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Posts tagged ‘mate’

Breakfast In South America Part 1: Chile, Argentina and Bolivia

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.

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From quinoa filets to llama stew….exploring the foods of the Andean Argentinian northwest

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!

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Review for Sur Hostel, a sound choice for sleeping in Colonia del Sacremento

We stayed for 2 nights at this hostel while exploring Colonia del Sacremento. It’s located close to the ferry, the bus terminal and downtown, making it very convenient to all. The hostel is immaculate and boasts a lovely outdoor sitting area and rooftop where you can relax in the sun or sit and have your dinner.

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Discovering Jupiter and our inner gaucho in Cordoba

Did you know you all have an inner gaucho? Well you do and I recently discovered mine. In case you don't know, gauchos are the South American version of the North American cowboy. Riding over the pampas on their horse with no name, the nomadic gauchos lived their lives by hunting cattle. Much like the cowboys, guachos were thought to be the honest, strong, silent types, but proud and capable of violence when necessary. Gauchos often carried a faćon (ginormous, sharp knife) tucked into their pockets and they often used only their faćon for eating. They ate, almost exclusively, meat. Even though I am a former vegetarian, I long to be a gaucho. Waving around my faćon, eating my beef and laying in the sun. I finally had the chance.

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Welcome to Montevideo; how I fell in love with Uruguay part one

The taxi came for us around 9 pm to take us to Retiro. Retiro is the main bus terminal in BA, quite the unsavory place to be at night but this time we were smart not to take mass transit and instead the taxi driver dropped us off right in front of the bus terminal. It was pouring. We (gratefully) carried a lighter load and were off to Uruguay. We left many of our heavier and very annoying- to -carry Antarctica clothes with one of the couchsurfers we stayed with. Yes, it is already annoying to carry all these winter clothes!!

Traveling light was a blessing. We boarded an overnight bus that would take us over the border of Uruguay at around 2 am and we would arrive in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, at 8 am. Sleep came pretty easy, surprisingly, even though we had to wake up for the border crossing (a simple process). Bus travel in Argentina is pretty luxurious and cheap. You get a tray of food when you arrive. Just some sandwiches and cookies but it's all pretty tasty. Then there are the seats. We slept through the bus ride on our cama seats. Cama seats mean that the seats recline back pretty far (almost flat) and they are very wide, oversized seats. They feel like they are made out of some thick memory foam, so comfy! With a smooth ride, the gentle rocking lulls you right to sleep. Greyhound needs to take some lessons!!

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Beautiful Tigre, the first destination

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.

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The discovery of Uruguay

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.

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