Monday March 5, 2018 Asado at Arroyo Verde

We continue where we left off. The Asado at Arroyo Verde. English was kind enough to pour me a Pisco Sour. It was very strong so I kept adding ice cubes to it. Doesn’t that look refreshing! Si! Mi gusto mucho! The Asado started with these chunks of cheese melted over the fire. Yummy!Next we had these interesting appetizers. What do you think is inside them? Inside was sausage. They weren’t too peppery for me. It was time to eat, so guess who got to the buffet first? Me, of course! I’m not really sure why this guy looked so grumpy. I am actually quite nice! Of course everyone knew that I was documenting our trip, so someone was kind enough to take my picture. I’m really not that fat, I look about four months pregnant in this picture! Remember when I said “Guess what’s in the pot?” It was steamed potatoes! There was a lovely green salad with tomatoes on the table. Another salad on the table was cole slaw. Meat and potatoes, you can’t get a better meal than that I managed to jump up and get a snapshot of our table. Starting at the 12 going clockwise are Steve, then Dennis from Canada, Katrina, Tim, Sarah, Charlie, Kathy, English, Marcus and then Marcus’s son. I sat between English and Marcus. Here is the view from over Steve’s shoulder. I really should bring a professional photographer as this lighting is terrible! We had very stimulating conversations, but no talk about polo or tango.Here were the desserts. Flan with Dulce de leche, and quince jelly over cheese. After lunch was siesta time, and then I went for another walk. The views were incredible, so calming. Here is a panoramic view from my walk. There were quite a few woodsy areas on the estancia. Here we have a grove of pine trees with lots of pine cones on the ground. These pine cones weren’t anywhere as large as the cones by the fireplace in the dining room.This is the beautiful fuchsia bush by our suite. I am used to hanging pots of fushia back home. This is what they look like growing naturally! It’s time for canapés and dinner again! How any guides and guests can you fit in the bar area? Two guests, and three guides!It was time for another candle lit dinner party! You can see all the gorgeous silverware pieces on the hutch on the back wall. Here was dinner. I can’t remember much about it. I can identify that we had carrot soup, salad, something with a cream sauce and then possibly scalloped potatoes?

There were two tables at dinner, as there was a full house. I got to sit with the Argentinians and it was lots of fun. Half the stories were in Spanish and half in English.

That’s it for today. Have you ever been to an asado?

March 5, Monday at Arroyo Verde Asado Preparations!

The rest of the guests had been talking yesterday morning about Katrina’s choice of eggs at breakfast. Here is is. Toast, raspberry jam, a fried egg and then ketchup. It didn’t look good, but she loves it. To each their own!

I blogged and read for while, and watched four of the nine dogs hanging out in the sun.

Today we were going to have an Asado-barbecue. I had noticed this concrete platform on my walk yesterday. Now I found out what it was for.

There will be lots of pictures and some video of the Asado today!

While the Asado preparations were underway I decided to snoop into the kitchen and prep areas. This is where the four styles of china and glass ware were kept. You can see into the dining room from here.

This is where the cooking of all the meals happened.

I am sure it got quite hot in there, cranking out all those meals. That is one old stove!

Back to the Asado. The gaucho put the lamb on the rack. Here is a video of it! There really isn’t much meat on it. A lot of crunch when you ate it.

I went back to the Estancia and took a picture of this magazine for you. This is the monster brown that a guide caught here. You never know when the fly you cast might lead you to a beauty like this one! I couldn’t read the magazine as it was written in Spanish.The lamb continued to cook.

Here is the gaucho chef, who was monitoring everything. I think his expression is “You looking at me?”

Back to more wandering. For some reason I thought the front door of our suite was photo worthy.

I got a picture of the rainbow from the sprinkler. Do those rainbows count? I am not sure that Leprechauns could find this place!

Here is another view of our building. I loved seeing all the bright green. Back home we were having snow storms!

Another view of the Estancia. The dogs must have gone off to follow Katrina, Kathy and Sarah on a horse back ride.

Here is a better view of the bench where the anglers sat to take off their waders before they came inside.

