Fishing in Argentina February/March 2018

This is Steve’s narrative of our trip to Argentina. You can tell he writes to a different audience than I do. I will add pictures to the post.

Our next trip was to Argentina where I fished the Chimehuin out of Tipiliuke Lodge near San Martin de los Andes on Feb 26, 27, 28 and then after a stay in Villa Angostura, the Traful and Limay out of Estancia Arroyo Verde near Bariloche, March 3-7.

Tipiliuke (tipiliuke.com) is a beautiful old lodge in a very large estancia, with the Lanin volcano, over 11,000 feet and snow capped, visible in the distance.

There are 2 rivers, plus a constructed spring creek, but I fished the main draw, the Chimehuin, all 3 days. My guide was Adrain, a very experienced and knowledgeable guide and fisherman, who is captain of the Argentine national team. The Chimehuin is a good sized river with deep pools, fast runs,and broad riffles, crossable at this low water season. The water temperature was 60-62 and the river was very clear. It is populated with wild rainbows and browns, with some huge browns taken, especially in April. the weather was beautiful every day-cool mornings that warmed to around 60 by the time we hit the water around 10 am, and peaking around 75-80 in late afternoon. It was breezy, but nothing like Chile. The fishing day was 10 am until around 2 pm, then a great lunch back at the lodge and a siesta, followed by an evening session from around 6 pm until dark, which was close to 9 pm even this late in the season. Dinner was at 10 pm. On February 26 I fished the El Cardinal beat and caught 12 rainbows and 2 browns in the first session, with the best a 17 ” rainbow . Most came on Adrian’s fullinguista nymph, a spartan Spanish perigon nymph of thread and UV cement with a copper bead. For the pm session, I fished the Whitestone beat and caught 13 rainbows and 3 browns, none over 13″. Fishing was fast and furious during the last half hour of daylight swinging a yellow mayfly nymph in a fast riffle.

On February 27, I fished the Anquendo beat for the am session and caught 14 rainbows and 1 brown. I caught 2 on the PMX, one on a fly I tied, and most of the rest on another Euro nymph, the blue and orange. (Linda’s comment is “the blue and orange, not to be confused with the orange and blue”) Three fish were 16-17.75″ and three others were 13-14″. For the pm, I fished Andres’ pool and Cormorant Island, and caught 9 rainbows and 2 browns. One rainbow was 18″. Again the yellow mayfly nymph was hot, but I also caught 3 on the dun, a size 8. The hatch lasts only 20 minutes but it’s great fun.

On February 28 I fished the same beat as the prior pm, just a lower section. I caught 18 rainbows and 2 browns in the am session, most on another Euro nymph called the Superman because of its red and blue colors. I also caught 5 on small dries. Again, my largest was an 18′ rainbow. For the evening I convinced Linda to go out for the yellow fly hatch. She caught 3 swinging the nymph in fast waster, one a hard fighting 16 incher, and she was briefly attached to a really big fish. This time we have both photo and video evidence, thanks to Adrian. Adrian had me use his Euro nymphing outfit, a 10 foot, 3 weight rod with a tiny reel spooled with monofilament. I quickly caught 8, none large, in a nice run, then one more on the yellow fly nymph,giving me 30 for the day and 86 for the 3 days on the Chimehuin. I loved both the river and Tipiliuke Lodge, and would like to return some day. Adrian was a superb guide, both enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

Starting on the evening of March 3, I fished the Traful on the property of Estancia Arroyo Verde. estanciaarroyoverde.com.ar. Both the river and lodge are justly famous for their beauty and ambiance.

Fernando Gonzalez was my guide for the entire stay. Like Adrian, he is very experienced and knowledgeable. On this first evening, I caught 2 7 inchers on a PMX. The next morning, March 4, was cool and windy and we fished the upper 2 pools where landlocked salmon are often found. We sighted 5, which I cast to hundreds of times, with no action. In the pm session, I fished some gorgeous water downstream and caught only 3 small fish on the PMX. The water was slow and extremely clear, and a bit too warm, which could explain the lack of good fish showing . I asked Fernando what he thought and he said, “I have many excuses. I just don’t know which one is right”. But I knew going in that the Traful is moody and difficult, with few fish but also some really big ones. March 5 started well. It was a beautiful sunny toning, cool and calm. I caught a 19″ brown on my first cast at the head of a small side channel on a PMX and caught 6 small rainbows on dries. We also saw 3 very nice browns in a willow lined side channel, and marked their lies for the evening session. In the evening I caught only 1 15″ brown on a Fat Albert . The others we saw in the morning did not show.

