Thursday, 16 July 2009

Entre Rios

Benjamin tomó su primer mate! No le gusta mucho pero ahora ya esta!
Sobre el puente de provincia de Buenos Aires y en Entre Rios provincia. Nosotros vamos a Gualeguaychu a visitar Chris y su familia y tambien a ir la carnaval. La Carnaval en Gauleguaychu es muy famoso y popular en todo Argentina. Por 10 fin de semanas, mucha gente van a Gualeguaychu para la fiesta. Yo estuve poco decepcionado y aburrido porque esto era muy lento y sacado. Despues cuatro horas nosotros salimos y todavia no era terminado. Me gustaria la fiesta, pero dos horas fue bastante.
La proxima dia era excelente. Nosotros eramos muy suerte...fuimos la Fiesta del encanta. Millones de gauchos, caballos, riquisimo asado, vino tinto. Yo compre un cuchillo, muy bueno y una manta para los caballos que uso en la pared en mi casa. Nosotros veiamos un juego muy divertido con hamsters en los cajas...divertido pero no divertido tambien! Los gauchos son muy listo y los demonstraciones eran muy excepcionales-que bueno!
Estabamos nadando en la playa Ñandu Baysel ... mirar los fotos. Ñandu Baysel esta una playa en el Rio Uruguay...muy bueno. Me encanta las paraguas hay nada como estan paraguas en Nueva Zelanda. Necesita que tomar su propio paraguas.
Nosotros viajamos arriba la provincia a Las Palmares, un parque nacional con arboles Palmares. Estupendo! Nunca en mi vida tengo yo visto tantas palmeras que cultivan au naturale. Muy hermoso. Y los carpinchos salvaje tambien, era muy hermoso. Nosotros quedamos en el carro de tren en desuso. La cama fue muy comoda y fui muy cansada, entonces dormi muy bien.

Nosotros pasamos un dia en las termas de Salto, Uruguay....divertido. Yo encontre una pareja muy buena para practicar mi espanol. Yo compre una carpa para carpamiento entonces nosotros tenemos mas dinero para alimentos y cosas mas bien mas que dormir.

Nosotros tuvimos una experiencia muy divertido cuando cruzar la frontera a Uruguay. We tried to use the wrong side of the customs exit when we were in the car.....the guard came over and by this time we knew we were in the wrong place.....and Elias very genuinely said to the guard "como te va?", like there was no reason why should not be where we were.....the guard just smiled and pointed us in the right dirrecion, but it was really muy divertido, and we have been laughing about it ever since. Thank God there are some guards around Argentina with a sense of humour.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

La Pampa

Elias familia


Vino Tinto - mmmmmm divino
Aconcagua and Andes - spiritual
Cabalgatas -
White Water Rafting -
Hamaca Paraguayas

San Juan

Valle de la Luna
Las Flores
Mountain Road - muy peligroso

Rodeo y Las Flores
Las parejas muy buena…compartir bebidas y sandia con nosotros. Buenisimo!

La Rioja

Parque Nacional Talampaya - espectacular, magnifico, sin palabras.
Nosotros montamos unos bicicletas y entramos en este cañon hermoso. La temperatura estaba probablamente cerca a 40 grados o mas tal vez....pero esto valió la pena cada gota de transpiracion.
El guia encontró una pluma de el condor y nos lo pluma fue muy grande. Just as quickly and easily as we got it, NZ Customs took it off us and destroyed it, because they are trying to discourage trade in endangered species, of which the Andean Condor is listed. I think that is terrible.....not only did we not buy it (it was found in the wild), they then destroy it, instead of putting it somewhere where other people can see it, like in a bird museum or something.....I wouldn´t have minded so much if that was what they did, but to destroy it is a crime. So the photo is a very unglamorous me after a 14 hour flight standing at NZ Customs before handing it over.


