So today we leave for Antarctica. Even though I'm typing these words and in a few hours we will board the sailboat that is waiting right here in the harbor in Ushuaia, it still feels totally unreal. Not sure when the reality will set in. Perhaps early tomorrow morning when we begin our passage over that notorious Drake passage? I'm sure! I hope to not be too sick to watch over Cape Horn as we see the two oceans of the Atlantic and Pacific converge in a (hopefully) peaceful meeting!
We've been on a bit of a hiatus this month. The beginning of December found us in Bariloche, Argentina and we travelled south from there exploring the parks of Patagonia. Since we were mainly camping or trekking, there wasn't much time for keeping up with this blog, unfortunately. I have a lot to write about and some great travel tips for travelling around Patagonia. We depart for Antarctica this Friday and I will have more than enough time on the boat to catch up with our adventures. But I won't be able to post them until we return on January 18.
When planning a trip to visit Salta and the northwest of Argentina you have many choices as to which routes to take and what cities to stop in. I asked a lot of people for advice and what they thought and also did some research on my own. But still, it was a difficult decision.
Anuva wine tastings located in Buenos Aires hip Palermo Soho neighborhood, came highly recommended. It’s easy to see why. You enter a non-descript door and as you ascend the stairs, you find yourself in an airy loft with a table impeccably set for a wine tasting with food pairings. Your host, Cara, is a wealth of information and peppers the tasting with wit, while she tells you about the exclusive wines that you get to taste. You will taste 2 whites and 3 reds and there are small bites of food that are paired with each wine.
After trying as many empanadas as I possibly could over the course of 2 months in Argentina, I have finally found the best! Not only because of the amazing variety of fillings (Norma & Eduardo go way beyond the basic carne, pollo, queso choices) but also because the dough is superior, they are baked just the way I prefer them and the tomato salsa that accompanies them is always spot on perfect (slightly picante). You MUST go here if you are searching for the best empanadas.
Cafayate has a broad range of accommodation, depending on your budget. Being the wine country of the northwest, it attracts quite a bit of tourists. Since we visited here over Laurent’s birthday, we decided to splurge a bit. We could’ve chosen a wine resort complete with spa but I wanted something cozier. There are a few places where you can rent cabañas which are essentially cute little cottages. We decided this option would be best for us. We chose to stay at Lunas y Sol, a lovely set of cabañas complete with a shared swimming pool.
So we didn’t just road trip our way through the northwest snapping photos of the amazing scenery. We also ate. A lot. Prior to our journey, I had read about the unique cuisine of the Andan north of Argentina. So I knew to expect specialties like humitas, tamales, llama stews and other hearty dishes like locro and carbonada. While visiting this region, I made it a point to try all of these local dishes, as well as take notes comparing empanadas from Tucuman up to Salta (very different in style). It was a difficult task but a tasty one that I was certainly up for!
If you are traveling through the Northwest of Argentina, you shouldn’t miss a stop in Tafi del Valle. Located about 2 hours from Tucuman, it is the place that most people from Tucuman go to escape the heat and city life. After following a curvy mountain road that winds through jungle like forest, you find yourself deposited in an absolutely stunning valley.