Asado

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We arrived in Santiago, Chile on Wednesday last week. Two recovery days walking the town and hunting down empanadas was exhausting in the heat, but we survived!

After a short flight from Santiago to Córdoba, Argentina on Friday, we caught a 2.5 hour bus to La Cumbre. Thirty plus years ago I had the fortune to meet 3 Argentinian travellers in Europe. We were all university aged backpackers and we bonded immediately.

One of the Argentinian travellers is Cristina, known to all as Tuti. She, her husband Jorge and three of their 4 children plus the kid’s girlfriends, plus other family and friends have welcomed us into their family life with open hearts and minds!

The most Argentinian of events is the BBQ or ‘asado’. We were invited on Saturday to go to an asado with our hosts. This asado was held at a new and very modern house built into the dry and rocky landscape in the middle of a large ‘campo’ (farming property). The central courtyard had a built-in fireplace with a grill called the ‘parilla’.

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The menu for the day consisted of a selection of meat cuts and sausage (chorizo) plus sweet potatoes cooked on the parilla, accompanied by a green salad with tomatoes.

And of course, there was plenty of Argentinian Malbec.

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A peach crumble with locally made ‘helados’ (gelato) topped off the meal. It was a perfect day in the Córdoba hills with fine food, friends and beautiful scenery.

Sunny skies prevailed for the rest of the weekend and we were able to go to some other scenic destinations in the area. Andrew captured these pictures of Tuti and I catching up on 33 years of our lives.

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I feel so lucky to have been able to reunite with an old travel-mate, meet her wonderful family and be greeted with warm and friendly people in Cordoba and La Cumbre.

Next stop…San Carlos Di Bariloche. Gateway to Patagonia.

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Inspiration

The bottom of the world

The bottom of the world

We all travel for different reasons. Personally, the type of trip where one sits by a pool or on a beach and reads a book while sipping alcoholic beverages is not my thing. Not that I have anything against alcohol. Refer previous post.

My personal inspiration for wanting to go to Patagonia is two-fold.

Firstly, in the late 70s I read Bruce Chatwin’s ‘In Patagonia’, which is as much a personal journey or a discourse on motivation for travel as it is a travel journal. In search of a replacement for a bit or Brontosaurus skin that he saw as a child, Chatwin meets a cast of unlikely people in an even more unlikely landscape.

Secondly, the beautiful national parks and one-horse towns and lakes and pampas and Andean mountain passes have ‘un cierto allure romántico’ – a certain romantic allure.

One week today and we’ll be in the air and just hours away from Santiago. ¡Vamos!

Map downloaded from Wikipedia. Map credits: Acercamiento del “Chile Moderno” en el Mapa Geografico de America Meridional, dispuesto y gravado por D. Juan de la Cruz Cano y Olmedilla, 1775. Image source: http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/s/1g7457.