On March 6 I floated the Limay from 12 Miles upstream of the reservoir down to its entrance. The Limay is big water, even this late in the season. Wading is not really an option. It has a mixture of small to medium sized rainbows and browns that can exceed 10 pounds. The rainbows take insect imitations but the browns eat meat, especially a crab called a Pancora, which is very common. It is 1-2 inches long and very dark. We used a PMX or chubby Chernobyl on a 6 weight and pancora imitations on a 7 weight with a fast sinking tip. The fish were widely scattered, with the best fishing in the shallowest, fastest water. Deep runs and pools simply did not produce, although they do at times produce big browns. I caught 5 browns and 7 rainbows for the day. The rainbows were 10-15″, and only one came to a dry, although I missed 2 nice browns on the PMX. All of the other fish took the pancora or an articulated leech. One of these was a very thick brown, over 21″ that Fernando guesstimated at 2.5 kg, or about 5.5 pounds. But the star of the day was a very fat 18 inch brown that was as beautiful as any I’ve caught. All of the fish that took the pancora or leech crushed it. On March 7, we again tried for salmon in the 2 uppermost pools below the lake outlet. The first had no fish visible, but 3 were sitting on a shallow gravel bar in the second pool. After many casts, I was able to hook and land a very nice 24 incher on an ugly bug nymph. I was very disappointed with the fight, mostly head shaking and a few short runs. Later, I caught a small brown and a small rainbow, giving me the grand slam for the Traful. In the evening, we again went hunting for big browns, but I caught only 4 smallish rainbows on the PMX. However, that evening another guest, Dennis Hall of Calgary, who has fished the Traful for years, caught an incredible 29.5″ brown on a big streamer, besting the 28″ brown he’d caught a few years back. The prior evening, in response to my commenting that the fishing was slow, Dennis remarked “Yes, but always remember that on this river your next cast can produce the fish of a lifetime”. This is why I want to return to the Traful. Fernando emphasized that April is best, when the water cools and the browns begin their spawning run, both from the lake above and reservoir below. Likewise the Limay gives up its best fish then.

Overall, I caught 32 during my 4.5 days of fishing at Arroyo Verde, and 118 for the trip.

I hope that you enjoyed Steve’s trip report and my inserted pictures!

Friday March 9, 2018 Buenos Aires and we go home!

$#%@! It’s already July and I haven’t finished our Argentina Trip. If you didn’t know that I had made it home you are probably wondering if I did run off with a sexy single polo playing Argentinian wealthy hunka hunk of love. Ha ha, just kidding, I enjoy my life with my husband very much thank you!

After our wonderful trip to the Tango show the night before we got up a bit late. We had originally planned to go on a tour of the Opera House (where Marcel and his lovely wife had their first date!) and then go see the Jewish Museum in Buenos Aires. I had even troubled the front desk at our hotel Hub Porteno, the night before to help me order and print the tickets! Even if you have a tour lined up, if you don’t have your own driver and private guide, you are likely to say “Screw it, I just want a lazy last day”.

At breakfast, I had the waffle again, with the Dulce de Leche on the side. That stuff if so sweet, the dentists in Argentina must make tons of money filling cavities! Steve had something with some strange sausage. That sausage looks like short Lincoln Logs! I am dating myself by calling them Lincoln Logs, but you already know that I am 62! If you don’t, well, now you do! We had fun at the restaurant admiring the green ferns growing from the wall hanging. This is the picture of the famous tree in our restaurant. This view was from our suite looking down toward the restaurant. We decided that Plan B would be to go window shopping at the Hermès store and then go to the mall and look for Boca Jr. Soccer jerseys for our dear daughter Sally and her boyfriend Collin. Before we left for our trip to Argentina I had fallen into a forum about high end purses. PurseBlog.com There are all sorts of pretty pictures of high end purses and also jewelry. You remember that I met my new friend S in the Maldives; she had a Birkin Hermès bag, and let me fondle it on our way to the airport. So when we were in Buenos Aires, I figured we would go to the store and have a look see. Here I am proudly holding the bag! S was on a waiting list for her bag for over there years! After her wait, she probably had the privilege of paying over $12,000 for the bag also! We said goodbye to our Hotel, the Hub Porteno, and wandered off.

We passed by the Park Hyatt. This was a former palacio of a rich merchant.We took a peek inside the Hyatt, wouldn’t you? There are some gorgeous flowers available for sale in the Park Hyatt! Wouldn’t you just love to have one of these arrangements in your room?

We found the Hermès store. It had been on another block but moved without telling me. We went inside and looked around. No Birken bags could be found! Phew, saved Steve a shitload of money! The day had gotten quite warm, and we passed by a group of tourists enjoying their walk in the Recoleta district. Steve and I would have loved knowing more about the history of some of the gorgeous old buildings, but we both hate wandering around in the sun. We kept to the shade, and didn’t try to join the tour group. Steve and I found an upscale mall. We were hoping to find soccer jerseys for Sally and her boyfriend Collin. We found the jerseys and then went to lunch. Here is Steve perusing the menu. There were lots of people in the mall. Many ladies were having lunch and enjoying a glass of champagne. A great bread basket always deserves a picture! I asked for a glass of ice to go with my Coke. Steve used to say that my favorite food was ice and my favorite drink was water. That was 35 pounds ago!It’s been 3 months so i have no idea what this was or who had it!This has shrimp on in so it must have been mine. Steve doesn’t eat much shrimp. His must have been a pasta dish. This is a view of the restaurant from the level above. We went back to the hotel where we hung out at the garden patio for a few hours, and then when it got too hot went back to the lobby of the hotel. Finally it was time for our driver to pick us up and bring us to the airport.

