Alison M. Jones Photography:
"An Argentine is an Italian who speaks Spanish, who thinks he's French, who would like to be English."
Si es bueno vivir, todavia es major sonar, y lo emjor de todo, desepertar. "If living is good, dreaming is even better, and the best of all is awakening."
I remember my hours sitting with quirky Magellan penguins and harems of elephant seals dominated by alpha males on the Valdez Peninsula and the Buenos Aires wine-tasting party learning about the unique Argentinean varietals of red Malbec and white Torrentes wines. Also my feasting on fresh tiny bay scallops while watching the giant southern right whales breeching in the Atlantic Ocean and not less than those I recall riding along Patagonia's windy, wild and wooly trails; breathing the snap in the air of beech forests; gazing into the jade lakes; and realizing that the snowflakes biting our faces were flying in the wind like bits of the wool gauchos shear from their sheep.
There are signs saying "Continua camino sinuoso" (winding roads) in the Calchaqui Valley, a geologist's dream destination. The wavy, sandstone uplifts, free-standing obelisks and acoustically-perfect, natural rock amphitheaters in a landscape of red, white and green rock set against the distant blue Andes Mountains. Then crossing the Tropic of Capricorn, north of Salta, in the rain shadow of the Huamahuaca Gorge, wind dried and dotted with churches, cemeteries, Indian markets and roadside offerings of bottles of water, cigarettes, and cocoa leaves for Pachamamoca, the god of their motherland, or some say to Difunta Correa, a saint of the indigenous people.
Activities in Argentina
"There are still many places in Argentina to hide."
• Trek glaciers wearing crampons to hear icebergs calve into aquamarine lakes.
An Argentinean Spring Day
Learning traditional protocol for drinking yerba mate and sheep shearing methods: Old World traditions in a remote mountain frontier.
• Southern right whales with calves
A Gaucho's Vocabulary List:
"At the end of the world, the road is not paved."
Bombachas (gaucho pants)
Voyage of the Beagle, Charles Darwin. On the Patagonian plains: "...without habitations, without water, without trees, without mountains.... Why then... have these arid wastes taken so firm a hold on my memory?"
On Patagonia, Bruce Chatwin. A wonderfully written blend of fact, myth and fantasy.
An Englishman in Patagonia, John Pilkington, Century, 1991, a critical commentary on Chatwin.
Enduring Patagonia, Gregory Crouch.
Far Away and Long Ago (1985) and Idle Days in Patagonia (1984), W. H. Hudson, Everyman.
Arte Rural, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Text by Mariano G. Fernandez.
Argentina From The Air, Yann Arthus-Bertrand.
Insight Guide of Argentina, interesting general overview for tourists.
Digging up Butch and Sundance, Anne Meadows, Bison books, 1996, examining the fate of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in Argentina.
On fishing: A River for Christmas (Chapter: "The Rivers of Patagonia"), Ernie Schwiebert.
On tango: The Life, Music and Times of Carlos Gardel, S. Collier, Univ. of Pittsburg Press, 1986.
About Jorge Luis Borges: Jorge Luis Borges: a writer on the edge, Beatriz Sarlo, 1993, NY.
About Julio Cortazar: The Novels of Julio Cortazar, S. Boldy, 1977, Cambridge.
And authors Adolfo Bioy Casares, Eduardo Mallea, Manuel Mugica Lainez, Ernesto Savato, Silvina Bullrich
Evita, starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas, based on Andrew Lloyd Weber's musical, directed by Allan Parker.
The Mission (about the Jesuits and indigenous Indians during the Spanish colonial days), starring Jeremy Irons and Robert de Niro, directed by Oliver Stone. Filmed at Iguazu Falls.
Miss Mary, starring Julie Christie, directed by Argentine Maria Luisa Bemberg.
"I feel like I've trespassed into a fairy tale... I've never seen an estancia in such perfect condition. This place is Old World, immaculate, and shows the pride of a woman's touch... in its well-appointed, beautifully landscaped and spectacularly isolated [location.]" — Enduring Patagonia, Gregory Crouch
"The gaucho, for months together, touches nothing but beef." — Darwin
Beef: Loma (tenderloin), morcilla (blood sausage), chorizos (spicy sausage), ribs. Argentine beef is tender and lean because it comes from cattle purely grass fed (never given hormones, never in feedlots). In Argentina, due to the vast expanse of land available, each steer is allotted 1.7 square miles of grassy land!
Asado (the traditional and elaborate beef barbeque cooked on a parrillo by a parrillero)
Dulce de Leche
Alternate recipe (from Meme Larriviere at Estancia Arroyo Verde): Boil 5 liters milk and 1 kilo sugar gently 4–5 hours, constantly stirring. Serve with strawberries, bananas, fruit salad, roasted apples and pears, On crepes with powdered sugar, with toast, in a flan, atop custard, or as you like!
Dulche de Leche Soufflé
Postcard of Impressions
"all the attending marvels of a thousand Patagonian sights and sounds..." — Herman Melville
Patagonia, approximately half of Argentina, is 1 million square kilometers of open space framed by the drama of the Andes. Throughout the country homes are touched with Old World elegance of European descendents who wear the spirit of the frontier – a wonderful combination. My journal and my digital photo library are crammed full with the intensity and the tease of my first month in Argentina! I want to stay for months longer, yet I look forward to continuing my new relationship with Argentina on my return to New York. Having overflown the Beagle Channel in Tierra del Fuego, I'm dying to read accounts by the captains of clippers that rounded Cape Horn. After a Buenos Aires evening sipping champagne and photographing dancers, I want to learn its athletic, balletic style and practice its impassioned language. Now having trekked age-old glaciers continuously calving into aquamarine lakes, I want to determine the paths of the explorers who mapped the rugged Andean Chilean-Argentine boundary according to mountain ridges not political gifts. I'm even happy that drowning of my transitional compact digital camera in the rain forest horseshoe of Iguazu's 256 waterfalls will force me to determine my ultimate digital SLR camera choice.
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