December 26, 2007

From Northwest to Southeast Argentina: Our trip to Buenos Aires

After a quick two days in San Pedro de Atacama, we decided it was time to leave Chile and head for our garden of eden...Argentina. After all the stories we´ve read of New Yorkers moving to Argentina, we both had high hopes for the country, and wanted to get there as quickly as possible.

From San Pedro, we took a bus across the Northwest of Argentina, to the provincial capital city of Salta. The drive was absolutely stunning. The scenery changed from a high dry desert, to mountains with cacti everywhere. It was straight out of a John Wayne Western movie. Salta was a nice introduction to the country. We basically spent two days eating all of our favorite foods. It´s funny the things you miss when traveling. We miss peanut butter, sushi, and a good slice of NYC pizza, but I really missed some good cheese, chorizo, and wine. Thank goodness Argentina has such an European influence. The food here is amazing.

We had almost passed up visiting Cafayate, and I´m glad we decided to extend our trip South by a couple of days. Cafayate is about 3 hours south of Salta, and is the other famous wine producing region in Argentina after Mendoza. Cafayate is a small little town, with a main square, and everything shuts for siesta from 1-6pm. The town is surrounded by vineyards, and we spent 3 amazing days riding bikes from winery to winery, getting tours and a little tipsy at the same time. My father would be so proud. When I am old, and I want to live a simple life, this is where I am going to come. I should also mention that Cafayate is surrounded by the Quebrada de Cafayate, which is a beautiful canyon, similar to what you would see in the Southwest of Utah. We did a day tour visiting unbelievable rock formations. I think pictures are the only thing that can do this place justice. Here are our photos of Cafayate and the Quebrada.

With our of fill of wine in Cafayate, we took a bus south to the city of Cordoba. Cordoba is situated in the Central Sierras, and is sometimes referred to as the heart of Argentina, since it´s in the center of the country. We spent four days in Cordoba, walking the colonial streets and enjoying the culture. The city reminded me a lot of Montreal or Boston, since it has the highest number of university students in the country, it´s a party city, and the architecture was old and beautiful. We also did a day trip to Alta Gracia and went to the Che Guevara museum in his childhood home. Alta Gracia is worth checking out if you make it to Cordoba.

I should mention that I had my first experience with an Argentine hospital in Cordoba, and I´m happy to report that it was clean, safe, and more efficient that the U.S. or Canada. Unfortunately, I had an allergic reaction to something, and ended up in the emergency room at 1 am on a Saturday night. After a quick 30 minute wait, an injection of medicine, and a bill for $30 I was on my way. This would never be so easy back home, or so cheap! The only downside was that was my Saturday night, while everyone else was out on the town.

After Cordoba, we made our way to Rosario on the shores of the Rio Parana, where we are right now. Rosario is another small city, with a good student population, and it´s only four hours from Buenos Aires, where we are headed tomorrow morning. Similar to Cordoba, Rosario has great pedestrian streets with shops and restaurants. Although, Rosario actually has a beach. The beach is small, and it´s on the river, but there is sand and water, and we enjoyed sunning ourselves after about a month in the mountains and desert. Here are our photos of Cordoba and Rosario.

Well, I´m happy to say that after a couple of weeks in Argentina, we couldn´t be happier. I´ve stuffed myself with more steak and red wine than I probably should have, and Julie is eating too much dulce de leche ice cream. The life here is like Europe, but cheaper. I wouldn´t be surprised if we end up moving here some day. Tomorrow we go to Buenos Aires for a couple days, then it´s off to the beaches of Punta del Este of Uruguay for New Years, to spend the 31st with our friends Pablo and Christina.

Wishing you all a great New Years wherever you are, and the best for 2008.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Happy new years guys! Nice to see you in on a beach...its freezing up here! ciao