Monthly Archives: December 2010

Christmas Photo: Telluride, CO

Taken December 27, 2008

It’s rather inconsiderate of time to keep slogging on when I had one or two things to say about Argentina, but the season is upon us so it will have to wait.  So because I expect to be spending a few days doing fun-filled family things and skiing my share of slopes here is a picture of where I plan to be doing it: Telluride, Colorado.

It’s been a good year: travel-wise I’ve explored five countries on three continents, writing-wise I’ve sold some stuff to actual publications, academic-wise I passed my qualifier and have pretty much completed my M.S. thesis research. (Like any year there were some not-so-hot moments too, but I don’t know why I’d discuss them on the Internet so let’s just be assured that I got through them and the good won out overall.) And next year is shaping up to have more than a few things to look forward to!

Wishing you and yours a lovely holiday, and I’ll catch you all in a few days.

Journey into the High Andes

It’s impossible to be in the shadow of the tallest mountains of the Americas and not succumb to the urge to go explore them.  So on Thanksgiving Day I did just that, going on a day trip from Mendoza up toward the Chilean border. Continue reading

The Mendoza Wine Tour

It is mildly impossible to fly in and out of the wine region of Argentina without sampling delicious wines, even if your hostel doesn’t give you free wine each night!  The traditional backpacker thing to do is head out to the vineyards and rent some bikes to cycle from place to place but this sounded like a silly idea to me- I can’t recall ever ending a wine tour sober enough that pedaling seemed like an awesome idea, so I opted for the fancy wine tour instead where they actually drove you around and gave you lunch.  This turned out to be about as good an idea as expected! Continue reading

A Visit to Mendoza

Mendoza was a nice enough city but I admit we never got along for the simple reason that I kept getting lost in it.  This is rather embarrassing for me to admit because after so many strange cities I never get lost- least of all in something as benign as a city with a grid layout- because I have orienteered enough in strange cities that my sense of cardinal directions is really hard to mess up.  In Mendoza, however, there were no obvious landmarks visible from everywhere in the city (you can’t see the mountains in town) except, this being the middle of the desert, the sun.  And when you set out in the middle of the day instinctively supposing the sun is in the south without stopping to consider the fact that you’re in the southern hemisphere, well, you typically don’t end up where you wanted in the first place.

So sorry, Mendoza.  I’m sure you’re a lot nicer than I’ll give you credit for, it’s just you were dealing with an over-confident astronomer who didn’t stop to think about how terribly far from home she really was. Continue reading

Bariloche: The Land of Chocolate

If you want to find a lovely little Patagonian hideaway you should head straight to the town of Bariloche.  In fact, it’s such a good spot that the town has a history as one of the places where ex-Nazis evading justice lived for several decades (and one or two may still live today), and fugitive war criminals likely know best when it comes to this sort of thing, right?

To begin, one of the reasons I loved Bariloche was because I lucked upon an awesome hostel while there that is a bit of a Shangri La of backpacker lore. Called Penthouse 1004, it was essentially a large apartment on the tallest buiding in Bariloche with the coziest common areas I’ve ever encountered, all dominated by the incredible view-

Continue reading