Friday March 2, 2018, Tapas on Nahuel Huapi Lake

After our hike in Nahuel Huapi Lake, and Steve’s first trolling session was over Nico dropped the anchor and the portable table was brought out so we could enjoy our tapas and wines. Paulo covered the table with a fun red and white checked picnic cloth and brought out the silverware and glasses. No plastic cups and paper plates today! This was going to be special! First tapas was a gazpacho shooter with a little olive oil, paired a roasted pepper topped with micro greens and a little bit of toasted bread. This was paired with a lovely sauvignon blanc. Next up was some smoked salmon, with micro greens, itty bitty flower heads, sliced onions, lemon juice, raspberries, mini scoops of avocado and soy sauce with sesame sides to dip the salmon. The salty with the sweet was so good! I was watching Paulo do all the prep work, he took such care in placing everything just so, no slap dash with his actions!

Next was a ramekin filled with toasted bread, sautéed mushrooms, a poached egg, blueberries, and then cheese melted with a mini torch. I joked to Paulo that I didn’t think open flames were allowed on a boat!

A nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon was brought out at some time and we drank the red wine also.

Dessert was slightly charred pineapple, blueberries, raspberries and some slightly sweetened with cream. We enjoyed this with a really nice port. Yes, a lot of drinking went on that afternoon!

Final course was cheese drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

We were both feeling totally relaxed and happy.

We lifted anchor, the fishing rod was brought back out for Steve to troll a bit more as we cruised back to port.

This is the little area where Paulo performed his magic! I am sure he did lots of prep work back home too!

I put my feet up, relaxed and learned about what was next in store on Linda’s Excellent Adventures!

On the way back we saw a kayakers, and people canoeing. They waved and looked like they were having fun, but I know they wished they were relaxing on the boat like we were!

All too soon we were back at the pier, our cruise on Nahuel Huapi Lake was over. This is me with Paulo, and Nico! Paulo had his supplies all piled up to bring back to his house!Steve looked just as happy, but Paulo looked just a little bit happier hugging me!

Our taxi arrived and brought us back to the hotel.

Ciao! Ciao!

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!

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Thursday March 1, 2018. Villa La Angostura

Villa La Angostura means narrowness in Spanish. The village is located on the shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake. Villa La Angostura is very near the border of Argentina and Chile. Our hotel is located just above the village. If you were to fly a drone, and take a picture you would have this. Our room is in the building on the left on the third floor. Come let’s explore! We turn off the main road, and descend a steep driveway. Senor Driver pushes the call button and we are greeted by the lovely Elizabeth.

Now I must make a correction to yesterday’s post. I had mentioned that Steve was “my main squeeze”. He is in fact my ONLY SQUEEZE! There, now he will stop worrying about any “side squeezes” that you my dear reader might think that I have. I repeat, he is the only man for me! We are loaded into a green buggy and descend to the hotel. It’s a very steep drive, no cars should not attempt the descent! I don’t have a picture of the front of the hotel as the grounds are filled with trees. Let’s go on in instead of lingering out front shall we?

Here is Steve filling out the registration forms. This picture is actually from Saturday morning and he is actually checking out, but we can pretend can’t we? On the main floor there is a beautiful pool table. An English guest mentioned to Steve that he was afraid to play on the table in case he ripped up the felt. Steve had no such worries. The floors were an interesting terrazzo. There were many decorative urns of flowers.

The walls were gaily decorated. This is the view of the living room, looking toward the guest reception. The pool table is off the the right in the rear. The view of the lake is behind me. With the lake to my left we see the bar to my right and the breakfast area straight ahead. The restaurant was closed for dinner. It had great reviews, it would have been nice to stay in one place for dinner. More on that later! It would be quite the adventure!More of the dining room. There were lots of family pictures in the background. I thought that this might have been a family home turned into a hotel. We later found out that the home might be owned by the family of Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. She is from Argentina. I’m not sure about that story, but it is too delicious not to retell!

Steve peeked outside to check out the view from the terrace. It was spectacular!

Enough about the view. There are four suites on our floor. If Steve can get the door unlocked we can enter. He did it! Let’s go see the room!Our room was called Violeta. We had a massive King size bed, Italian sheets, that were so comfy. A big ass duvet that we tossed to the floor. There was an interesting canopy above our bed. I bet that it took hours to get hung just right. I must have taken this picture before the luggage arrived. The room is still immaculate!There was a television that I don’t think we ever turned on. Here is another view of the room. They left us his and her’s bathrobes with matching slippers. We had gigantic windows that had Juliet balconies. We would leave the window open all night to hear the waves lap at the shore. We were lucky not to have any birds fly in our windows!This was the view out of our window! It really was superb! You can see the Andes in the background!We had a big claw foot tub that I stubbed my toes on. There was a separate shower stall, twin sinks a toilet and a bidet. The South Americans seem big on bidets. Steve mentioned that he even saw one in a men’s room!

Steve was starving so we decided to have lunch. Right now Steve is perusing our documents to find out what is going to happen tomorrow.

We started with some plain rolls and olive rolls with some kind of spread.

I had the quiche with a light salad for my lunch.

Steve had a cheese hamburger with chips.

Yes, a cheese and ham burger!

We thought that was the funniest thing!

More explorations of the hotel and dinner in my next posting.

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