Faces and Places: Chile & Argentina

The best time to head to South America is when it’s winter in the U.S. We explored Chili and Argentina from top to bottom with Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT). We crossed borders several times as we worked our way south to Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in Chile at the foot of the Chilean Andes. Did you know that Patagonia (the region) is shared by Chile and Argentina? We explored both and what variety there was. Mountains, the Andes, of course, plains, ranches, cities, islands, parks and lakes.

Buenos Aires, Argentina acted as bookends for the trip. We started and ended in that vibrant city. What better way to start than with a tango show. So chic, so smooth.

Tango, Buenos Aires

 

Beautiful old buildings stood in contrast to the eccentric area known as La Boca where brightly painted houses, especially on Caminito St. screamed for attention.

Buenos Aires

 

La Boca area, Buenos Aires

La Boca area, Buenos Aires

For a change of pace go to Recoleta Cemetary where the mood is pensive, even with crowds. Remember Evita Peron, “the” Evita? She is buried there.

La Recoleta cemetary, Buenos Aires

 

We left the hustle and bustle of B.A. and headed for Bariloche on Lake Nahuel Huapi. This is Patagonia’s Lake District where a chairlift takes you up to the top of Campanario Hill. At the top you can look down on the very, very blue lakes and snow capped mountains.

Vista from Campanario Hll, Bariloche, Arg.

 

There are always “off the itinerary” fun stops with OAT. The Moncopulli Auto Museum in Chile was a treasure trove of antique cars, some restored, some, like this one, waiting for someone’s TLC.

Auto Museum, Moncopulli, Chile

 

Eating “local” is a given. On Chiloe Island (Chile) we participated in one of the more exotic (for us, anyway) cooking methods for preparing dinner.The “curanto” is a way of layering mussels, chicken and sausage on a bed of hot coals. Everything is covered with huge leaves. Then, you wait. At the right moment (determined by the cooks) the whole thing is uncovered and, voila! Dinner is ready.

"Curanto" dinner, Chiloe, Chile

 

"Curanto" dinner, Chiloe, Chile

The capital of Chiloe is Castro, where brightly colored houses on wood stilts called “palifitos” line the water’s edge. They’re referred to, simply, as palifitos.

Palifitos - Chiloe, Chile

 

A visit to an Argentinian estancia (ranch) introduced us to the art and skill of sheep shearing. Also hanging around were these four footed cuties.

Sheep Shearing, Estancia Fitz Roy, Chile

 

Estancia Fitz Roy, Chile

No trip to Patagonia is complete without some quality time with the glaciers. We got that in spades in Los Glacieres National Park. These babies are BIG!

Glaciares Ntl. Pk. Argentina

 

Glaciares Ntl. Pk. Argentina

Back in Buenos Aires we traipsed through the San Telmo market. We didn’t score a special treasure but enjoyed poking around. Great people watching, too.

San Telmo, Buenos Aires

 

Wherever we travel, it’s the people I remember most. I invite you to return to my blog to meet them.

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