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Month: September 2011

Gnocchi of the 29th – ñoquis del 29, what’s the story?

Gnocchi of the 29th – ñoquis del 29, what’s the story?

This was one of the questions on my mind this past trip to Argentina. Few years ago I learned from Ana that there is a tradition of eating the potato gnocchi with tomato sauce (ñoquis con tuco) on the 29th day of each month. What’s more, if you put some money under the plate then surely prosperity will come to your home. She was a bit vague about the story behind the tradition. She just remembered having gnocchi at the…

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Last day in Chile.

Last day in Chile.

Our last night in Chile we spent in Santiago in a very chic boutique hotel called The Aubrey. This was a great way to end our trip as we splurged on a bit of luxury and got to relax before the departure. Just to give you an idea of what kind of place this is I’d like to share this bit of a story. When we arrived yesterday, the receptionist asked me if we wanted to drink something and I…

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Valparaiso picture gallery.

Valparaiso picture gallery.

When we walked the streets of Valparaiso it reminded us of other cities we’ve been to. It is sort of a combination of San Francisco (its’ sister city) for the hilly layout, La Boca and Pelourinho for the colors and corrugated walls. There is something romantic and mysterious about this port town with a rich history of immigration, trade and unique architecture. We had a chance to ride one of the famous funiculars, the short rail tramways allowing people ascend…

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Colchagua Valley and Valparaiso.

Colchagua Valley and Valparaiso.

After an overnight bus trip from Osorno to Santiago we rented a car and headed southwest towards the gentle green hills and valleys of Maipo region. This is Chile’s most famous and probably prolific wine country. On our way to the first winery we saw plum orchards, fields of  in bloom, orange poppies and of course vineyards. Our first stop was a ultra-modern, boutique winery called L’Apostolle which also offers luxury accommodations in four very private cabins. The entire complex…

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Exploring Chiloe – boats, churches and ancient forests.

Exploring Chiloe – boats, churches and ancient forests.

We have spent the last three days on a beautiful island of Chiloe, off the coast of Chile. It is the largest island of Chile and the second largest in South America. We are here the five of us, Roberto, Rene, Aunt YoYo, Ana and I. We rented a beautiful cabin just south of a small town of Castro. We have a view of the bay and the surrounding fields. After crossing from the mainland town of Pargua to Chacao…

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Lake crossing from Bariloche to Puerto Varas.

Lake crossing from Bariloche to Puerto Varas.

We left Bariloche on Friday morning in a mix of snow and rain. Our boat left from Puerto Panuelo at 10:30 am. The first part of this beautiful mountain crossing involves navigation on the Nahuel Huapi lake. It was rainy and cold but nevertheless a lot of fun. We saw a lot of fresh snow in the mountains and got to feed some birds on the way. On board there was a little cafe and we enjoyed a warm cup…

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Bariloche – a family visit and a workation. (vacation + work)

Bariloche – a family visit and a workation. (vacation + work)

The week we spent in Bariloche was a whirlwind of visiting with the family and friend, work for Ana and Cecile who visited local hotels and talked with suppliers, but also fun in the snow and tennis court. There was no shortage of great food and wine beginning with a grand asado prepared by Ernesto the day after we arrived. The highlight of the culinary and family gathering experience was a private dinner in a very intimate setting we had…

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Into the wild west. Crossing Patagonia following the 41st parallel.

Into the wild west. Crossing Patagonia following the 41st parallel.

During my childhood and youth in Poland long distance travel meant trains. It was the least expensive and most common way of crossing the country. It often meant long, overnight trips, sleeping in semi-private cabins, grabbing a bite to eat in restaurant wagon and just plain watching the landscape from the windows. I fell in love with train travel back then largely due to the fact I could see the part of the country I never would see traveling by…

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Romantic El Pedral, a piece of Normandy in Patagonia.

Romantic El Pedral, a piece of Normandy in Patagonia.

After the excitement of whale watching , the following day Ana visited few hotels in Puerto Madryn as part of our research. Then in the afternoon, in a rental car we made a 70 km trip east to another remote lodge, El Pedral. Brought by the boat in pieces in its entirety from Normandy and assembled on a remote coast of Atlantic Patagonia, El Pedral mansion is a unique place in more than one way. Named El Pedral for the…

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