R&R in Carmelo

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February 19th 2011
Published: February 25th 2011
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We woke up Saturday morning relatively well rested. Our room rate includes breakfast, so we head towards the restaurant for what we expect would be your standard continental breakfast. Nope. It was a massive spread of local meats, cheeses, Narbona yogurts, breads and pastries, cereal, fresh fruit, bacon, eggs, etc. Yum. We enjoyed it thoroughly and then caught a ride to La Tierra de Caballos for some horseback riding. Eric and I were the only two on the trail ride, which was led by an authentic-looking gaucho who tried earnestly to communicate with us. My horse had a mind of its own, generally ignoring my directions to stay in line and out of the thorny trees and bushes. Eric's horse had a, como se dice?, gas problem. We both laughed at that one... Thankfully my horse knew enough to stay back!

The trail took us through the woods and the pastures. It was actually kind of lame until I asked if we could go "mas rapido". The gaucho seemed pleasantly surprised and waved us on. Now, when I asked the question, I had assumed that we would take a nice trot into a slow canter. Wrong again. Fast canter, then true run? If my stirrups had been shorter I would have been okay, but I started having flashbacks of when Trish and I had runaway horses and she fell off. Whoa, little horsie - I pulled back on the reins. Eric was flying through the pasture (making me quite nervous that we would end up in an Uruguayan hospital) but finally slowed and came back to the group.

We enjoyed lunch at a local grill and got excited because we thought we saw Bon Jovi! False alarm. Apparently he has an Uruguayan lookalike. We spent the rest of the day at the beautiful pool. Eric almost has Angry Birds beat on his iPhone and I am nearing the end of The Girl Who Played With Fire.

We witnessed a sunset that rivalled, but didn't beat, ones we saw in Hawaii and then headed to dinner at the Mandara restaurant at the hotel. It was a romantic spot that felt like a restaurant you'd see adverised in a travel magazine for Greece. The walls were all white stucco, with arched doorways and little nooks for candlelight. Charming. Our dinner was delicious. Eric had a salmon tatare appetizer and I had the best chartucerie ever. It put Quartino to shame. We shared a local lamb dish and a desert platter. The flan was my favorite. We both disliked something that had quince and cheese in it, but my funny husband took the opportunity to quote lines from White Men Can't Jump about words that start with Q. 😊. We took the rest of our Uruguayan pinot noir and our coffees outside by the fire and checked out the stars. Muy hermosa.

Another great day in Uruguay with my wonderful husband.


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