Thursday, January 31, 2008

Howler Monkey

Thursday 31 January 2008

Our second day at the Esteros del Iberá. We went on a walk through the forest today, and saw a family of howler monkeys. This is the big male - I caught him looking at me.

Did you know that the Guiness Book of World Records lists howler monkeys as the loudest animals on earth? Their calls can be heard 2 to 3 kilometers away! I was very happy that this family had their mouths full of fruit, and weren't in a noisy mood!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Into the swamps . . .

Wednesday 30 January 2008

Ryan and I are in Esteros del Iberá right now, a nature preserve covering hundreds of square kilometers of wetlands in northern Argentina. This afternoon we went on a boat right with a really knowledgable young guide around the "floating islands," collections of floating plants that have grown so thick that they are now kilometers wide in some places, where trees and bushes grow, and you can see animals as big as deer living. We walked on one for a little while, and it felt kinda like walking on a mattress. The land was solid, as the dirt there is now about a meter thick, but it moved under you, like walking on a water bed. A very strange sensation, indeed.

On this trip we saw lots of the above - black caimans, not agressive at all - along with capybaras (the largest rodent on earth!), marsh deer, and tons and tons of different kinds of birds.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Gauchito Gil

Tuesday 29 January 2008

On the outskirts of the town of Mercedes, in northern Argentina, there is a shrine to a man named Antonio Mamerto Gil Núñez, or Gauchito Gil to his friends. The stories about who he was vary, but most agree that he was a gaucho in the 1870's who was conscripted into the army but deserted rather than fight in the war (either the Argentine Civil War or the War of the Triple Alliance between Argentina, Brasil, and Paraguay). He was going to be put to death for this crime, when he told the commissary that the commissary's son was dying, and that if he prayed for him in the name of Gauchito Gil, he would get better. The commissary killed him anyway, cutting his throat and hanging him upside down from a tree. (Which dyed his white poncho red, making red the color of Gauchito Gil.) But, of course, the commissary prayed in his name and his son was miraculously cured.

A shrine was built at his execution site, and now thousands flock there every year to ask favors and give thanks. He is one of the "profane saints," of which there are a few in Argentina, which are well-loved and oft-called upon by the Argentine public, but not recongized by the church. The devotion of the people was very clear at this shrine. There were millions of plaques thanking Gauchito Gil for services rendered, miracles performed, thousands of car license plates thanking him for granting people cars (which begs the question - are there thousands of cars driving around without plates? or is the local registration office constantly giving out new plates?), hundreds of baby pictures, and a whole building full of wedding dresses and football jerseys, given in thanks for men and games won. It was really an amazing place, a shrine the likes of which I have never seen before.

Monday, January 28, 2008

love notes

Monday 28 January 2008

My last subway trip for a nice long time. Some love notes written on the back of used cards, shoved into a display case. There was one that said "Naty, I adore you, but I adore my Playstation more." I decided that these were nicer.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fru ería

Sunday 27 January 2008

A little fruit and veggie store near our apartment. Not the best produce there, but it's certainly picturesque!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Carnival season begins!

Saturday 26 January 2008

Ryan and I went out to the Mataderos market one last time before leaving BA, and were treated to a neighborhood murga. Here's the band-leader, as it were.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Friday 25 January 2008

A beetle I found on the sidewalk. I didn't know these even lived in Buenos Aires!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Thursday 24 January 2008

Funny, how after a year and a half in a place, you can still notice things you have been walking past the whole time. These guys, for instance. I've walked down this street tons of times, but I guess I just never looked up at the right moment. So, for all of you who think that a photo blog like this is only for people living in "exotic places," think again! You never know what neat stuff, what kind of hidden beauty, you can find all around you.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Grafitti a million

Wednesday 23 January 2007

Some cool grafitti in San Telmo.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Tuesday 22 January 2008

A really impressive mural in the San Telmo neighborhood.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Colonia, for the last time

Monday 21 January 2008

We all went over to Colonia, Uruguay, for the day today. Ryan and I have been visiting this little town once every three months for the last year and a half, to renew our visa. It was a little weird to think that this would be the last time. (At least for a long time.) It's a nice, pretty, quiet little town, and we had a relaxing day there.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

San Telmo Fair

Sunday 20 January 2008

We took J and R down to the San Telmo Fair today. There are always lots of street performers and comedians and musicians down there, making for a very lively market. I was standing taking a ton of pictures of this guy, when an old man next to me tapped me on the shoulder. "That's my grandson!" he said, obviously very proud that the guy I was focusing on was his kin. I chatted with him for a minute, then we went on our way through the colorful market.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Saturday 19 January 2008

A little place down the street where you can pick up the basics: fruit and veggies, beer, mate, etc.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Friday 18 January 2008

A cool building on Corrientes

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Boca Windows

Thursday 17 January 2008

We took J and R (I'm starting to feel like I'm talking about a railroad!) down to La Boca today. Here's a nice simple shot of some of the colorful houses.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ryan's BA Show

Wednesday 16 January 2008

Ryan had a photo show today! It was a pretty big success, too, I would say. He sold quite a few pictures, had a couple dozen people in, and wowed absolutely everyone who saw the shots. Go check them out here.

