Monday, April 11, 2005

The Captivating Sights of Argentina

We’ve taken road trips the last two days each with one amazing view after another.  We traveled to the other side of Lake Nuhuel Huapi to the Neuquen Region.  Bariloche is in the Rio Negro Region.  We drove through the Step, a more arid region with high, rugged hills and then further north into the wetter region where the trees towered above us and the rain fell intermittently all day.  Near Chile, the vegetation was thick and the trees covered in moss.  We entered Chile for about 5 minutes, until they told us our rental car papers did not allow us to stay. 


Today we stayed on the Bariloche side of the Lake and traveled north to Llao Llao.  The llao llao is a parasite that burrows into the trees.  As the tree tries healing itself it creates a ball around parasite causing a rough wooden ball to form on the branch.  Some are more than a foot wide.  One of the most stunningly beautiful hotels in the world in Llao Llao and it’s called the hotel Llao Llao.  Ironic that one of the “poshest”, most exclusive hotels in the world is named after a wooden crust housing parasites. 


I always heard the beef in Argentina was good, but I had no idea how good.  I’m not even sure it is possible to get a bad steak here.  And the deserts (dulces) are extraordinary.  The traditional desert is called a panqueque con dulce de leche.  It is a crepe (or pancake) that they fill with dulce de leche (caramel) and chocolate.  Needless to say we will have to work out often when we get home.