We were going to eat outside today for the Asado. There were going to be three new guests today. Two were cousins, and one of the cousins brought his son who was on break from school. In the next few days, another son would come from the other cousin and then the wife and daughter would come of the cousin who was here with his son. Are you confused yet?More food was brought out to cook. More types of meat, some cheeses in the pans, and then something in the big pot. You’ll have to wait to see what is in the pot. I did! ps. It’s not lobster!

Here we see the gaucho tend the fires, bringing coals to the other food being cooked. We met my new Argentinian friends, Angel and Marcus, for the first time. I decided to have a Pisco Sour with Angel. Everyone called Angel, “English”. He got this nickname when he was a little boy, as he always acted like a “proper little English gentleman”. He went to boarding school at Gordonstoun, where Prince Phillip and Prince Charles went to school.

The Pisco sours were very strong. The joke was one Pisco sour, two Pisco sour, three Pisco sour, floor Pisco sour as you would be out cold when you had your fourth. I had one with plenty of ice in it. Doesn’t that look refreshing? More about the Asado later!

March. 4, 2018 Sunday at Arroyo Verde, Argentina

This is the outside of our building. The entrance to our suite is under the overhang. Back in the day this part of the building held the tack room and some stables. There are other rooms in the building for family and also for the guides to stay in. We are a good ways from civilization so the guides stay here instead of going back to their families. Being a guide is tough on families. You work during the season, any time you have off means no income and no tips from the clients. Winter is time to be with the family, or have a different job.

There was a beautiful tree on our walk to the main building for breakfast. I have no idea what is was. The nice part of traveling to the Southern Hemisphere during our winter was seeing all the flowers, the warmer temperatures, and the longer period of daylight. My favorite day of the year used to be the day the clocks were turned so that I could get more sleep. Now it is the winter solstice as I know the days will stop getting shorter. At breakfast there was a gorgeous sterling silver bee caddy for honey. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was going to appear in my blog!

I went for the scrambled eggs and bacon our first morning. Charlie, one of the guests, here ordered three fried eggs with one piece of toast. The kitchen staff couldn’t understand the order and he always got three pieces of toast. We would all have a laugh in the morning wondering if he was going to get his three eggs and three pieces of toast. He always did, no matter how many times he said three eggs and one piece of toast!

Breakfast was at 8:30, and after that Steve would meet Fernando and they would go off fishing. I would stay back at the Estancia and read, blog or walk around. Here is a beautiful rose bush on property. The Estancia was well known for its gardens, and in the past garden clubs would come to tour the grounds for the day.

Here you can see a traditional garden bed planting of lower plants in the front, higher plants in the middle, and bushes in the back. I never saw anyone weeding. I think the plants are so well established that they only have to do minor weeding.

There was a man made pond near the main house, with an Henri Bouchard stature of a young girl with a fawn. What a great view!

Here is one of the Estancia’s dogs, joining me on my tour of the gardens. I think there were nine dogs in all!

This is the view of the back of the Estancia. There were four bedrooms on the right, the left part of this picture shows the sun room with the white chairs. On the patio outside were different groupings to sit on; couches, chairs, semi recliners, and mesh chairs. I think there might have been a hammock also.

This was the other side of the building where Steve and I stayed. On the left was an office for Martina, and other apartments for family and staff upstairs and to the right.

I probably wasn’t supposed to peak in, but I couldn’t resist! This is Martina’s office.

I liked the compass in the patio. When we first moved into our current house in Poughkeepsie we had a sundial stamped into the concrete. I was quite excited about it until I realized that the metal guide had been broken off. I think it was too dangerous, and people were tripping on the metal guide!

It took me a while to figure out what this picture is of. (It’s been two and a half weeks since we left Arroyo Verde!) This is the view of the front of the Estancia. The bedrooms are on the left, and the fluffy brown dog in in the center of the picture. The family originally stayed here, now guests are in the four bedrooms.

I took a couple of walks the first day, getting the lay of the Estancia. This is as far as I got on this walk. This road leads back to the main road, some 15 kilometers to the main gate. Cattle and horse don’t like to cross the cattle guards. If someone is going riding, they will go through the gate on the right.