Capilla del Monte - OVNI town
Los Terrones - espectacular
Ongamira - Las pinturas se faltan
Córdoba la ciudad
Alta Grácia - Flying Fox
Villa Belgrano - Brunnen Beer

Capilla del Monte - Córdoba
Sierras, Los Condores, UFO’s, Leyendas
Driving through the Punilla Valley we found Cerro Uriturco, the highest peak of the Sierras Chicas which is the backdrop to this very picturesque town. A lively little place with the excellent Calabalumba campsite….which includes a lovely man with a very lovely basket with even lovelier homemade food al dentro which he was selling to campers - I had the most riquisimo banana, coconut y dulce de leche torta in the world….so riquisimo that I found I needed more, so I had go for a walk and find him and his basket and buy another.
An interesting conversation that buzzes around this town is the amount of OVNI sighting and energy centres that have occurred here. While we were driving around we saw at least two houses that were built in the shape of OVNI´s.
A short drive out of Capilla del Monte….Where los Cóndores fly…..a memorable journey up a very long 5km dirt track brought us to Los Terrones. Oh the indescribable beauty…multi coloured rocks in strange twisted shapes. We walked for two hours up to the top – sadly no Cóndores, but such a magnificent view from the top of the world. I loved this part of the country.
On to Ongamira to see the grutas….another 12 kms of dirt track…Elias’ poor car…and when we got there – no paintings because they have been “lost”. Very disappointing to not be able to see the ancient art works of pre-hispanic people and to think that they are lost forever is very very sad, but we had a great walk.

Alta Gracia
At the northern entrance to the Calmuchita Valley and the town where Che Guevara spent some of his youth in the 1930s. There is a really great museo dedicated to Che…it has his motorcycle, school records and personal correspondence to family, clothes that he used during his life as a revolutionary and many photographs. Gained a greater insight into his life.
Stayed at the worst camp site in the world was totally awful....but we were there for the best ever international food fiesta. Its was totally buzzing.

Villa Belgrano
El mejor cerveza en el mundo – but even better than that was the ride across the river/lake on the flying fox….brilliant! so glad we took the time to come back and do this the next day.

Donde a Empezar ... Wandering Around Argentina

Estuve el mejor adventure con mi hijo Benjamin y mi amigo en un millon Elias ... no se donde a empezar. Al principio es un lugar bueno,
I have had the best adventure with my son and my friend in a million ... i dont know where to start but I guess the beginning is the best place .... read on above

Saturday, 17 January 2009

¿Two to Tango?

Zorzal Criollo (Creole Songbird) was a name that Carlos Gardel was known by. Argentinas most well loved and famous tango singer, Gardel is buried in La Chacarita Cementerio and his tomb is the most visited in Buenos Aires, if not Argentina.
Today I visited the tomb - it certainly is very impressive...topped by a life size statue of him in a very rakish pose, the slicked back hair and wide grin in place...usually there is a real cigarette between his fingers and sometimes a red carnation in his pocket (check the photos), certainly there are always flores at his grave. In fact while I was standing there an old man came and laid some hastily picked flores there. There are several flower stalls outside the gates to the cementerio for this purpose. Amazing! The surrounding stonework is completely filled up with plaques of gratitude from all manner of people and from all over the world. One plaque is from a very grateful mujer whose husband suffered from depression, and she attributes his recovery in a large part to her husband being able to listen to the songs of Carlos - its very lovely to read the tributes.
The great Argentine writer Borges wrote that "the Tango was born in the brothels", nobody really knows where Tango was born, but it certainly developed amongst the Porteños....the people of the port areas of Buenos Aires....and its bordellos and bars. It is generally agreed that Tango was born in the melting pot of all the the different European immigrant groups, crillos, blacks and natives, that were all drawn together when the city became the capital of Argentina in 1880. "Tango was thus forged from a range of musical influences that included
Andalucian flamenco, southern Italian melodies, Cuban habanera, African candombe and percussion, European polkas and mazurkas, Spanish contradanse and the milonga, which is the rural song of the Argentine gaucho. It is a music imbued with immigrant history."
Because of the proportionalely high population of men compared to women, machismo and violence became part of the culture and originally only men danced together in the low class cafes and bars practicing new steps. Their dances tended to be showy but threatening, usually revolving around a possessive relationship between two men and one woman.
While visiting the barrio of La Boca en Octubre I was lucky enough to see two men dancing the Tango together - it was really something and extremely physical and showy. Photo below.