There was lots of traffic and our driver was constantly checking his phone for short cuts to the airport. We ended up going through some squirrely neighborhoods. We finally made it to the airport! There were all sorts of cute penguins you could buy at the airport gift shop. Birkin or penguin or neither. If you guessed neither you were correct!Here is our plane ready to take us back to the good old USA and grumpy Steve thinking “Enough with the pictures!”Steve and I sat behind each other. Here he is unpacking his stuff. Although what is my bag doing on his seat? Hmm, what could be in the box? Could it be a trinket or jewelry bauble Steve bought me without me knowing? Of course not! It’s United chocolates given to all Business Class flyers! I don’t like white chocolate (which isn’t really chocolate at all). The dark chocolate was filled with gooey caramel. First map shows the placement of Buenos Aries. It’s going to be a long flight! Good bye Buenos Aries! Hello warm nuts! I think American Airlines serves the best warm mixed nuts! First course was salad. Then melon with prosciutto. Then some kind of chicken. It looks particularly unappetizing. I had ice cream for dessert. An Ambien and several hours of sleep and it’s 4:56 a.m. and time for breakfast! Almost there! Hello New Jersey! We landed and it was off to Immigration and Customs. We have our Global Entry card so all that was a breeze. Unfortunately it was a work day morning and our drive home took us over three and a half hours. It should normally take only 2 1/2 hours from the airport to our house. Remind me not to land in JFK on a work day!

Well the Argentinian vacation is over, I hope you enjoyed tagging along with me.

Thursday March 8, 2018 Off to Buenos Aries, Argentina

I left you yesterday with a trip to Buenos Aries from the airport in Bariloche.

It was quite confusing for us, as the gate was constantly changing. Not only that, but I had lots of people watching going on. From gentleman with serious mustaches, to the man in the denim joggings, there was lots to observe. And, considering that I could probably enjoy watching paint dry, that is not saying much.

We flew Business Class again. This was something that our travel agent advised us might not work out okay. Aerolineas Argentinas is notorious for changing planes and also cancelling flights. Then we would have the problem of possibly not getting a seat in business on the next flight arranged. We were lucky and all flights on our trip worked out smoothly. One again we had the Business class lunch, a ham and cheese sandwich and a very dry Dulce de leche cookie plus some peanuts. We washed it down with warm Coca Cola. Soon we were back to Buenos Aries and the domestic airport. We were picked up by our driver and taken to the hotel we stayed at when we first arrived in Buenos Aries, the Hub Porteno. It is in the Recoleta district, a very upscale part of town. Would you like to see our room? Of course you would! It was the same size room as the room the last time, the linens were a bit different. I was smart this time, and did not leave my sunglasses on the floor when I was unpacking them, and then thinking that I lost them in the car.

Steve and I were going to have a free day on Friday before our evening flight home. I got help from the front desk in making reservations to tour the Opera House. This is where Marcus and his wife had an arranged first date. I told him that it was just like in one of my romance novels! Then we were going to go see the Synagogue.

But first we had dinner reservation at RojoTango.com. I need to get ready for my evening with my handsome husband. Here I am all dolled up, ready for a night on the town, but hoping to be back in the room before midnight. I think the dress showed just the right amount of cleavage and the right amount of leg. I was studying a lot of instagram pictures and was trying to get my arm on hip and feet pointing forward to achieve maximum slimness. Plus, I was trying to keep my eyes open, as usually I am laughing too much, and my eyes squint up. And you thought my beauty was effortless. Ha Ha! This gives you just a hint of the evening ahead of us! Red lights, and madness! Just kidding, it was a just a dinner show! This was a still shot from the website. There are a lot of pointed toes in the tango. Our seats were way up close, the dancers were practically on my toes! Here we are, Steve looks sharp, i look a little shell shocked1. We started off with a glass of champagne, and then a different glass of wine with each course, of course! This was our first course. Shrimp and potato salad with pickled cucumber. A very interesting and tasty choice. Steve had the salmon and goat cheese. I had the beef tenderloin. Steve had the bittersweet chocolate marquise.

Of course I had the cream of passion fruit mousse with almond crumble.

During one of the intermissions I went to the ladies room. Care to take a peak? It was hard to find! These were the doors. I needed help to figure out how to open them! Once inside there was lots of marble and metal! Here I am! This was the door of the stall. Marble, mirrors and silver. I think I won’t copy this style for the new bathroom in our house in Lake George! The room was very red, and dimly lit. What did you expect? The tango show was in a hotel. The hotel boutique had lots of outfits, you might want to buy in case you had your luggage stolen, or just didn’t have the right outfit to wear. We just had friends with us this past weekend in Lake George. It also just happened to be Americade, a big motorcycle rally. I think that my friend M would have looked smashing in one of these jackets!