While in our room, Steve and I would hear a humming at times. This was caused by the generator on property. You did know that a well documented blog includes a visit to all available places, didn’t you?

This is the dog kennel. I was happy that I wasn’t a visiting dog.

This is where some of the horses hung out. This is not all of them, I forgot how many Katrina said the Estancia had. There was a very old mild mannered mare that was going to be my horse to ride. I said “Maybe next year!”. Katrina said “She may not be alive next year!”

No, this picture is not about my manicure, or how wrinkled my hands are! Steve was having problems with his hands getting cold, and was afraid that he would lose his wedding ring. I told him instead of putting it in the suitcase, I would add it to my ring collection. The big honker of a diamond is my fake travel diamond that I got at Home Goods. I lost one of the trilliants on the side at some point on our excellent adventure. Looks like I’ll have to get another ring before our next vacation. This center stone is 3 carats. I think I’ll try for a 5 carat next time!

Soon it was time for lunch. We had canapés on the patio.

Tomatoes with mozzarella balls. I think this is such a great canapé to make. Just cut your grape tomato in half and skewer it to a mozzarella ball. Sprinkle with parsley to make it festive. Voila, you appear to be quite the hostess!

Charlie asked for a cold beer. I think this mug was kept in the freezer. I don’t drink much beer, but this one looked particularly attractive! There was only one mug. I think one of the guests needs to gift the Estancia. Do you think I could get a free week if I bought some next time? I don’t think so.

We had a lovely salad for lunch.

The entree was rice with some kind of meat. I can’t figure out if this is chicken or pork!

Dessert was fried dough dusted with confectioners sugar.

This was so tasty, it gets its own close-up!

After lunch I took another walk. These busy bees were gettin pollen from this flower.

The road kept going, but I headed back to the Estancia. Somewhere ahead lies the stream and across the way Ted Turner’s La Primavera and the mean guard. Steve and Fernando had stepped foot on La Primavera, and the guard told them to get back onto the correct side of the stream! This was a panoramic view of the valley that I took.

This part of the picture is on the mid left part of the picture above. You can see how wide the valley is.

Steve came back about 8:30 and it was soon time to shower and change for dinner.

Tonight we had the brown china at dinner.

We had a different arrangement of flowers at dinner. You can see the candle reflections on the table also!I loved the way the napkin looked like a rose. Katrina said the staff would give me napkin folding lessons. I thought about it. I knew it would be great for my next candlelit dinner party, but thought I would forget how to do them. I was on vacation after all, no lessons of any kind for me!

Dinner started with a vegetable soup. Almost as good as Stella’s soups!

Our entree was spatzle and pork cutlets. There was lots of paprika on the side for those who liked to add more spice to their food.

Salad was iceberg with sliced red beets.

Dessert was a berry mouse. It was nice and light. Katrina was in a bit of a tizzy at dinner. Tomorrow a bunch of Argentinians were coming to stay for a bit. She said they were a crazy bunch. Hmmm, I couldn’t wait to meet them!

March 3, 2018 Lunch and Dinner at Arroyo Verde, Argentina

It was time to head back to the Estancia for lunch. We all loaded into our respective pickup trucks, some a little faster than others! Would you be surprised if I told you that I am always first in the buffet line, when my table is called? I have one eye on the room, and one eye on the person I am talking to, waiting for the signal to belly up to the bar. I also try to listen to two conversations at once. You never know who might have the more interesting conversation. I have tried to be like Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and have my thoughts only directed at the speaker in front of me, but that is too hard and nowhere near as interesting!We got back to the Estancia and toured a wee bit before we were called into lunch. Most of the guests stay at the main house. There are four bedrooms sleeping two to a room. Outside the main house there were benches and deer sheds (antlers) for the anglers to hang waders. Here is a close up picture. “Those are some racks you’ve got there!”First thing you see in the entry way is this magnificent brown trout. 15.5 pounds! The biggest trout that Steve ever caught was 8.5 pounds in New Zealand. This fish is why people come to fish here, well the scenery and the people of course too! There is a beautiful bar where you could take a nip whenever you desired. Arroyo Verde like Tipiluke, included booze and wine in your fee. Some places we have been to charge extra. Some people get quite annoyed when they have to pay for booze. Those people are likely to really drink. A lot!This is the living room. There are lots of family pictures on the bookshelves. This was,and is their family get away place. Arroyo Verde is very comfortable, and cozy. It’s not pretentious at all. We once stayed in a lodge in New Zealand that although it was lovely, the owners were so full of themselves that it was horrible. We couldn’t wait to leave. Here, like at Tipiluike, we wanted to stay and stay. Not to get Delphi in the Bahamas feeling unloved, we love to stay there also!

