febrero 03, 2004

Boring News from Argentina

hey, everyone.

we{re in mendoza, in the central part of argentina where all the wine comes from...you know...free bodega tours, wine tastings, kinda drunk all the time. today we had our first real asado (cook-out, argentine-style). they{re the most typical argentine get-together, all about lots of meat. pictures of us eating intestines and kidneys to follow! it{s a very strange sensation to have another animal{s intestines floating around in your own. VERY strange, especially for a former vegetarian! actually, most of the meat is excellent. we had enormous steaks last night for about $4US. The food here in general is exceptionally cheap--maybe a quarter the price that it is in the US--and comes complete with the obligatory stomach...issues.
Sooo...the lightning version of the trip so far--
Panama: hot, beautiful, cheap, they use US dollars but call them Balboas. went to Miraflores locks in the canal, hiked in rainforest, swam on roof of our hotel, ate excellent seafood and paid huge airport tax for privilege of leaving country.
Buenos Aires: spent one day there so far. Our apartment is farther from the 5th avenue-ish part of town than we hoped, but it has a beautiful balcony overlooking a tree-lined street and it{s very close to my university. more excellent cheap food. it{s an enormous city - definitely seems bigger than NY!
Bus Ride To The South: the busses here are very lush, and only three seats wide. the seats recline all the way into beds and they give you free wine and whiskey before bed. they show movies too. All of this makes the twenty hours in one seat seem like nothing.
Junin de los Andes: This is the "booming metropolis" of 10,000 where my (anna) aunt, uncle and cousin live. they{re building a house, so staying there was also like camping, but the design is marvelous and their lot backs up to a river of melted snowcaps. The whole area is stunning. Before going camping in a national park around a huge volcano, we managed to see a rodeo and pet llamas. We spent a couple weeks there, including four days "trekking" through the park. the park is full of glacial lakes and huge peaks. we got dropped off way in the outback, stayed at thermal baths (ooohh...) and hiked into a small residential area within the park with bus service. it{s astounding to actually go to a country where you can feasibly get *anywhere* without a car.
Now we{re in Mendoza and in a couple of days we leave for mount Aconcagua, which is the highest peak in the Americas. Needless to say, we will not be summitting (or sending email). Then we{re going to Valparaiso, Chile. This will be Anna{s first time seeing the Pacific! By the way, for about a week, every step we took was farther south than Randy had ever been.

if you look at adam{s web site pretty soon there should be a couple of pictures of us in the andes. his web site is (warning--dont copy the following--read it and enter it as it should be. these damn keyboards are confusing. but i can type `ñ and ¡) www.lakesite.net/(squiggly thing)acofer.

hope all are well,
anna and randy

Anna Posted by Hello