While I was at the cementerio I met a very lovely man who proceeded to take me the tomb of Carlos Gardel and gave me a very quick run down on the man...for about an hour, and I am pleased to report that I understood almost everything he said. Some people I find very easy to understand but others are so very difficult. However, today I felt very encouraged...I just wish my speaking would come along. My reading and listening has improved so much, but the speaking bit is so difficult. I am so worried about it that I think I many have developed a mental block.
Ahora en Castellano:
Zorzal Crillo era un nombre que Carlos Cardel era conocia. El era mas amado y muy famoso cantante de tango - es terrado en el cementerio de la chacarita y su lapida esta el mas visitado en Buenos Aires, si no en Argentina.
Hoy visite el lapida y seguramente esta estupendo. Una estatua esta arriba el lapida y usualmente hay un cigarillo entre sus dedos y a veces hay una flor en su bolsillo, y siempre hay muchos flores en su lapida.

Saturday, 10 January 2009


The most amazing thing just happened.....
One of the most difficult things to do when listening to a new language is to understand people on the telephone, and up until now it has been a bit "hit and miss" and most of the time I cant do it because of the speed that native speakers talk.
Well, the phone just went, and it asked me to wait while they transferred my call...I thought to myself shall I just hang up and save myself and the poor person on the other end the stress of trying to understand, because ususally these calls are about something I have no clue about and doesnt concern me anyway because I rent the apartment....but I thought, no, I´ll give it a go - and brilliant, brilliant, brilliant...I understood everything, well not exactly every word but I knew what they were trying to sell...they were trying to get me to change cable television and internet companies and were offering a special deal. Very encouraging.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Navidad en Argentina

Yo celebraba navidad en Lujan con la Familia Montiel. Navidad empezar aca en 24 de diciembre y familias y amigos reunir juntos a pasar el buen tiempo, compartir comida y vino y para hablar. Usualmente hace mucho calor y este navidad fue no excepción.
Elías empezó el asado aproximadamente a las 17. El encendia el fuego y encima de parilla fue Señor Cerdo. La aroma de asado llamar a la puerta, esta tiempo! vamos a comer! Y en la mesa pusimos pobre cerdito.
Miran los fotos.
I celebrated xmas with the Montiel family in Lujan. Xmas begins here on 24 December and families and friends get together to have a good time, sharing food, wine and talking. Usually it is very hot and this xmas was no exception.
Elias began the asado at approximately 5pm. He lit the fire and on top of the parilla was Mr Pig. The smell of the asado knocked on the door and announced, "its time, lets go and eat". And on the table we put poor piggy.
The Çorrection
Yo celebraba la navidad en Lujan con la Familia Montiel. La navidad (se celebra aqui) empieza aqui el 24 de diciembre. Las familias y amigos se reunen aqui para pasar un buen momento, hablar, compartir comida y vino. Usualmente hace mucho calor y esta navidad no fue LA excepción. Elías empezó (A HACER) el asado aproximadamente a las 5 (de la tarde). El encendió el fuego y encima de la parrilla, (PUSO/fue/apoyo) el cerdo. El aroma del asado golpeó nuestra puerta, y estaba listo! Vamos a comer! En la mesa servimos el pobre cerdito. Miren las fotos! (you all look at them)

Aqui and Aca both mean here. In Argentina most people appear to use aca - i think in Spain it is more common to use aqui, pero some folk aca use aqui also. Entonces, aca o aqui...eso es la cuestion?

Hace Muchisimo Calor

Hay solamente una palabra a describir Buenos Aires en este momento - calor - estoy muriendo. En realidad estaba mucho calor desde el fin de octubre y a menudo la temperatura esta entre 30 - 38 grados. Gracias Dios por aire condicionado - esta necesario a dormir con el aire condicionado andando. Espero que estar valiente a saltar en el fuente con esta personas.
Right now there is only one word to describe Buenos Aires ' hot ' I am dying. Really is has been hot since the end of October and often the temperature is between 30 - 38 degrees. Thand God for air conditioning ' it is necessary to sleep with the air conditioning on. I wish I was brave enough to jump in the fountain with these people.
I took this photo from El Diario La Nacion

