Sunday, December 21, 2014

Trip to Patagonia - Dec 21, 2014 - Buenos Aires, Argentina

- from our Itinerary:

We arrive in the cosmopolitan capital of Argentina this morning, where we’ll check in to our hotel, meet the other travelers and join our resident expert Trip Leader.

We’ll slip into the swirl of activity that fills the surrounding streets, joining the flurry of pedestrian traffic, business workers, and fashionistas as we get to know our surroundings during an orientation walk. As we stroll the heart of Buenos Aires, we’ll catch a glimpse of the endless options and activities available to us during our stay: sidewalk caf├ęs ideal for people-watching over cortado (coffee with milk) and medialunas (croissants); nearby markets, mansions, and quiet cobbled streets; and wide boulevards showcasing the city’s elegant mixture of classic and modern architectural styles.

Tonight, we meet for an informative briefing on our adventure with our Trip Leader before getting our first taste of Argentina’s cuisine during a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. With influences from French and Italian to Spanish and indigenous fare, there’s no telling what you might order—though Argentina’s succulent grass-fed beef (which is less a local specialty than a national obsession) might be a good place to start.

Pat and I went out exploring earlier this morning before meeting the rest of the group. We wanted to find one particular geocache, so we took a long walk. Unfortunately, the entire area where the cache was supposed to be located was surrounded by a construction fence that prevented us getting within 100 yards of ground zero!


The Geocache was near the base of this flower.
Here are some of the things we saw on our walk.


Beautiful, Unoccupied Mansion

Cathedral next to Recoleta Cemetery

Sculpture holding up an old tree branch

Handled with care

We then met our group and went on an orientation walk with everyone. Of course, we had already oriented ourselves, since we arrived a couple of nights earlier. On the walk we stopped for lunch in a mall with multiple places to eat in the basement.

This afternoon we had an orientation meeting with the entire group. Our trip leader, Myriam Carrasco, had everyone introduce themselves, gave us some information on the workings of the trip, gave use OAT luggage tags, and then introduced us to a local popular beverage (I thought was awful), Fernet Branca and Coke.

That evening we boarded a bus and went to dinner at La Antigua Tasca de Cuhilleros in an 18th century home. The food was vary good - our first Argentinean steak.