Everyday Champagne | South America
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Patagonia Sur

We had already driven nearly three hours when we hit the rough gravel outside of El Chalten. Ugh, we have to almost be there. Gonzo (a nickname), our driver, turned around and said, “It’s about another hour, and I’m sorry, but the road is really bumpy.”

 

Now we were getting a bit crabby, but hey, it’s the start of our vacation adventure. Bumpy, however, was not the right word. It was like driving through a tank trap. But we finally arrived at the boat dock, to the smiling faces of our awaiting boat. Then Gonzo promptly threw my luggage in the lake (accidentally) while trying to heave it on the boat. (It was retrieved after a minute or so.)

 

After a 10-minute boat ride, we arrived at our lodge’s boat dock on the other side of Lago Desierto as it started to spit rain. We walked quickly up the hill to be greeted by more smiling faces for a quick tour of the beautiful lodge.

 

We then started to hear things like eco-friendly, no power these hours, no hot water these hours, put all trash (even bathroom and toilet trash) in garbage, blah, blah, blah, and, oh, yeah, no WiFi.

 

“Wait, what?” we both said.

 

Following came an explanation about location, access, power, blah, blah, blah. Come on, they get WiFi on the moon.

 

We got to our room, looked at each other and I said, “We just drove 110 hours and feel like we just got out of a clothes dryer, arrived here to find limited power, water and no WiFi, and they threw my luggage in the water. What the hell did we book? Are we camping?”

 

Guess what? It was one of the best hotel experiences of our extensive travels. Typical spoiled Americans.

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morning valley

Chile’s Wine Country

The best gin and tonic I’ve ever had was in Santiago, Chile.

 

It wasn’t that special (Hendrick’s and Fever Tree), but after more than a week of wine for breakfast, lunch, happy hour, and dinner, it tasted like springtime.

 

It surprised us to know you can get tired of wine. Of course, it was momentary. After the gin, we had wine with dinner.

 

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woman with sheep

Peru

Land of gods and guinea pigs

 

Lima is not our favorite city. In fact, it’s probably in the bottom five of our list.

Or bottom two.

But Lima was start of another “once-in-a-lifetime” trip, so we made the most of it. We walked the parks and the neighborhood of Miraflores. We ate at several incredible Gaston Acurio restaurants. We tried (and, thankfully, succeeded) not to get robbed or have our cell phones ripped from our hands while riding in cabs.  And we left within 30 hours.

 

Success.

 

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Argentina

From meat to mountains to Malbec, from cloud forests to colorful canyons, from leather to lakes to landscapes, Argentina is a series of beautiful and complicated contrasts.

 

Like that alliteration?

 

Okay, enough with the travel-brochure crap.

 

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