Yesterday I forgot to ask questions. Today I won’t.

Do you ride a motorcycle?

Have you ever been to a tango show? I know LA, one of my followers has. In fact her hubby MA, even took picture of Carlos, one of the performers. We were expressly told not to take pictures, although some of the other guests at the show did. I BEHAVED!

Do you hate your cookies dry as dust?

Here is one of the performers in the show. Carlos Copello. https://youtu.be/YqIjM8ZkJNc

He was phenomenal, a little bit too old for me, but man did he have moves! I think the Tango is the sexiest dance that there is, how about you?

Thursday March 8, 2018 Good Bye -Arroyo Verde!

Another day and another breakfast, but no picture for you!I forgot to show you this wooden bird carving of a KingFisher. It was in the sun room.

Steve said Good Bye to his guide Fernando.

Tight lines to you Fernando! Steve told me a very funny story that Fernando told him. He was fishing with the famous singer of Margaritaville fame. The gentleman had a big fish on, and then lost it. He was bitching and swearing. Francisco told him “be quiet and cast now!” Well, he did, and caught and landed an even bigger fish! The moral of the story is to shut up, stop sulking and get your line in the water!

Here I am with all my Argentinian friends. On the left is Marcel P, next is his Father Marcus, Moi, Tomas son of English, and then English. I just googled the P family and they are good friends of the father of Maxima, the Queen of the Netherlands! Now if only the internet was fast when I was in Argentina! This turned out to be quite the royal connection vacation after all!

The family was going out on an all day ride and then picnic. The ladies had the most beautiful riding pants. They had roses embroidered along the side. Here I am with Katrina. I think that this is as close to a Tiara as I will ever get! Katrina has a double last name also. I think that means that she has a serious family background! She was telling us at dinner about one of her friend’s houses that she stayed at back in the day. There was a Renoir on this wall, a Van Dyck on that wall, a Ruebens here, you know the type of house I am talking about don’t you? Or rather, castle! Steve and I took another walk before our car service was going to pick us up. We headed toward the pond. Here it is! Have a Labrador with you on a hike, and there will be a swim in the pond!I could get big money with this picture, couldn’t I?I think the other picture is nicer, don’t you?We headed back to the Estancia over the grates. Horses and cattle don’t like going over the grates, that’s why there are the grates. We went to settle up our bill. Here is Steve with a condor feather! They are huge! One last peek in our room, to make sure that we have everything. It is amazing that I never walked into that pole on the way to the bathroom at night! Speaking of forgetting stuff, we ended up having to bring back the ipad of one of our new friends from the South back to the States, so we could mail it to him. I was petrified that at security they were going to make me turn it on. It was an iPad and thankfully the bad guys don’t make iPad bombs yet. Here I am saying goodbye to Marina, one of the daughters of Meme, the original owner. Good bye Marina! I hope we come back again! I hope you don’t sell the Estancia! Steve says that they probably have investment bankers come by every week to make an offer. The fishing when it is right is tremendous! This is a picture of the type of fish that is possible in April. That is a beautiful fish!

Here we are at the gate. Good bye Arryo Verde! Did you know that Jeff Bezos was going to come here? His security staff didn’t think that it was safe enough for him, so he didn’t come. This is the river that Steve took the drift boat along. I didn’t go. It would have been pretty, but trapped in a boat for seven hours is not my cup of tea, or glass of pisco! We stopped near Barliloche for a picture. Isn’t that view gorgeous? Look at my mouth! It looks like I need a cap installed ASAP! Plus, I must weigh an extra 100 pounds in my gut! That’s what that Patagonian wind will do for you!Here is a little video for you of our view towards Bariloche and the mountains! Everytime I see a bunch of luggage lined up, I am so happy that we are on a private trip. We never have to wait for anyone else. We can go and do whatever we want to do. I don’t know what this billboard says, but it has my name on it, so it must be good! This man was sitting across from me in the airport. I think that he spends a lot of time on his looks. The hair was disheveled just so, but the mustache was on point! This guy had the point shoe and tight jean leggings. Aren’t you thankful I didn’t do a frontal view? Good bye Bariloche! Next stop Buenos Aries!

Wednesday March 7, 2018 Last full day at Arroyo Verde, Argentina

We are now getting near the end of our fantastic visit to Argentina. Steve has been able to extend his streak, having caught fish in February and March. After I complete my blog posts, I will add Steve’s trip report, detailing his thoughts and fish numbers. Be prepared to be numbed. ha ha.

I actually had something different, two eggs scrambled with bacon! I don’t have a picture of Steve’s breakfast, he either had scrambled eggs also or an omelette. Here we see the trucks all lined up ready to drive the fishermen far and wide. Steve did a little bit of stretching of his back, and then he was ready to go with his guide Fernando. You can tell how cool it is outside as Steve is still wearing his Pattagucci Nano Puff.

