Friday March 2, 2018 Luma Casa De Montana and at Tinto Bistro

After our boat excursion Steve and I were dropped of at Luma and followed the path to the hotel. We changed our clothes and put on our swim clothes and the fluffy white bath robes that were on the bed the first day. Not thinking about it I grabbed one, tossed the other to Steve and he put his on. He remarked how short the arms were, and how short the robe was. It turns out that there were his and her robes! We quickly switched robes, sorry, but no picture of Steve looking silly!We descended the stairs to the pool area and lucky for me that I was holding the railing because “Boom, boom, boom”. My legs went out from me and I slid down the stairs! I am very nervous about falling as I was put on Xarelto, a blood thinner last February. I was instructed not to cut myself, ride horses or fall. As I was already holding the hand rail, I just gripped it harder, during my fall, praying that I would not go head over heels. This is a picture of those nasty stairs looking from the bottom to the top.

I sat for awhile until I recovered and then we went outside to the pool area. I did tell you earlier I was going to have an unexcellent adventure on the stairs in a prior posting, well this was it!This was my back. I insisted Steve take a picture of my back so we could compare for when the black and blue marks showed up. I sure do have a lot of freckles. Thank God, I got my back waxed before we left. Ha Ha, just kidding. When Elliot and I went to Israel years ago, I surreptitiously took a picture of this guy’s back. It was so hairy, I couldn’t believe it. Elliott scolded me for taking the picture, but I knew it would come in handy some day! There is a reason for my 19,000 pictures in my iCloud storage!Any way, I rested on my pick of the chaise lounges. They were all free, so I was in heaven!Steve and I both went in the pool. The step outside entry looked a little too steep for me, and after my one tumble for the day I decided on the interior entry. So I got to use the magic door. I’m all for creative entries! Hanging out at the pool was a nice way to rest before dinner. We were trying to decide about bringing bathing suits on the trip, and decided to bring them. I’m glad we did. There was a big motocross event in Villa La Angostura, and we were happy that we had made reservations via our travel agent. We had mentioned to Paulo that we were going to for Tinto Bistro for dinner. He highly recommended it. Paulo, besides being an excellent cook, was the sommelier at Las Balsas, the Relais & Chateaux where we had dinner last night. I must admit that I was dying to take the Relais & Chateaux directory from Las Balsas, but knew Steve would roll my eyes at more book weight in my suitcase. I love looking at pictures of nice hotels, but enjoy staying at them even more! We laughed when we saw who our driver was. He was the same taxi driver as the one who took us to Las Balsas the night before!Steve got to take a picture of me! I am always making snarky comments about Steve not focusing on the camera. Here it looks like I am checking out the incoming guest arrivals at the front door! My scarf, that I had so elegantly draped over both shoulders is all akimbo. Kudos for the great lipstick and the natural eyebrows. Thank heaven those pencil thin eyebrows are out of fashion! That is some bar behind me, I probably should have faced that way and watched the bartender at work. Oh well, I got to make goo goo eyes at Steve all night instead!The waitress brought over some nice rolls. Steve had wanted to order baked Brie for an appetizer, but I put my foot down. I thought he should pick something light. We had just seen Kill Bill 2 before we left home, so when Steve saw “Kill My Bills” on the menu he ordered it. Shrimp and Pork rice paper rolls. Viet mini salad, and rosehip chili sauce. For my entree I chose “Argentina Blue”. Beef Tenderloin in vanilla cardamom Demi glacé. Fig and plum chutney with grilled onions. Quinoa, nuts and blue cheese. Done medium rare.

Steve picked “Absolut Pasta” for his dinner. Homemade fettuccini sautéed with prawns and shrimp in vanilla vodka. Spice mix and arugula. My only comment is that I thought prawns and shrimp were the same thing!Dessert was “Nina’s Secret”. Chocolate tasting, citric curd and berry coulis. After dinner we decided to take a walk about the village before we called a taxi to take us back. Most of the stores were closed, but this fishing store was open! Steve needed a “Croakie” lanyard for his glasses, as he left his at home. Steve was lucky enough to get the last one!

We started laughing when we saw the glass case filled with knives.

We headed back to the restaurant to call a taxi to take us back to the hotel. This was the large group of motocross people that were dining together. We couldn’t figure out if they were officials, riders, supporters, fans, or groupies!

That’s it for Friday March 2, 2018. I had a lot of postings for the day. I hope you enjoyed yourselves reading about my Excellent Adventures as I had having them with Steve.

Friday March 2, 2018 A boat ride on Nahuel Huapi

This is the brochure for Nico’s boat.

The boat was very comfortable, there was a canopy so we wouldn’t get too much sun, and a cabin with a place to go to the bathroom. We departed from the dock at Manzano, and were going to cruise to Bosque de Arrayanes for a short hike. Here we are all cozy on the boat, ready to take off. I am swearing Steve’s Tilley hat. Although much of the lake was protected as a National Park, there were lots of lodging places near this part of the lake. We were not far from the ski area, Cerro Bayo. This place was a great place to vacation. Summer activities in the summer, and skiing in the winter. Nico said that he gave cruises in the winter also!

