Before leaving for our trip to the continent, I toyed with the idea of writing a book about what people in each country ate for breakfast. I don't know exactly why what people eat for breakfast is a curiosity to me but it has been for some time. There is the whole 'breakfast is the most important meal of the day' thing but I'm not sure that's it. It could go back to almost twenty years ago on my first trip out of the country.
Posts tagged ‘dulce de leche’
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!
After the storm came in Cabo Polonio, it continued to be rainy and dreary. So we decided to start our journey back. This meant going west back towards Montevideo. A long bus ride on a very crowded bus (where Laurent had to stand for over 2 hours!) deposited us back off in the city. We stayed there overnight, had another fabulous steak dinner and the next afternoon, we left for Colonia del Sacremento.
Discovered in 1680, Colonia sits right on the water and was a crucial smuggling port back in the day. The Portugese and Spanish fought heavily over it. But in the end, the Spanish won.
After our relaxing stint in Tigre and our arrival to Buenos Aires, we had a full week ahead of us trying to learn Spanish. The week was really crazy, waking up every morning at around 7 am, taking classes at a formal school from 9 am til 1 pm and then usually a 2 hour lunch break followed by more Spanish lessons with a private tutor. These would go on for usually 3 hours total (not including travel time). Sometimes we met with the tutor at night instead of the day. We also couchsurfed three different times, which caused us to pack up our bags and move to different neighborhoods. Suffice to say, it was a busy week but I really enjoyed it all. It felt like a real life had already begun for us. We had new friends, classes to attend and places to go all the time. I really felt like this was a new life for me.
Casona la Ruchi was the very first stop on a two year long trip and we felt like we had never left home. It will be very difficult to find a place better than this. Located in beautiful Tigre on the Parana river, Tigre is the perfect retreat if you grow weary of Buenos Aires dirt and noise. We arrived to Casona la Ruchi without a reservation and early in the morning. We chose this place initially because of it's close proximity to the train station (it's just over the bridge-maybe a 2 minute walk!) But it turned out, it was so much more.
We arrived to Tigre, Argentina on our first morning. We weren't really supposed to go to Tigre. We were going to go out about 2 hours to the Pampas, to an older city with a long history of gaucho culture (gauchos are the south american version of cowboys). But we were so tired from our travels and the supervolcano that took place before the travels, that we decided to go to a city closer. We had read about Tigre and it's proximity to Buenos Aires and how nice it was. So we decided to go.
Wow! That about sums up everything of the last month and especially the last few days! In fact, wow is a gross understatement. It's been quite the whirlwind, beyond any normal volcano/tornado I have had before leaving on any other trip. I guess I could call it a supervolcano! I knew it would be crazy before leaving on this trip, as I am sure many of you could imagine. I just didn't think it would be as crazy as it was. In the end, we didn't get everything done. We still have to make copies of our passports and identifications for example, and a few other odds and ends type stuff. And I left my poor roomate and dear friend with much to clean up in the apartment (sorry Jo). It wasn't all work though. My roomate had a great surprise, farewell party for me at a really cool Russian bar where so many of my friends had gathered. And the day before I left, I got to spend a few more short but fun hours with my beautiful niece and nephew. Saying goodbyes was very difficult and sad but it was so beautiful to see receive all the support and love from friends and family.
Originally we were going to start in Brazil. I was very excited by this prospect. I wanted a big beginnning. The food, the culture and the sheer size and diversity of Brazil make it worthy of a bombastic start. But things changed. Plans got tweaked. Brazil got pushed. I was okay with it. After all, I'm a roll with the punches kind of gal (most of the time). So Laurent figured out a new route (that's his department, by the way). The new route is perfect. I think it solves the Brazil visa issue (more on that later) and it hits all the places we want to be at almost the right times of the year. The only thing I was originally slightly disappointed with was the start. Uruguay. Really? We're going to start there? In this stangely named country? It seemed fine as an after thought, a fourth or fifth stop but our first destination?! Who the heck goes to Uruguay? People from all around the world go to Brazil but who plans a trip to Uruguay?! Well, apparently we do. And you should too. I am a new convert to Uruguay's awesomeness. Yes, it really is! And hopefully I'll convince you why.