I took a walk while Steve was fishing. I took the fork in the road that headed to the cabana. I wasn’t someplace I was really going to walk to as it is a five minute drive away. I won’t walk that far on a stroll. If I did, this is where I would have ended up.This is a view of the Cabana overlooking Traful Lake. We could have stayed there, but it was a little bit too isolated for my taste. Meals would be taken in the main Estancia and we would have been shuttled back and forth. As it is, I am usually left by myself all day and this just would have been too much isolation for me. I prefer to be able to be where all the action is. So instead I had a lovely walk along the dirt road.
If I rode, the top of that hill would have been an excellent trip! I am sure that the views were amazing! Here is a lovely panoramic of the valley. It was so beautiful and tranquil! Soon it was time to have lunch. We started with prosciutto with melon. Always a favorite of mine!Every meal had the main course served buffet style. I think the Senora though I was a bit crazy with all my pictures! Wiener schnitzel, red cabbage and French fries. Katrina, the manager hated the job of menu selection. I can see getting sick of that part of the job. A lovely salad on the side, and I got my healthy requirements under my belt for the day!We had a fruit salad for dessert. I know you are thinking where is the cake and cookies? Not at today’s lunch!

I took another walk later after Steve had gone fishing. This is a closer view of the statue by the pond. It is by Henri Bouchard. He was a French sculptor, born in 1875 and died in 1960. The owners of the Estancia had four girls, I am sure that the statue had such special meanings to the family.This is a view of the Estancia from the pond that I had wandered to. The patio on the right is where I met Mr. and Mrs. Smith for the first time. We had a good laugh when I told them about my suppositions about their being famous! The middle area is the sun room. I sat here often on the white couches typing my blog up, waiting for the wifi to load all my pictures. On the left under the big tree is where we sat for the Asado. Behind the two white chairs is the dining room where we had our meals. Sprinklers were always going to water the lawns. I walked down to the stream again. You can see here how wide the stream bank gets during the spring. It was very late summer, the stream was warm and quite low. You can see all the brush that got carried along the stream, hurled in one place, and stopped by the rocks. Here is a better closeup. This is as far as I got before I turned around. My walks weren’t long, only about 20 minutes. I had lots of blogging to do! You can play this at night when you can’t sleep. On the way back to the Estancia there is this little grove, with a shrine to The Blessed Virgin Mary. I am not sure if I showed you what the set up for tea was like. Every afternoon there was hot water, tea bags and usually something sweet to eat. As if i needed to eat some more!It was our last dinner, and we had two tables set up for dinner. That is Mr. Smith standing by the door. Here we have the view looking toward the fireplace. Every night we had a different napkin arrangement. I sat at the seat at the upper left. Mr. Smith sat to my right. He was busy talking to Steve who sat across from him. English sat to my left, but he was busy talking Spanish to Marina Larivière one of the four daughters of the original owners. I was a little bit grumpy that last night. This was the salad that we started with. Looks like dinner was out of focus chicken and rice. Always a favorite! Marina and Katrina must have noticed that I was grumpy and gave me the button to clear the table and bring out the dessert. Remember how I told you how hard it is to be the host or hostess? You have to constantly sweep you eye over the table, and keep note of who is talking and who is not. You need to gently move the conversation along if you determine that there is a table hog monopolizing the conversation. This needs to be done in a subtle manner, you don’t want to insult the guest so that they don’t come back. This was our last dessert. It looks chocolatey and creamy!

The wife and daughter of one of the Argentinians did come in the afternoon. I was hoping to be BFF (Best Friends Forever) with her, but she was extremely shy. I think I would have needed more than one night to be best buds with her. Oh, well!

Do you drive a truck?

Do you own any pieces of sculpture?

Do you like to push buttons?

Tuesday March 6, 2018 Arroyo Verde, Argentina

As I have caught up on all my more recent adventures it is time that I finish up on our trip to Argentina. As you recall Steve and I traveled to Argentina in February and March. His goal continues to be to catch a fish each month until he drops dead or can’t jerk anymore fish lips; whichever comes first. Steve is off fishing every day and I am reading and blogging. You need to recall that due to my being on blood thinners due to a clot in February 2017 I didn’t do any horseback riding at Arroyo Verde as the nearest hospital is over two hours away. If I were to fall and hurt myself, well it might be “Goodbye-Linda” and my loyal fans would not like that. Or at least I hope they would not like that! For the superstitious I have just knocked wood and spat three times. I started my day with my normal breakfast of scrambled eggs with two slices of bacon. Steve opted with his usual mushroom omelette.

We said good bye at breakfast to my friends from South in the United States. They were a lot of fun, and the guys caught some great fish. The Crazy Male Argentinians contingent was still going to be here for a few days, and a wife and daughter would be coming Wednesday. I was looking forward to meeting them.

I was also excited as new guests were arriving late in the day. A Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Hmm. Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Now even I can recognize a fake name. Who might our new guests be? Hollywood royalty like Brad Pitt and a girlfriend? You will have to wait until dinner time for the answer to that question!

