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Published: November 24th 2019
Nov 11 thru 20
My traveling companion is my good friend Malcolm from Fiji and we leave for our second trip to Argentina, followed by a possible incursion into Bolivia (we quickly had to dump this thought because of political unrest in Bolivia following the ouster of Evo Morales) Again, we pick San Telmo as our base for our five nights in Buenos Aires. We had stayed in hotel for one night before leaving the last trip, hotel Bohemia on Peru. Very central and within easy walking distance to everything. As the Argentina economy is in the doldrums, we are now receiving 60 pesos to the US dollar instead of our 15 to the $ in 2016. Taxis are cheap, hotels and food are reasonable and of course imported clothes, shoes etc. More expensive.
The main highlights of our five nights are visits to our favorite tango dancehall, Maldita (milonga), a couple of visits to our local Jazz Club, Pista Urbana and an evening at another jazz club Bepop. The talent on show at these establishments is top quality and stands up anywhere in the world. The food is amazing and the wine, out of this world!
the days, we walk the streets, or take the big yellow bus to rediscover this city. It has often been described as " The Paris of South America" and you can see why, as the architecture is very reminiscent of the City of Light!
Somehow, we has been slipped a counterfeit 1000 pesos bill (about US 17.50, another story to follow later) and didnt find this out until we tried to pay our taxi driver at the Retiro bus station in Buenos Aires for our overnight trip to Mendoza. Whats more this was an extremely bad fake, having been done on a copier machine and even cut with scissors. Anyway, we had booked executive class with lie flat bus seats and they were lie flat which really was a bonus for a trip that lasted for 14 hours. Along the way we were served dinner and a basic breakfast. Well worth the money and not a bad night's sleep. Then, just before we entered Mendoza we glimpsed the magnificent Andes mountain range that runs through several countries on the west of the South American continent.
The hotel in Mendoza, the Internacional, was adequate. The hotel was for one
night and the following morning we were found having breakfast by our driver Francisco (Poppi) for the hour long trip to Estancia Puesta in the foothills of the Andes. Along the way we were accompanied by a young German couple that were also staying 3 nights at the Estancia as well. We were welcomed by the owner of the Estancia in his gaucho attire and immediately regailed with stories of the Estancia and crossing the Andes on horseback. After wine, empenadas and a large "carne asada" lunch it was time for a nap. Of course, there were many jokes about Malcolm and myself being a couple, however we did put them straight and insisted our room have single beds.....
The evening of the 18th Nov, our first horse trek consisted of a 1.5 hr trip up a very dusty track, fun and probably used to see whether we we were capable of anything more challenging. Feeling dusty, but pleased with our equestrian skills we returned for a shower, Raul's stories and jokes, a lovely evening meal of chicken, wine and more wine.
On our second morning, the horse ride consisted of a 3 hour trek in the foothills,
quite challenging with fantastic view of the Andes this was a winner. I think the German couple, and ourselves were thrilled with this trek. Raul the owner returned to Mendoza after lunch and left us in the hands of his very capable son, Poppi. Remember, I said we had been slipped a dud 1000 peso bill, it turned out our new German friends (Jonas and Kristina) had been done to the tune of 400Euros, approx 480USD after changing money on the street in Buenos Aires. A very unhappy experience for them, which made our resolve maintain our vigilance when exchanging money even firmer.
In all we did five horse treks at Estancia Puesta and couldn't have wished for anything more. I for one am certainly pleased with our three nights on the Estancia. All our food, accommodation and wine and horse treking included in the cost. In the guest books in the spacious lounge there were many comments about how wonderful the experience was and "until we return". Yes, it was a magnificent three nights and days, however much we would like to return, it is unlikely we will, after all there is a big world out there.......
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