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Experience Argentina 

Argentina, a country of great beauty. It is the 8th largest in the world. It has it all: rainforest, desert, mountains, grasslands and interesting culture. You can’t see it all in a short time and it remains one of my favorite places to visit. Maybe it’s the local drink, called mate, a bitter tea you drink throughout the day, or the steak, or the sweet caramel dulce de leche that brings me back. While these are all added bonuses, the incredible landscape and welcoming people make the 10+ hour flight enjoyable.  

Argentina’s money – peso

Exchange rates vary, I’ve seen from around 8 to 13 pesos for one US dollar.

Argentina means “land of silver”

 

Patagonia is the Southernmost area of South America, covering part of the countries of Argentina and Chile. This area is 260,000 square miles including lakes, glaciers, mountains, desert, and grasslands. These stunning grasslands are referred to as the pampas. I explored the Argentina side near the small town of San Martin de Los Andes as well as the lake area of Bariloche. The wildlife roams through these parts. I saw guanacos, red steer, eagles, ñandu, and a baby armadillo on my first couple of days here. 

Fernando, my fly fishing guide with a baby armadillo.

very large, recently made, puma tracks

 

Argentina’s eagles

Patagonia is cowboy country. Here you find many large ranches called estancias. The cowboys are called gauchos. I spent time on two estancias, one was built in 1922. The horses on the estancia were trained and used to play the sport Polo. 

 

 

Fly fishing is a popular sport in the San Martin area. The rivers are wide and beautiful, containing brown and rainbow trout. 

Argentina is known for, in my opinion (and that of many others), the best steak in the world. The best part is how it is cooked, over open flames. This barbecue is known as an asado. Get ready for a long night, in this country dinner often starts at 10:00 p.m.! 

A snack or meal, empanadas can be stuffed with almost anything

Outside of the town of Bariloche, the hiking is incredible. Here you will see Nahuel Huapi lake. It is very large (557 sq.km) and has an interesting shape. The indigenous group living in this area called the Mapuche named this lake. In the Mapuche language it means Isle of the Tiger. The lake can be seen from many hikes; I enjoyed the view from Refugio Cerro Lopez.  

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You can trek and stay the night and repeat in Patagonia with these refugios.

 

Another nice spot to explore are the forests of the Arrayanes trees. These trees are unique to this area. I was told that they insipired Walt Disney’s forest creation in the movie Bambi. The trees are nicknamed Bambi trees.  

Arrayanes trees

 

  At the restaurant, we grab one last steak dinner in the capital city of Buenos Aires.  

   

 


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Save a Tree

While visiting in Thailand, I learned of a method used to save and protect trees from being cut down. Buddhist monks would bless cloths and these clothes would be tied around tree trunks. The people of Thailand wouldn’t think to cut a tree with a blessed cloth. While walking in the small mountain town of Chiang Dao, I saw many examples of this. These trees, left to grow for many more years, were incredible.

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The Idaho Bucket list – summiting Mt. Borah

There are many amazing adventures to be had in Idaho.  This includes hiking Mt. Borah, Idaho’s tallest peak at an elevation of 12,662 feet. It is located near Mackay, Idaho in the Lost River Range. In 1983, it had the largest earthquake ever recorded in Idaho, measuring 6.9. This hike is not an easy hike, as you climb you gain 5,000 + feet from trailhead to the summit, or top.

My friend Hannah and I had been discussing a hike up to the top of Mt. Borah all summer. Finally, yesterday we almost made it happen. We were looking great and had been climbing easily, we even got past an area called chicken out ridge, where many people turn around.

We came across a section that was a bit challenging. The ground was frozen and the small rocks over the ground were loose. Hannah had set her backpack down for a second, but she placed it in a tricky spot. Instantly, the backpack slid, then tumbled, for what felt like forever, and finally rested far, far below on the edge of the cliff. There was no rescuing that pack.

The event surprised Hannah, and without food, water, her phone and her favorite fleece, we decided it was probably best to turn around. On the way back, it was my turn to fumble; I had led us past our trekking poles that were stashed on chicken out ridge!  I turned around and climbed up the steepest section of the trail, for the second time that day, retrieved the poles, and we were on our way.

We laughed about our attempt. On the way down, we caught up with two firefighters from Pocatello. They told us we had made it past the toughest past of the trail and the place where we had decided to turn around was only about 20 minutes from the summit. Oh well, Mt. Borah, I guess you got the best of us this time, but we’ll be back!

Hannah in route (with backpack)

Hannah in route (with backpack)