There was a lot of talk at meal time about a beautiful fishing spot near Kilometer 9. The road from the gate to the estancia was ten kilometers, so this marker was only about a kilo from where we were staying.

Here is my guide, of course I have forgotten his name. He is from France, and had a delicious accent. You can see here how big the rocks were that we had to scramble over. In the spring time the water levels really rise, you can see some of the sticks and brush that have accumulated up the banks of the river.It was very interesting to see the erosion of the rocks due to water over thousands of years.

Ready for a little Zen? This is what Steve sees and hears when he is out fishing. I don’t see any fish do you? The water was quite warm, a little too warm for the fish to be happy. Many of them were in the lake as it was late summer, equivalent to just before Labor Day. We were told that the time to come for the big fish was April. Next time!

We had spied Dennis, one of the other guests, and his guide on the way to look at the stream. They had started to pack up and look for another spot to fish at, as the fish were not biting here. Dennis loved looking the part of an Argentine angler with his cap. The cap has a special name, I don’t think it is just called a beret! This is a close up of the fly box the guide had. And Steve will tell us what the flies are when he edits this post for me. Jump in here Steve! editors note: clockwise from upper left : Zonker, Foam Beetle, Fat Albert, Prince nymph, Parachute Adams, Argentine mystery fly.I had enough traipsing over the rocks by now, and I suggested we head back to the Estancia. Soon it was time to have lunch and look at another pretty place setting. Looks like ham rolled around some kind of spread, with fresh tomatoes. Katrina had to go into town to get her Toyota truck an oil change and service. I was granted the honor to push the button to notify the wait staff that we were ready for the next course! You can only imagine how thrilled I was to push the button. I am being serious here. Those that know me, know that I am thrilled by the simplest things in life. I may like to go to exotic places and meet interesting people, but give me a chance to be the hostess and push a button -Whoa!

I think in my next life I am going to come back as a hostess of a lodge. I love meeting people and entertaining. Unfortunately it’s not all fun and games. You rarely have time off, and sometimes there are difficult guests that need to be entertained or subtlety told to shut up. And sometimes their checks bounce.Here is a picture of our lunch. I can identify the salad, carrots, a grilled onion, and what appears to be a piece of mystery meat.

As a reminder, at Arroyo Verde we had breakfast at about 8:30, and then the anglers would go out for the first fishing session. They would return and then we would have a full lunch at 2:30, followed by a siesta. Around 5:00 the anglers would go out again, and then return at 9 or so. Each evening we had a full dinner at candlelight, with fine china and linens. Those guests who did not fish could hike, ride, read or nap. I did a lot of blogging and reading, with some walking. This was a great place to sit and blog and read. After Steve went fishing in the late afternoon the dogs joined me on a walk. They were very protective of me.We went over a stream and guess what happened? Yes, The Labrador’s ditched me to go for a swim! Soon it was time for me to return to our suite. This is where all the trucks are parked when the guides are back from fishing. No one is back but me! Soon it was evening and time for some canapés. These little hot dogs were difficult to skewer! These guys were much easier to pick up and eat!Soon it was time to sit down for another elegant meal. By this time Katrina had returned and I lost my spot taking care of the buzzer! Here is a closeup of the first plate, it shows flies used to catch the fish here.

This is the dinner plate. They were all hand painted and were from 1953!

Dinner is served! Looks like we had potatoes, salad, tomatoes and salmon. We needed a scrumptious dessert, and here it is! Cheesecake with strawberries!

Now to tell you about Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I was waiting all day to find out if they were someone truly worthy of their own LindaExcellentAdventure post. Well, they ended up with a paragraph. Our mystery guests arrived after I returned from my afternoon walk.

Mr. And Mrs. Smith, were actually the Smiths. They were not famous, just regular people. He had recently retired form the government and they had homes in South Carolina and in Washington State where their adult daughter lived. Mrs. Smith was an executive recruiter. Of course I googled her, and she had about ten jobs in the last seven years. I think people found her difficult to work with. The Smith’s did not like Donald Trump, and alternated between making the sign of the cross, shaking their heads and spitting if the President’s name was mentioned. Not really, they just pouted.

Their financial advisor told them they didn’t have to work anymore and could retire and travel. Sounds like they had listened to Dean Witter years ago! He was an angler, she was not. She was going to go out with a bird guide the next day. Steve thought they were nice, I did not like them at all. She was a bit snooty for me.

They loved South America and were looking forward to renting an apartment in Buenos Aires next spring for six weeks. They felt that you needed that long to truly see the city. That sounded like a lot of walking and museum touring for me. Not exactly my cup of tea. I prefer a little of this and a lot of people watching. The Smith’s were planning on inviting their friends to stay with them in Argentina for a week or two next year.