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Los Taxistas y las problemas con monedas

Mi experiencia con los taxis durante mis viajes es que ellos son muy caros. En Nueva Zelanda yo nunca uso taxis.
En Buenos Aires hay muchos taxis – la mayoría de ellos conducen como los maniaticos. Esta muy sorprendente que no haya mas accidentes….pero, bueno - me encanta los taxistas en Buenos Aires - la mayoria de ellos son muy amistoso y amable aunque algunos son gruñones. Hace un mes cuando fui al aeropuerto para buscar Adam, el taxista me canto un tango y tambien me ayudo con el idioma....fue muy bueno.

Even the smallest excursion to the kiosco requires careful planning of the finances almost down to the last cent. Por que? Porque, no hay bastantes monedas en Buenos Aires. Es un gran problema porque necesito monedas para el subte, el colectivo, para todo. Dos veces en la semana pasada fui en el subte gratis porque no habia monedas para cambiar.
Muchas personas apuntan sus dedos en direccion de las companias de colectivos quien ocultar algo – pero, no se. aLa unica buena cosa sobre este problema: los taxistas a menudo cobra $10 cuando vale $10.20.

My experience with taxis during my travels is that they are very expensive. In NZ I never use taxis. In Buenos Aires there are lots of taxis - most of them drive like maniacs. Its surprising that there are not more accidents. But, well, I love the taxi drivers in Buenos Aires - most of them are very friendly and kind but some are grumpy. Last month when I went to the airport to meet Adam the taxi driver sang me a tango song and also helped me with was really good.

Even the smallest excursion to the kiosk requires planning down to the last cent. Why? Because there ae not enough coins in Buenos Aires. It is a big problem because you need coins for the subte, buses for everything. Twice last week I rode the subte free because they had no change to give.
Many people are pointing fingers at the bus companies who hold onto the coins - but I dont know. The only good thing is that taxi drivers often only charge 10 pesos if the ride was 10.20 because they have no change either.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Chimmichurri :)

Me encanta chimmichurri, especialmente en choripan :). Me encanta choripan tambien...esta muy sabroso especialmente en el asado. El flavor es muy riquisimo y queria aprender como hacerlo. Que suerte que yo se el mejor Chimmichurri maker en el mundo.
Las fotos dice el historia. No se todas las palabras en castellano pero necesitar parsley, ajo (garlic), pimenton, oregano, pimiento, sal, aceite de soja, vinagre. Esta mas rico cuando left por dos o tres dias.
I love chimmichurri, especially on choripan. I love choripan is very tasty especially on the asado. The flavour is delicious and I wanted to learn how to make it. How lucky that I know the best chimmichurri maker in the world.
The photos tell the story. I dont know all the words in castellano but you need parsley, garlic sweet pepper powder, oregano, salt, pepper, oil and vinegar. It is best left to sit for two or three days.
The Correction
Me encanta el chimichurri, especialmente en el choripan :). Me encanta el choripan muy sabroso especialmente en el asado. El sabor es riquisimo y queria aprender como hacerlo. Que suerte que yo conozco la persona quien hace el mejor Chimichurri en el mundo.
Las fotos cuentan la historia. No se todas las palabras en castellano pero se necesita perejil, ajo, pimenton dulce, oregano, pimiento, sal, aceite de maiz y vinagre. Es mas rico cuando se deja macerar por dos o tres dias.
Muchas gracias Elias

Sharing Mate

Mi amigo Fernando hacias mate por Adam y yo. El flavor de mate es muy distinto de otro te's. Me gusta mucho tomando mate pero algunas personas piensan que mate es un gusto adquirido - como Adam :)
Tomando mate esta muy comun en Argentina y esta un signo de amistad. Casi five kilogramos de promedia por persona por año esta consumido - más de 4 veces la cantidad del café.
La palabra hierba es espanol para herb y yerba es un diferente spelling uso en Argentina. La palabra mate es do Quechua y significa taza (cup). Entonces Yerba mate por eso esta simplamente "cup herb".
My friend Fernando made mate for Adam and I. The flavour is very diferent to other teas. I like drinking mate but some people think that it is definitely an acquired taste - like Adam :)
Drinking mate is common in Argentina and is a sign of friendship. On average about 5kg per person per year are consumed - more than four times the quantity of coffee.
The word mate is from Quechua and means cup. Yerba mate therefore simply means cup herb.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

