May 312011

Post #4

Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina

Friday, May 20

Arrived in Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina yesterday. Little white flakes this morning and the snow capped mountains surrounding us are spectacular; a good lunch with an old friend (my Spanish teacher when we lived here in 2009); we will join he and his wife for dinner tonight for some good parrilla (A parrilla is in essence a barbecue grill up…on which various meats are cooked. They are generally visible from the dining room; just walking by one on the street gives your eyes a view delicious enough to make your mouth water. Good parrillas will also have an asador, or the long vertical skewer which rotates above the coals to slow-cook lamb and pork. Traditionally at a parrilla you will find these items: steak in its variations, chicken, morcilla (blood sausage/black pudding), chorizo (sausage), mollejas (sweetbreads), rinones (kidneys), and chinchulines (intestines). You can order the smaller bits like mollejas or morcilla a la carte, or get a big ole grill full of these various goodies, as well as a cut of steak (normally vacio), called the parrilla completa).

Lago Mascardi

Tomorrow we drive south to a little town called El Bolson (about an hour and a half away); a drive through some of Argentina’s most spectacular and unspoiled scenery, in search of the best canned trout filets and trout pate you have ever put in your mouth. A breathtaking route, passing the picturesque lakes of Gutierrez and Mascardi, which are tucked between massive jagged ranges of mountains. Bolson is a pretty and very relaxed town filled with “hippies” of the 70’s era who settled there because of the available activities (hiking, white water rafting, waterfalls, beautiful rivers, great food and excellent micro breweries), as well as the more temperate weather. The local craftsmen and women who make beautiful wood work, jewelry, jams and jellies, leather works, handmade Gaucho style knives, and lot of trout products make this place a great day trip from Bariloche.

Ski season is almost upon us and the hotels, cabanas, restaurants, chocolate shops (for which Bariloche is famous) are all gearing up for the onslaught of those seeking the “white powder” experience of South America. Yes, the seasons here are the opposite of the states – it is definitely winter in this part of Patagonia.

Thursday, May 26

Bahia Lopez, just down from our property

We are still in Argentina and it appears we will be here longer than expected (OH DARN!). We will know more tomorrow or Saturday as to whether or not we leave on Sunday (If not, we stay until the end of next week). YEA!!! John got his Argentina Residency today – he is an official “temporary” resident of Argentina. It only took two years but he received his DNI (Documento Nacional de Identidad) this morning. He‘s been giddy all day – carrying it in his shirt pocket and taking it out often; even showed the waitress where we had lunch..

Evening view from our property

We are trying to figure out what to do with this beautiful property – build a house with cabanas to rent out to tourists; put it back on the market at a higher price and wait; live here part of the year and on some beach somewhere else part of the year??? Oh well, it is a good problem to have – we will come to some kind of conclusion that will work for us. Anybody interested in owning a ”fractionalized share” of this amazing Patagonia property in one of the most beautiful spots on earth; we will build a house with 3 or 4 cabins to rent out? Pick your month to stay here, share in rental income and growth.

Bariloche, a city of 150.000, the best medical care, restaurants you’ll love, crystal clear lakes, pristine forests, sunsets to die for, best skiing in South America, fly fishing, chocolate shops everywhere in town, clean air, snow capped mountains surrounding you, and views from the property that will take your breath away. Come on down – you’ll fall in love.