At this point I started laughing to myself. Remember my post about Tipiliuke and the house by the river? I was entranced by that house along the Chimehuin that was for sale. I was also envisioning buying it and inviting our friends down to stay for a week next year. Then I came to my senses, as Steve and I have problems getting our friends to visit us in Lake George. How in the world are we going to get them to take a 10 hour plus flight from NYC to BA, plus another flight to Tipiluike? No way that was going to happen. Well, I wish Mr. and Mrs. Smith good luck on their adventure next year. Perhaps, they may have friends visit them after all.

Do you like cheesecake?

Are you retired?

Are you snooty?

April 21, 2018 Goodbye Philadelphia Hello Antietam

Our son lives in Charlottesville Virginia, so we don’t get a chance to visit him often as it is a seven hour drive to see him. Not that we don’t like to travel, but it’s a long trip for a short visit. As he is 28, he has to work for a living. Who wants to take off vacation time to visit the ‘rents? That’s short for parents.

So, whenever we go to the Sherlock Holmes Dinner in Philadelphia we either try to drive on to Charlottesville or meet Elliott and his girlfriend, Kanna half way. Kanna is such a lovely name, her sister couldn’t say her given name Katherine Ann so she called her Kanna. It stuck.

Here is Steve perusing the buffet at the Union League at Philadelphia. There were lots of chafing dishes. No omelette station. That would have been nice to have had a made to order breakfast. Alas, you take what you gets. These are some of the pastry selections. Can you guess that J and C had the bagels with fixing? You would be right. Did I have scrambled eggs, bacon and grits? Yes I did! Steve skipped the grits.

We left J and C to go on their adventures and we proceeded south to Maryland. We were going to meet Elliott and Kanna in Hagerstown Maryland, and then explore Antietam Battlefield. Elliott and Kanna have started to explore Civil War Battle sites. They had gone to Gettysburg a few weeks before. As they live in Charlottesville, there are tons of battlefields to visit.

I am a real credit card junkie, and try to master the points game. I really failed it big time with this excellent adventure. As a Hilton Credit Card user I am entitled to one weekend stay per year. I thought, this would be a great time to use my certificate. I called up and made a reservation for the Homewood Suites in Hagerstown and asked if I could use my free certificate for a 2 bedroom suite. That way we could all stay in one suite, we wouldn’t have to hang out downstairs in the lobby, or in one of our rooms. Now, I kind of thought this might not fly as the rules and regulations stated that only a regular room could be used for the certificate. I played dumb on the phone and asked if I could use the certificate for this reservation. “Yes of course!”, the reservation agent from India said. “We just need to know your points number.”

“I don’t want to use my points”. I had looked on line and the two bedroom suite was going for 88,000 points, a ridiculous number. If I booked two rooms, it would be 30,000 points for each room. If I used my certificate it would be only 30,000 for the extra room. So I thought I was getting a great deal. HMMM.

This was the day of the Barbara Bush funeral. On our way to Hagerstown from Philadelphia we listened to it on the car radio. I asked the gang if we could delay lunch until after it was over. Thankfully all agreed to postpone lunch.

I looked on Yelp for a great restaurant near the hotel. Rik’s Cafe was the winner, it was in a strip mall, and didn’t look that appealing from the outside. We entered and it looked very popular, lots of locals and families. This was Steve’s lunch. It looks like a chicken sandwich with lots of glop on it, along with a side order of fries. I think the fries could use a touch more salt, don’t you? I thought that I had a crab cake with salad and fries. However, this does not look like a crab cake to me! All I can remember is that the fries were hot. No time for dessert we had places to go!

We found Antietam National Battlefield without any problems. It was a free National Park day, so the park was going to be a little bit more crowded than normal. The visitor center had a movie that we could see and also a small museum with a soldier’s kit and armaments. We tried to arrange for a private guide, but none were available on such short notice. After having private guides on many of our trips, we take every opportunity to hire a guide. It makes visiting new places so much easier. You can zero in on what’s most important and why. No willy nilly wandering. Well since we couldn’t get a guide we got the next best thing. An audio guide!All we had to do was to shove that sucker in the car CD player and we were good to go!

First stop was to view the battlefield map. It was a twelve hour battle on September 15, 1862. The Civil War began in March 1861 with the Confederate Attack on Fort Sumpter. Lee surrendered in April 1865. During the battle at Antietam 100,000 soldiers engaged in battle. At the end of the day 23,000 were killed, wounded or missing. Our first stop was Dunker Church. It was a house of worship for pacifist German Baptist Brethren. Let’s go inside, shall we? Here is Steve thinking throw happy he is, not to be spending all day Sunday sitting on those wooden pews. Elliott appears to be a little more interested. We just missed a musical performance of Civil War era music. There are a lot of plaques. Elliott was a bit disappointed that I didn’t want to stop and read every one. I had no time for that, there were many more stops on the CD! I would have skipped this, but Elliott and Kanna wanted to go up the path to see the Maryland monument up close. Here we are at our next stop. This is the monument in honor of Clara Barton. The Red Cross was made from bricks taken from the chimney of her house. Clara Barton founded the Red Cross in 1861. She provided assistance to all soldiers in the war, no matter what side they fought on. Here is a little more information about her. Next was Cornfield Trail. Upon this 24 acres field was a horrific battle. The Louisiana Brigade suffered over 60 percent casualties in 30 minutes. Here we have a visual of one of the skirmishes. The Union forces are in blue, the Confederacy is red. While we were at this site, we met a lovely gentleman who was studying to be one of the Antietam private guides. I think you could make this a great side gig if you liked history. He had a dog eared copy of a book about the battle. I wanted to ask him to join us and give us a private tour.