At the Zoo

Alguien dice me....todo pasa en el zoo. Creo que si, creo que si, es verdad
Es un viaje liviano y animado, desde el lado este hasta el parque
Un lindo y animado paseo - al Zoologico
Y los animales se encanta que si haces.
Someone told me...Its all happening at the zoo. I do believe it, I do believe its true.
Its a light and tumble journey, From the east side to the park;
Just a fine and fancy ramble - To the zoo.......
And the animals will love it, if you do.
Tuve el mejor tiempo ayer en el zoologico de Lujan - el mejor zoologico en todo el mundo para mi.
Check out the photos to see why.......

Sunday, 16 November 2008

A Happy Meeting

Scottish Country Dancing - A Very Happy Meeting Indeed

Hace mucho calor pero, que divertido! Hacia aproximadamente 30 personas bailando todo la noche

Friday, 14 November 2008

This entry is a work in progress. I am trying to put everything from the trip north into Castellano. So, it will be added to and changed. :)

Hace dos semanas, me dirigí al noreste argentino por nueve dias. Tenia mucha emocion porque quería a ver a los monos en su hábitat natural. Sin embargo, los monos no queria jugar el partido conmigo. Cataratas del Iguazú es un lugar muy especial y muy hermoso, con muchos animales y aves autóctonas de Argentina. Vi carpinchos, coaties toucans y mariposas de muchos colores. En Iguazú hace más calor que en Buenos Aires, por eso es muy dificil a dormir. Fui en la lancha a ver tres fronteras. Estaba muy interesante porque poder ver tres paises en el mismo tiempo.

Despues Las Cataratas, visité Minas de Wanda y Ruinas de San Ignacio por un dia. Espectacular, pero la mayoría de la gente es muy pobre, lo cual es triste en un pais con muchas posbilidades.

En Esteros del Ibera habia mucha lluvia, yacaré esta en todas partes y carpinchos fueron caminar en la calle.

Durante mi viaje, encontré muchas personas simpáticas.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Esteros del Ibera

El mejor cosa sobre viajando esta que encontrar personas muy amable y amistosa. Tenia encontrar muchas personas muy buena. También esta grande para mi español porque necesite que hablar mucho a la gente.
The best thing about travelling is the kind and friendly people that your meet. I have encountered so many very nice people. It has also been very good for my Spanish because I needed to talk alot.
Much as I would like to, I cant take the credit for this monkey photo. My camera just couldnt see them in the trees....I promise they were there 'monkeying' around. The only reason I knew to look up cos there was probably something there, was because something hit me on the head. One of them threw something down at me.....Little Monkeys!

Esteros del Iberá Natural Reserve is located in the province of Corrientes. The word Iberá is formed by two words of the guaraní language: ¨Î¨, water, and ¨berá¨, brilliant. The Castilian translation is something like Shining Water. It is another truly magical place where you can find many species of flora and fauna native to Argentina. Many Yacare (alligators), carpincho, curiyu (yellow anaconda) - I didnt see any of these as it wasnt the right season for them to be around much, and many impressive bird species.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Ruinas de San Ignacio

The Ruinas de San Ignacio are also a declared UNESCO site. They are located at San Ignacio which is about a five hour drive in the collectivo from Iguazu along the road to Posadas, going along the border with Paraguay. It is a very small town, probably quite alot of poverty but they have the wonderfully well preserved ruins there. The photos show the mission at night, me sitting in one of the rooms and the main street down to the ruins with the street vendors all along the footpath. We stayed the night there and next morning caught a bus to Posadas. I sat next to a very lovely local lady named Marta who happily chattered away to me in Castellano for the journey - very encouraging because I could understand and speak with her with little bother.