There are other apartments on the property where the family sleeps when they visit. All of the daughters are married, and they have separate Estancias where their family getaways are. Meimei, the matriarch and Marina ,one of the daughters , still have apartments here. They also have apartments in Buenos Aires. Katrina, the manager lives here during the season and travels when Arroyo Verde is closed in the winter. There are interesting knick knacks covering the tables. No one smokes inside of course. This might be a great dish for candy, but then you wouldn’t see the fish! They even had President Eisenhower come fishing for a day! President Clinton stayed at La Primavera on the other side of the Rio Traful when he visited with Ted Turner and Jane Fonda.

This is another professional photo of the living room. I would often sit on the white chairs and couches in the sun room and work on my blog or read. There is a round table to the left of the white chairs, and I would blog there also. Let’s go to lunch now shall we? All our meals were in the dining room. There were beautiful porcelain birds on the mantle. I looked but didn’t touch. Even at lunch the silver, tablecloths and fine china were brought out. One of the staff made beautiful flower arrangements that changed every day. I think that there were four or five different china patterns. Lunch and Dinner were buffet. There was plenty to choose from. I had a little of everything! Here is another photo of the beautiful birds. The painting of the ponies was interesting. At nighttime it was difficult to see the head of the black pony, his face is so dark. Talking about the painting would generally set Katrina off on one marvelous story after another. She has been a guest at a number of friends homes in the UK. They would often be castles, where the art work on the walls was priceless, with a Rafael here, and a Rembrandt there! Here is a close up of the silverware waiting for dessert! Dessert was warm apple crepes. Aren’t you hungry just looking at them?

Here is a close up of the humongous pine cones by the fireplace. There was always a hot pot of water for instant coffee or tea in the bar. The bar ware was lovely. I’m not sure which ones I prefer. There were lots of dogs here. I think there were three black labs, two mutts and a very poofy brown dog. There were lots of cats also to keep the rats away. We headed back to the room for a siesta. Steve would be going out fishing at five or so, and fish until dark. Dinner here would start with cocktails and canapés at 9:30 and dinner at 10! After Steve left to go fishing I wandered back to the main house to blog and read. Katrina was in the meadow working her horse. What a delightful view! I had a sliver of cake and then hung out the rest of the day. Kathy and Sarah took a horseback ride.We came back for dinner and were treated by the guard Labradors. Salad first. Dinner was by candlelight so most of these pictures will be lousy. Roast Chicken.

Here are the glazed carrots and whipped potatoes. Here is my dinner all nestled on my plate ready to go down to my tummy!Dessert was delicious. In fact, I would love a slice of that cheesecake now.

Dinner was a lively conversation, there was politics, and talk of fish that were caught and not caught. Mostly not caught as the water was quite warm. We had been warned by guests at Tipiluike who had just been here that the fishing was very difficult. There might be a big fish, but don’t count on catching them!

I bombarded you with posts yesterday, so I might stretch these posts out a bit or not. You never know with me!

March 3, 2018 Pre Lunch Cocktails at the Cabin, Arroyo Verde

I forgot to give you the link for Arroyo Verde. EstanciaArroyoVerde.co.ar Once again, the links I post are not in return for anything. All of the excellent adventures that Steve and I take are on our own dime, actually many many dimes!

I left you with Steve unpacking his suitcase and me taking pictures. Katrina had left us to drive to the cabin where we were to meet the other guests staying at the Estancia before lunch for drinks and snacks. This is the view of the cabin above Lake Traful. This, of course is a professional photograph from the Arroyo Verde’s website. This is a 360 degree video shot from the back patio of the cabin. The main lodge sleeps eight guests, we were in the suite, which was in a neighboring building to the main estancia. The cabin was available to stay in, but as it required someone to drive us back for meals, I thought I would be a little too isolated. The view at the cabin was amazing. Yes, the wind was quite strong. This is Patagonia after all! Inside the cabin was a bedroom. Look at the difference between a professional photographer and my photo! Looks like I better not quit my day job!

