Tag Archives: argentina

Was it worth it Wednesday?

 

Where have we been?

Taganga, Minca & Santa Marta (Colombia)

 

Where have we stayed?

3 nights @ local’s house with room for rent 40,000 pesos, £8 per night double room, clean and we were allowed to use the kitchen to cook fresh seafood just landed a 5 min stroll from the house.

2 nights@ Casa Loma  90,000 pesos, £22.50 per night for double room in the tree house, private balcony, stunning views, chilled vibes, eco friendly, no wifi, no fan/ air con, great veggie food.

1 night @ Sierra Nevada 55,000 pesos, £13.75 family run, very clean, no fan, ok wifi.

1 night @ hostel Miramar 60,000 pesos, £15 small clean room, relaxed atmosphere, free breakfast, good wifi.

 

What have we spent?

Still on a £50 per day budget  £350 per week.

Total Accommodation: 391,000 pesos, £97.75

Total Food: £73.50

Rough price of main meal is around £2- £5 estimated 3 meals @ £3.50

Transport:

Taganga-Santa Marta bus: 2800 pesos, £0.70

National park bus/boat trip:  25,000 pesos, 2800 pesos, 45,000 pesos boat each: 145,600 pesos, £36.40

Taxi to Minca: 22,000 pesos, £5.50

Taxi from Minca: 16,000, £4

Total transport: £46.60

What have we done?

Diving: 2 dives each 130,000 pesos , £32 each

Tayrona National Park: 35,000 pesos, £8.75 each

Hiking : free

Cascade waterfalls: 3000 pesos, £0.75 each

Coffee Plantation: 10,000 pesos, £2.50 each

Total cost of Experiences: £88

 

Total spent: £305.85

Loss/ Profit?  We have probably broke even this week as that £44.15 extra  we add to miscellaneous drinks, cheeky coffee & cake, new flip flops

What we loved?

It had been slightly over a year since we had been Scuba diving. So our highlight of this week was getting back into the under water world. Hear about our fun dives in our Taganga post.
What we learned?

  • Don’t sit on a petrol can of the boat
  • Don’t let a cat in your room whilst sleeping catastrophical!!
  • We can achieve much more than we think we can. We just need to act on situations.
  • That we are able to eat only vegetarian meals, the only non-veg we will eat is fresh seafood.

 

How’s the Spanish going?
We are now having simple conversations in Spanish to locals who are able to comprehend what we are saying. A few words may be mixed up but we are definitely on track in listening for key words and understanding the basic context of the conversation. By pushing ourselves to learn more words we are also able to interact in the conversation. We know we can always do better and strive to be fluent in Spanish one day soon!

We were able to translate for a Russian guy and Filipino woman in the restaurant as the waitress was trying to tell them there was no fresh juice except maracuya (passion fruit) and they had no idea what she was saying so we manage to tell them. They were so thankful and the woman then thought we actually spoke Spanish and now we feel more confident and very happy with our accomplishments as we basically had no Spanish when we arrived.

 

 

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One month in one post..

Countries Visited: 4

Argentina: 10 days, Uruguay 4 days, Brazil 4 days & Colombia 7days + Next month!

Transport

5 Flights:

Glasgow – Amsterdam (2hrs), Amsterdam – Buenos Aires (14hrs)

Rio De Janerio – Lima (5hrs), Lima – Bogota (3hrs 45mins), Bogota – Monteria (1hr 15mins)

1 Ferry:

Buenos Aires – Colonia (1hr)

3 Buses:

Colonia – Montevideo (3hrs)

Montevideo – Porto Alegre (14hrs)

Porto Alegre – Rio De Janerio (24hrs)

Total  travel time: 68hours

Read about our border crossings here!

Accommodation

Casa De Santiago & Casa De Pancho: We were very lucky to stay friend and his brother in their apartment in Buenos Aries and then in his mothers house in Dolores.

Blanes Hostel: 3nights @ £22 per night

VeiwPoint Hotel: 1night @ £24 per night

Pousada Favelinha: 3nights @ £17 per night

check out our post in Rio to see how it was living in a favela!

Casa De Vivi: We met up with our Colombian friend vivi and spend 2nights in her sisters beach front apartment at Covenas beach and then in her mothers lovely house in Sincelejo.

Its has amazing to catch up with friends and even better to see them in their home countries and have wonderful tour guides haha. We have been so privileged and of course it does help whilst traveling on a budget so we would like to say a massive thank you and one day we hope to return the favour in Escocia (Scotland) Muchas Gracias Amigos!!!