This is Paulo’s hand showing up what we would be doing today. He has lots of tattoos!

This map without the fingers gives you a better idea how big the lake is. That is still not all of the lake!

There were beautiful vistas everywhere you looked. More of Paulo’s tattoos. No, I did not ask him how many he had!

We arrived at the dock for our hike and Nico secured the boat. Paulo was going to stay aboard the boat. It was around 11:00, no one else was in the park. It often gets very busy later in the afternoon with tour boats laden with guests who want to explore.

Let’s prove that we were here!These trees are called Arrayans. Some were really tall!They have a smooth bark, that is very cold to the touch. The bark looks a little scaly, but it was not very rough. Some of these trees are 300-600 years old!

There were some pretty flowers. Don’t we make a cute couple? The answer is yes!Nico is trying to tell us something here. There was so much to remember!We saw some lovely fuchsia. More pretty flowers.Steve is demonstrating how big this tree is! Some of the trees had a type of fungus near the top. Nico told us that Walt Disney came here, and was inspired to make the movie Bambi. I will have to go home and watch the movie to see if their are any similarities. Eventually the cruise boats always show up! Our walk is over and we head back to the boat to rescue our cruise. Our walk was the small circle. Ambitious hikers could walk all the way to Villa La Angostura. No thank you!

Nico asks Steve if he would like to troll for fish while Paulo prepares our tapas.

Of course! Steve settles down and assumes the trolling position. There is not much work to do when you troll, you just hold onto the rod and wait for a fish to take the lure. We go by some very interesting rocks. The area looks very much like Lake George. Steve gets to sit with me, enjoy the view and troll for fish. What could be better than this?

Throwing the anchor off the boat and enjoying a nice lunch of tapas would be great! Stay tuned!

Friday March 2, 2018. Breakfast at Luma Casa De Montana

We woke up and looked outside our Juliet balcony, ready to start our day.

We descended the stairs to the main level to see the breakfast buffet. The sun was so strong, it was difficult to take a good picture. No worries for me, my picture taking ability is not the main draw of my blog’s dear readers!

Steve spied a table by the windows, and we sat there. Here Steve is, ready to give our order for breakfast!Here is where the orange juice, coffee, hot milk and water waited for our selection.

The silverware was very dainty. Steve and I each ordered scrambled eggs. I got one, and Steve got two.

The previous afternoon we were met by Nico, the captain of the boat we were going to be taking a cruise on today. He told us one of the options on the cruise was to go hiking for a bit on Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi and then kayaking. The hike was to be only an hour, so I was game for that. The kayaking not so much. We had gone sea kayaking when we were in the Galapagos last year and we hated it. Nico, was thrilled that we had said no kayaking, as the water was quite cool, and we were sure to get wet. Instead offered us the option of some tapas, with wine pairings, presented by his friend Paulo. Then Steve would be able to troll for salmon after our hike. “Perfecto!”, I said.

We were picked up by Paulo and a taxi driver and driven through town.

Here are some of the shops in town, and the roses in the median of the road.We say goodbye to our taxi driver and are off to the pier. Nico’s boat is the Cardinal Sur. We climb aboard the boat and are ready to take off!

Internet seems to be working a little better. I had to rename the post due to the fact that the post was all about breakfast!

Ciao! Ciao!

Thursday March 1, 2018 Off to dinner, Las Balsas, Villa La Angostura

We had reservations at Las Balsas at 8:00 for

Since our hotel’s restaurant was closed we were going to have to go elsewhere for dinner. This was one of the restaurants that our travel agent had recommended. Eight pm is a little early for dinner in Argentina, but we figured we would be one of the first diners.

Steve inquired at the front desk how far the restaurant was from our hotel. “Not far, maybe a kilometer or two.” Steve thought once, then twice and decided to call for a taxi.

I thought I had a picture of Steve at the front door of the hotel, and here it is!

Our driver arrived a little after our requested time of 7:45, and we were off. We drove into town and then through town. We turned off onto a dirt road. We began to get a bit nervous. Were we being kidnapped? We thought of our friend who knows martial arts, was an Eagle Scout and would probably have a knife strapped to his ankle! He would have been able to handle this situation!

Steve in not quite a panic, scrolled through his iPhone looking for the name of the restaurant, that he had thoughtfully added before we left the hotel. Steve finally found it, and showed it to the driver. “Si, Si, Las Balsas”, the taxi driver nodded.

I was only a little bit relieved at this point. The driver could still have been lying to us, but although he was big, he was a fat big. As long as the driver didn’t have a gun, a knife and a bunch of backup thugs, Steve might be able to protect me. We really didn’t have that much cash on us, to steal, as we had left our tip envelope with all our guide money back home. We also could have dropped the envelope someplace in the airport or Buenos Aires, while we were shuffling papers in our trip folder. We will have a big laugh if we find the envelope at home. We had been able to put the tips on our bill at Tipiliuke. Everyone prefers dollars instead of pesos because of inflation,

Finally we saw a sign for Las Balsas! We drove a little further, and there it was!