This is the posed picture from where I shot my video! It’s not exactly like I was having a bad hair day, the wind there is fierce!

Here is my Titanic pose! I am such a good sport!Here is a picture of Fernando taking a picture of four other guests that were staying at the Estancia while we were there. Tim and Sarah, Charlie and Kathy, are from Raleigh, NC. Sarah and Kathy asked if I fished and I told them no, I read and worked on my blog while Steve was out and about. The ladies were going to go riding while their hubbies fished. I decided not to ride at this ranch as the nearest hospital was over 2 hours away. I didn’t like the idea of not being able to get medical help quickly. Kathy, it turns out is a successful author, however, as she does not write romance novels or erotica, I had not heard of her. You can order her book here, KathyIzard.com I think her story is quite inspiring.

Let’s go in the cabin. Here we have another lousy picture, but this was the kitchen. No meals are cooked here, guests go back to the main house for all their meals. This is the view from the living room out toward the lake.This is another view of the living room. There were four bunk beds, so six people could stay in the cabin. The cabin was designed for the Lariviere family, two parents and four girls! There was also a small bathroom, including a bidet! Here is Steve talking to another guest, from Canada, who you can’t see because Steve is so big. He has been coming to Arroyo Verde for several years, staying several weeks at a time, and coming more than once during the year! This is definitely one of his favorite places to fish. Why? Because there is always a chance for a really big fish! Small world that is is, this gentleman knows a guest that we met at another fly fishing lodge. They live in the same development in Calgary! It also turns out that Gianni and Lalla who we met in Tipiluike also have been to Arryo Verde!

Battery in laptop is running low. Time to recharge and I’ll tell you more about this Excellent Adventure later!

March 3, 2018 Arroyo Verde

I have mentioned before Steve’s quest to catch a fish every month until he dies, or becomes too decrepit to fish. Inspiring introduction to this post, isn’t it? Living in the northern hemisphere gives us challenges to catching fish in the winter. Steve of course, could take up ice fishing, and sit on an overturned bucket all day in sub freezing temperatures to catch fish. However, Sexy Steve was hooked by me and the rest is history. A lifetime of Excellent Adventures, gradually leading to stays at places where Billionaires and President’s like to visit was not even a glimmer in Steve’s temporal lobes when he met me! Hmm, how did Steve get this new nickname? Well, I tried Lucy Steve, but that didn’t match so I needed to come up with an S description. I could have tried suave, but that is too hard to spell so Sexy Steve it is, at least for this post!

So how did we find out about Arroyo Verde? First of all, for someone like me who can’t roll her r’s it is horrific to pronounce. Also, the Argentinians replace the Y with a J. So this estancia has a name pronounced as follows: A-rrrrrrrrrrow-joe Verrrrrrrrr-day. It means green creek. I think Arroyo Verde sounds much better, don’t you?

Last year I was reading Garden & Gun, (definitely not a magazine most Northerners who don’t shoot would read, but that’s another day’s post). I came upon an article about Fly Fishing in Patagonia, I slipped a post-it note on it for Steve, “Would you like to go here?”. Well Sexy Steve is not Stupid Steve, he of course posted a note back to me “Yes!” I contacted the travel agent mentioned in the article, requesting a stay covering the period February to March 2018. That way Sexy Steve could catch a fish in February and March on one trip. In re-reading the article since the trip I realized that we in fact went to only one of the Estancias mentioned. However if we had gone to the first Estancia I would have missed Tipiluke and all my wonderful friends that I met there!

The ranch is owned by the Lariviere family. Originally the Estancia covered the whole valley. The Traful river divides the valley in two. In 1997 Ted Turner bought half of the Estancia, which is called La Primavera, that was 9000 acres. Arroyo Verde is the northern section of the ranch. It is about 10,000 acres. Ted is quite elderly now, and not well, he hasn’t come to see the ranch in a few years, but his caretaker has cameras that warn him if any of the anglers step onto Ted’s side of the river.

