarians had vegetable burritos which were rather bland. 

Ivan and I watched a show on the laptop and then went to bed at 10:30 pm.

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Empanadas & Tapas

Ivan, Lil Dave and I slept in until 9 am on December 10, 2012.  We went to the free breakfast buffet.

At 1 pm, we walked to the a vegetarian restaurant, but unfortunately it was closed on Mondays.  We walked to the main square Plaza 9 de Julio to look for a restaurant.  Ivan and I decided on Van Gogh Café.  We got a bottle of white wine to share since it was so warm out.  It felt really hot probably since we haven’t had warm weather in quite awhile.  Ivan had an anchovy sandwich, I had a tuna sandwich while Lil Dave had a banana salad.

Ivan looked up a good empanada place nearby.  We walked to New Time which is in the same square.  Ivan and I shared a a variety of empanadas: vegetarian which was spinach and cheese, chicken, cheese and choclo which is corn.  Lil Dave was peeved that the restaurant didn’t have banana empanadas.  The empanadas were a small size and tasted great. 

There’s a pretty pink Catedral de Salta in the plaza.

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We got a taxi back.  Ivan thought we should try the ice cream place Grido Helado by the hotel.  Ivan and Lil Dave got a cone with banana and dulce de leche while I got a tiramasu.

Ivan and I watched an episode of Homeland while we ate our ice cream cones.

Argentina is similar to Spain where they have siestas (usually about 4 hours long) during the early afternoon and eat late at night.

Lil Dave went to a restaurant for dinner where they serve BBQ bananas. 

That night at 9:30 pm, Ivan and I went to Bartz for tapas.  We talked to the owner who’s really friendly and he told us all the dishes on the 9 course tapas menu since it was written in Spanish.  The last two were meat and he said it’s fine to substitute the dishes with any of the tapas on the menu.

Ivan and I shared a lovely Benjamin Melbac.  Our meal came with two free tapas which we thought only one was free. 

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Our dishes were mostly seafood with eggplant, octopus, mussels and vegetables.  We lost count probably since we were drinking wine and enjoying the tapas SO much.  Every dish was delicious and well presented. 

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Ivan saw this restaurant on Tripadvisor and it’s #2 but we both agree that it should be #1. 

We received one of our dishes and Ivan thought it was the last main dish before dessert, but it wasn’t.  There was so much food!  You definitely don’t have to touch the bread here.. but the aioli and tomato the bread comes with is very tasty.  The desserts were two dishes with ice cream.  At the end, we were given a chocolate.. but I think it was actually alcohol covered in chocolate.  You have to slide it off the dish into your mouth.. and it pops in your mouth which releases the tasty alcohol in your mouth.  What a fantastic meal!!  I really wish we had another night so we could go again.  Ivan thinks this restaurant deserves to be in a big city like Buenos Aires.  The restaurant has been open for 7 months and I’m sure it’ll reach #1 on Tripadvisor very soon.

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