This is a picture from the hotel web site. You can tell by now, which photos are mine, and which are the photos from the professionals! The lighting and angles are so much better!

We exited the taxi, laughed with our driver, gave him a big tip, and entered the hotel where the restaurant was. Here is a relieved Steve outside the restaurant! We were deliriously happy. Here is Steve inside the restaurant. You can tell who is taking all the pictures. It’s not that I don’t like to have my picture taken, it’s just that I like to take many pictures. Do you know that I have 19.890 pictures on my iPhone? I need to do some serious editing!The restaurant had a lovely view of Nahuel Huapi Lake. The waitress delivered some delicious breads. We were served oil and also beet butter. Dinner was going to be a three course prix fixe menu. Steve wasn’t that thrilled with the menu. For once, I didn’t check out the menu on the internet.

I ordered still water with ice. I don’t think I have ever seen ice so cold looking in my life!We were given an amuse bouche. It was very tasty. I think it was a broccoli puff with cream.Steve ordered the grilled prawns, mushroom, pumpkin and lemon creamy purée, chives and almond pesto. Lisa A, make sure your son the chef looks at today’s blog post!I had the Cold Tomato soup, marinated goat cheese, basil, black olives, confit tomatoes, cured ham and toasted bread. The tomato was ladled into the bowl. I love it when the waitress does that, it is always such a pretty picture!I had the Patagonian trout, avocado and orange salad, cherry tomatoes, peach emulsion, almond, chives and caper vinaigrette. It was a little too rare for me. Steve’s entree was the skirt steak, sweet potato textures, criollo sauce with roasted peanut and sautéed mushroom. Steve’s dinner was the better of the two. This little dish was on the table, I didn’t realize that it was a salt dish!We had a mango sorbet palate cleanser. I loved it, but Steve hates fruit. My dessert was the passion fruit curd, dacqoise and coconut sorbet. Steve of course, tried none of this!Steve had the dark chocolate and carob cake, stone fruits, and Lunta Malbec wine ice cream. I helped Steve with his dessert also! Here is Steve waiting for the check to arrive. The restaurant was really empty! It doesn’t get happening in Argentina until much later!We wandered around a little bit waiting for our taxi back to the hotel to arrive. You might be wondering how I could remember so well what we ate. Well, I took a picture of the menu!

Back to the hotel, and we were off to bed.I thought this was pretty neat, so I thought I would show it to you. This was the view of the ceiling from my side of the bed.

We go for a boat ride tomorrow!

Thursday March 1, 2018 Luma Casa De Montana, Villa La Angostura

This is the view of where we are staying ( from Nahuel Huapi Lake. Luma is a beautiful Italianate Villa. The story I told you previously about Queen Maxima I think is all bunk. I tried to do some research and found no family connections. So either the story is untrue or the facts are well hidden. We finished lunch and decided it was time to explore the hotel. This is the view from the patio. I could leave you just staring at the picture, but I am sure you want to see more. If not, well just stare at that beautiful picture until you are ready to explore with me. We looked over the railing to see the gorgeous pool below. Looks nice doesn’t it? Here is Steve helpfully pointing out where are room is! He is such a good sport!Off to the side was also the other part of the hotel. These rooms had true balconies and patios, instead of the Juliet Balconies, that we had. I think those rooms had a different price point than ours! Look, many chaise lounges! That seems promising for a layabout. We descend below and I drop my stuff to reserve my chaise lounge and explore.Once more, the beautiful view!This pool has a door so you can go outside, or stay inside! There were Jacuzzi bubbles in the circular area. This pool deserves a closer inspection doesn’t it?Okay, that’s close enough with out going in!

There was a path leading down toward the lake. I looked at it and told Steve “Have Fun!”

When Steve came back up he told me that I definitely wouldn’t have enjoyed the walk to the lake below. He did throw the obligatory stone into the Lake. Isn’t that something guys have to do? Kind of like male dogs peeing on every hydrant that they go by on their walkies?We headed back in to explore the spa area. There was a sauna, and some bathrooms. Steve sure looks like he is in a hurry isn’t he? There was a chair under a fabric canopy. I am not sure what goes on there. I think that this was a price list for spa treatments. Who can interpret it for me? There are 20 Argentinian pesos to the dollar. There was an interesting sculpture on the wall. I behaved. Steve did not have to tell me not to touch it, nor to stare at it longer than oh, ten seconds. We ascended the stairs from the spa to the main floor. Pay attention to these stairs, I will have an unexcellent adventure on them in the future! Steve had a beer on the balcony and then we went back to our room to change for dinner.

More later!

Don’t forget to like and post comments!