There were a number of upside down cannons. These were markers for Generals who had died during the battle. This is the Observation Tower. I hate heights and was wavering over climbing it or not. I did climb it, and there is our van below. I was pretty terrified during my climb up, while I was up there, and also on my way down. I muttered to myself the whole way, “Don’t jump, you are almost done, you will be outside soon.” Whew!Here is a description about the views. Here are Elliott and Kanna at the William McKinley Monument. Of course you know that he was our 25th President, and was the last President to serve in the Civil War. He was assassinated during his second term. This is Burnside Bridge over the Antietam Creek. Steve and Elliott are checking out where the fish are hiding. Kanna is checking out Elliott’s ears. She doesn’t look like she approves. My last picture of the battlefield. Here we see General Burnside. Now you can see where the term “side burns” comes from!

One thing I noticed when we are at the battlefield was that I didn’t have any feelings of overwhelming sadness or unease. When we were at the Coliseum in Rome I was really creeped out. I could not wait to leave the place. I have an empathetic personality and can feel a lot of people’s emotions. The Coliseum was filled with the souls of unhappy people, put to death for others’ amusement. At Antietam, the people were fighting for causes that they believed in. We found our way back to the Homewood Suites and checked in. This was the living room. Elliott and Kanna got the King size bed. Steve and I took the two queens. According to Yelp, the best restaurant for dinner was the Schmankerl Stube. I made reservations and we were off. My mother was born in Germany, as was Steve’s Great Grandparents. There wasn’t any room in the main room, so we were seated outside in the enclosed patio. Kanna is wearing the fleece from the company that Elliott works for. I was quite pleased that Elliott shaved off his beard. I think that he looks like a terrorist with it. Both Elliott and Kanna seem to have the head tilt down pat! Steve and I were pretty cold even with my snuggling. I don’t think I took off my puff jacket the whole time! Looks like no one gets between me and my man!The waitress promptly brought out our beers. I didn’t see any fruity martinis on the menu so I ordered a dark beer. When Elliott was just born I had problems producing enough milk. At his first check up when he was two weeks old, he had lost weight. The diagnosis was “failure to thrive”. I was prescribed Thorazine and a dark beer every day. My milk came in and all was well. However, Elliott never grew to be as tall as Steve. He topped out at 5 foot ten, which was the same height as my father. I sometimes wonder if it was the genes or the lack of breast milk those first two weeks. I ended up having plenty of milk, and nursed Elliott until I discovered I was pregnant with Sally. We were served a rye bread with a sweet butter and a cheesy butter. The breads was hearty and not soft. I prefer bread like this. This was from Avena, the restaurant I wrote about yesterday. I noticed I had forgotten to put it in my post, I was trying to figure out how I could include it. Well, I just did! Lucky, Lucky!

I didn’t see anything on the menu that really got me interested. I like Weiner Schnitzel, but thought it might be too heavy as we had a long car ride to Poughkeepsie on Sunday. I ordered the trout. Steve had the chicken. I don’t think he expected it to be chopped up, it looked like something you might serve an invalid. Kanna had the beef. It was chopped up also. The spaetzle was very good. You are supposed to type spaetzle with an a and an umlaut over it, and no e. I can’t figure out how to do that on my ipad. Did you know that there are somethings I fail at? Yes, amazing isn’t it? Elliott had the Wiener schnitzel. It was sehr gut! That means very good in German. For dessert I ordered the apple strudel. It was not as good as my mother’s. The German cake came along with four forks. It was fair. Next morning we had dinner at the buffet at the hotel. Nothing like greasy sausage to start your road trip! Here we are ready to say goodbye. It looks like there is a bird getting ready to drop some bird poop on my head! You can see that Elliott is a wee bit taller than I am. I am practicing my chest out, shoulders back, tummy in and butt tucked under. Steve needs to get that memo.

When we got back home I checked my point balance. Hilton deducted 88,000 points out of my account after all. I called them up, and they said that I couldn’t use my certificate on the room that I reserved. They didn’t care that the original representative said that I could. I was mad. I called the hotel a few days later and they said that they would check into the matter. No good results. I thought about canceling my card, but I had already paid the fee for the year in February. I also have 350,000 points that I don’t want to disappear. Not sure where I will spend the points, maybe Steve will take me back to the Maldives and I can use the points there!

Do you like German food?

Do you hate customer call reps from India?

Are you a credit card junky, trying to maximize your points?

Are you a complete klutz at maximizing your points?

Did you notice that today we have five questions, up from my normal three?