We were greeted by Katrina, who is the manager of the ranch. The ranch is now owned by Meme Lariviere and her four daughters. Katrina is from Scotland and has wonderful stories to tell. It was fascinating to hear of her excellent adventures! Steve and Katrina are outside our 1 bedroom suite. Katrina is telling Steve where the main house is. This is the outside. Originally this was the stable and tack room. It was renovated a very long time ago!Would you like to come inside? Of course you would!

Steve has already brought the bags in, I had better get those pictures taken quick before the room gets all messed up. This is the view from my side of the bed. There was a big post in the center of the room. I was nervous each night that I would run into it if I had to go to the bathroom. I was lucky and missed it every time. The striped chair is where I would sit and try to do my blog posts. It took a long time due to the wifi. Once again we had no cell service. The phone plan that we had was a waste of money. However, if we didn’t get it, we likely would have had cell service and accidentally run up humongous roaming charges, not realizing we had our phones on! Here is Steve unpacking, I prefer to live out of my suitcase. Here are the set of ram’s horns that were used as a hat rack. I get a headache just looking at them!The bathroom was quite large. We had a toilet, a bidet, and a tub with shower. There was plenty of hot water for us. We were quite pleased that there were American style outlets to charge our devices. No problems with trying to find our converters.

March 3, 2018 Hola Arroyo Verde!

I am way behind in my postings, and I have decided if I don’t catch up I may lose some of my dear followers. Or even worse, I might not gain new ones!

So before getting up on our last morning at Casa Luma de Montana, I took a long last look at the beautiful ceiling. This hotel would not have been out of place in Italy. I loved the frescos on the ceiling.

This was the room where we stayed in Bevagna, Italy on my 60th birthday trip. We had a one bedroom suite with living room. The hotel was an old Palazzo. I’m hoping the angel fresco was above the bed and not the fighting guys. That would have led to a lot of bad dreams!

Now that I am comparing Casa Luma, it would have been more fitting in a rustic Italian villa book. Perhaps this one! Or on the cover of a magazine, like this one!We had our last breakfast and said good by to the beautiful view of Villa la Angostura. We met Fernando who would be our driver to Arroyo Verde. When we go to the parking lot we saw a beautiful drift boat. Steve thought “My, what a nice boat!”. This was Fernando’s boat, and he had towed it from whereever he last was all the way to Casa Luma, towed it down the hill to the first parking lot, backed it in and was going to hitch back up to it and drive it to Arroyo Verde. As anyone who has towed a boat, and backed it up can appreciate, this was quite a formidable task. But Fernando had a very powerful truck, and was able to maneuver quite easily. If it’s your business, you learn quickly!

We said goodbye to Elizabeth and were off. Like me, Fernando had a beautiful hat. The hats were kept on the back seat next to me. This is the stone and concrete driveway that led to the main road. It was quite steep. Fernando handled it so easily. I thought for sure we wouldn’t make it up the hill! Silly me. We drove through town, this is the fishing store that Steve and I visited the night before. You can see the “Simms” sign over the front door. “Simms” doesn’t mean fishing in Spanish, it is a name brand.

This was going to be today’s truck ride. We left Villa La Angostura, drove on Route 40 to intersect with Route 237, traveled north along the Limay River and then turned left at Confluencia and traveled along the Rio Traful to Arroyo Verde. I think it took us a good three hours.The road traveled along the Rio Limay. It was very picturesque. Steve was planning on taking an all day drift boat ride in Fernando’s boat, one of the days of our stay. I would have the option to join them. Would I go, or would I stay? This area was called Valle Encantado, or the Enchanted Valley. This rock formation was called Dedo de deus, or”God’s Finger”.

There was lots of road construction on this part of the road, so I took lots of pictures of the rock formations. I won’t bore you with them!

Well, maybe just one more. This looked like a great place to stop and stare. We finally arrived at the main gate. The road to the estancia is about 15 kilometers, and it’s a dirt road. I think I’ll leave off now. Stay tuned for the next installment.