Parque Nacional Iguazú was created in 1934 and the sub-tropical rainforest covers an area of approximately 67,620 hectares. It is now a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This natural sanctuary is located in the far NE and experiences extremely high levels of humidity. The Iguazú River flows for approximately 1320km until its outlet in the Paraná. Its width generally varies between 500 and 1000m however within the park it broadens to 1,500m. A sudden drop in altitude here is the reason for the impressive water falls which form the main attraction of the park. Iguazú (Yguazu in Guarani) means Y = agua and Guazu = grande, entonces translated means Big Water.
The park is renowned for its natural heritage. There are numerous varieties of butterflies, the most impressive are bright blue and as big as your hand - spectacular! The Toucan, which you would swear is an enormous stuffed toy...until it flies - stunning. Tambien, many plants and other birds and animals, insects abound. Carpinchos, Coaties, Monkeys - the list goes on! So very impressive. One of those things you really cant describe the splendour of - you need to see it for yourself.
Went on a launch boat with two very amiable chappies - Nelson and Oscar - we shared the mate, and also went to Los Tres Fronteras, which is the confluence of the two rios (Parana y Iguazu). There, you can almost reach out and touch three countries - Brasil, Paraguay y Argentina. All very close to each other. If it wasn't for the Yacare (alligators) you could swim betwewen all three in a matter of half an hour or so. See the photo - Argentina is on the left, Brasil on the right and Paraguay straight ahead. And thats us sharing mate in the launch. Later that evening we shared an asado together - great way to end the day.

Saturday, 11 October 2008


Rosemary y yo fuimos al Temaiken. Temaiken esta el mejor zoologico en el mundo - en serio! Para mi, los flamencos eran el mejor....muy hermoso, barbaro. No podria creer el color - muy intenso. Era como un pequeño niño - mis ojos no podrían parar el mirar de ellos.
Rosemary and I went to Temaiken. Temaiken is the best zoo in the world-seriously! For me the flamencos were the best...very beautiful, amazing. I could not believe the colour - very intense. I was like a little child - my eyes could not stop looking at them.
Tambien, el mono - he tenido siempre una fascinacion con los monos. Este mono no tuvo gusto de su foto tomada y él saltó en mí - afortunado el vidrio estaba allí.
Also the monkey - I have always had a fascination with monkeys. This monkey did not like having his photo taken and jumped at me - luckily the glass was there. Check out the link below.
En Buenos Aires es que bueno donde puede a ir para un peso. Nosotras viajemos por una hora y quince minutos en el collectivo para conseguir ahi para solamente cinco pesos. Para un peso puede ir dondequier en el subte - muy barato.
In Buenos Aires it is amazing how far you can go for one peso. We travelled for one and half hours on the bus to get there for only five pesos. For one peso you can go anywhere on the subte.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Calath en el Cruzat

Becripes mis amigos – estoy en mucho ‘flitters’ (una Marian palabra)…esta fantastico cuando paso algo excelente. Cuando fui el Fahy Club encontre Elias quien esta en un band se nombre Calath y hacia cosas escoses y irlandes. Mi amiga Silvia y yo fuimos a ver Calath en viernes en la noche – muy bien amigos, muy muy bueno! Mirar el foto de Elias – el saltado en la silla – yo fui muy positivo el fue caer en mi regazo, pero no suerte para mi…
Ellos tienen bueno repertoire de canciones y tunes (no se la palabra en castellano), y tocar fiddle, guitarra, acordeon, tin-whistle, bass, banjo, mandolin - disfrute mucho!
Muchas gracias to Elias para el correction below:
Elias:Becripes mis amigos – estoy en mucho ‘flitters’ (una palabra de Marian)…es fantastico cuando pasa algo excelente.Cuando fui al "Fahy Club" encontré Elias quien está en un banda que se llama Calath Mi amiga Silvia y yo fuimos a ver a Calath el viernes a la noche– muy bien amigos, muy muy bueno! Mirar la foto de Elias – el saltado en la silla – yo estaba muy segura que el iba a caer en mi falda, pero por suerte, no lo hizoEllos tienen un buen repertorio de canciones y tunes (melodías)y tocan (for they play) fiddle, guitarra, acordeon, tin-whistle, bass, banjo, mandolin - disfruté mucho!