Next month we are on our own so look out for dodgy hostel post, possibly might even try couch surfing!

Highlights:

  • Arriving in South America & meeting our friends from TI again
  • Leaving the wonderful Scottish winter weather behind for a Colombian Summer.
  • Drinking Yerba Mate
  • World wonder 2 ticked off the list, Christ the Redeemer
  • Getting our blog up and running after 2 years of talking about it.
  • The vast differences in the environments we have encountered.

 

Lessons Learned: 

  • Sometimes whilst travelling no matter how much you try to plan ahead it ends up outwith your control. Due to limited availability and being unable to book tickets online we ended up with a 2 day journey and mere 3 nights, 4days in Rio instead of the 5 we had planned which wasn’t going to be enough in this amazing city. On the plus side another trip to Brazil will be on the cards one day!
  • Not having enough Spanish to have full conversations had been a drawback although we are slowly learning! It has definitely restricted many conversations with some wonderful locals we have met. “hello how are you” conversations are just not deep enough to gain the knowledge and insight that these people have to offer us. LEARN MORE SPANISH!

 

 

 

 

4days of meat meat and more meat!!!!

Well we’ve been in Argentina for a week and feel like we have already consumed our body weight in MEAT!! It’s gotta be done while in Argentina and when offered to have asado (traditional barbecue) all weekend you really can’t say no! When ordering the meat at the carnicería (butcher) its normal to order half a kilo of meat per person!!  I think when we leave Argentina we will need to turn veggie for at least a week!  We have tried some lovely typical food but of course we should start with steak since we are in the steak capital of the world.

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Traditional Asado (BBQ)

   In Buenos Aires we wandered around the streets and found a nice restaurant to attempt to order a steak in Spanish. Chris done really well and managed to order a bife de chorizo con papas fritas for him and a bife de chorizo con salada for me. Bife de chorizo is what Argentinians call a sirloin steak. We even manage to order a bottle of vino Rosso (red wine) and a bottle of Agua sin gas (still water). The steaks were delicious and very juicy, the chips were a bit under cooked but the salad was lovely and fresh. Our first steak was overall a good experience.

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Medio raro bife de chorizo

    On Friday we had traveled two hours down to our friends hometown of Dolores. His dad offered to cook us asado (Argentine BBQ) He got the typical meats such as chorizo, riñón (kidney), chinchulines (intestines), morcilla  (a type of black pudding) and a huge pierna de cordero (leg of lamb). He stuffed the lamb with breadcrumbs, pepper, onion and garlic and fired it on the grill. We had the morcilla cold and it tasted ok but I would have preferd it hot. I felt like I was doing a bush tucker trial with the intestines it was extra crispy on the outside and gooey in the middle. I let Chris finish mine at least I tried it. The kidney was better than expected and actually nicer than kidney we would have in our good old steak and kidney pie. The chorizo was mega tasty it was more of a flavoured sausage rather than the cured meat as we know it. Last but not least of course the lamb was absolutely to die for!! Amazing first Assado experience!!!

Saturday was party night Pancho was grill master tonight and a bunch of his friends were coming round. He had bought asado (this is also a cut from the ribs), bife de chorizo, chorizo, morcilla and tapa de asado (rib cap). All of the meats were deliciously cooked on the parrillia (grill) and served with lots of salad and bread. One of Pancho’s friends had brought round his own chimichurri sauce which complimented the meat perfectly. We had a great night with lots of wine and beer being consumed. Although some of Pancho’s friends didn’t speak English it was amazing how much you can be involved in the atmosphere through body language, expressions and our small understanding of Spanish. As we thought the party was dying off at 5am, we found out it was just time to go to the pub which is totally normal?!? In the bar we tried a home brewed beer which I didn’t find too nice or maybe I was just in need of my bed!

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“Delicioso” Assado!!

On Sunday Chris being a chef of course he wanted a shot of being grill master so we headed to the supermarket and bought a 2.2kg cut of vacío (flank) to share between 4 people. We also got some fresh corn and peppers to grill and some nice salad to top up our vitamin intake. He set up the asado without any help the correct Argentinian way. The meat was again delicious. I really don’t think you could beat the steaks in Argentina as the cows are well looked after and look very healthy when you see them in the spacious fields with lush green grass. Pancho’s Dad gave us a few of his traditional recipes to experiment with when we get a chance, look out for when we post about making them!! He also told us to open an Argentine steak house at home and he will visit us. Maybe one day eh? Since we are catching our dreams!

 

 

Look out for our next post on more delicious Argentinian food: Choripan, Empanadas, Italian influence and Sweets!