Here is he doing what he did the majority of the night, however - pushing the photos back up onto the wall. Unfortunately, the humidity made it awfully hard to keep them up, and he was fighting the (losing) battle all night.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Tuesday 15 January 2008

These huge, menacing clouds rolled over today, although they didn't bring much rain or break the horrid heat and humidity we've been having. But have you ever seen such weird clouds before?

p.s. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Her first empanada!

Monday 14 January 2008

I know, it may seem like empanadas feature a little too regularly on this blog, but if only you knew the wonder of these little packets of yumminess! Here is our friend R, making her very first empanada. (That's some awesome repulgue for a first empanada - she's a natural.) Inside are tomatoes, fresh basil, and mozzarella.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Casa Saltshaker 3

Sunday 13 January 2008

For dinner last night we went out to one of our favorite places in Buenos Aires - Casa Saltshaker. It's an in-house restaurant, where a former professional chef takes 12 people into his house and cooks for them. It is always amazing. Tonight, for the second time, I rediscovered a food thanks to this place. This was our main course, oyster mushrooms in molasses butter with watermelon pickles. I normally hate watermelon pickles, or anything pickled for that matter (besides dill cucumber pickles, of course!) But these were unbelievably good. I could have eaten a whole bowl of them! I was such a picky child, which makes for so much fun rediscovering foods I hated when I was little.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Floating Store

Saturday 12 January 2008

Today all four of us went for a boat trip up the river into the delta, an area full of small islands and canals. There are no roads, so the people who live on all these islands get around by boat - their own, or the river taxis (well, they're more like river buses, as they hold about eighty people) that splash up and down constantly. We took a taxi waaay up into the delta to the Dorado Club, a restaurant where we had lunch and lazed about in the green and the sun and the quiet, having a fantastic day. This photo is of a floating store, a boat full of simple provisions. It pulls up to docks, and people buy what they need. Or, you can pull your boat up to it and conduct your business like that. Our taxi stopped to buy mate. Of course.

Friday, January 11, 2008

More mannequins

Friday 11 January 2008

A mannequin shop near our apartment. You can even model your clothes with the terminator!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

La Paceña

Thursday 10 January 2008

Ryan and I met some friends for Bolivian food tonight at a restaurant called La Paceña, up in Belgrano. As it turned out, this place has some of the best empanadas in the city. The spicy flavors are actually spicy! (Argentines hate spicy food, so anything labeled spicy probably just has a few extra green onions in it, but is not actually hot at all.) It was delicious, and I thought it deserved a post.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Cafe Arrufat

Wednesday 9 January 2008

The Cafe Arr . . u . . fat. Hmmm . . .Sounds like a favorite among the concerned Argentine women. They probably only serve mineral water and herbal tea.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Meat for sale

Tuesday 8 January 2007

Outside of a butcher's shop. These are all cuts of meat. They're all pretty normal, but for some odd reason turtle is listed. Argentines definitely do NOT eat turtle, so I think it may be slang for some other kind of beef. *sigh* More words for beef to learn!

Monday, January 07, 2008


Monday 7 January 2008

More beautiful Buenos Aires architecture.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Recoleta, yet again

Sunday 6 January 2008

We took J and R to Recoleta cemetery today, which is always a favorite. I've been there a half a dozen times, yet I always come away with tons of new pictures - there are just so many pretty little nooks and crannies.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Chicken shop

Saturday 5 January 2008

A shop where I stopped to buy eggs today. These guys are all from Italy, although they've been here for half a century. I chatted for a while, as the guy in the back taught me all about the differences between American and British English. They were funny, though, so I took a picture of the old men in the chicken shop!

Friday, January 04, 2008


Friday 4 January 2008

In a fancy soap shop today. My favorite scent was the lemon verbena, although they had dozens of other wonderful things.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Thursday 3 January 2008

More important sights around the city today, including the Plaza de Mayo. These bullet holes can be found on the Ministry of (Economy, I think?) and are from the coup d'etat that dethroned Peron. They've been left as a reminder of more violent times. The Argentines remember everything.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Galeria Pacifica

Wednesday 2 January 2008

We took our friends out into the city today, walking and wandering a bit. Seeing as it was about 100 degrees and humid, we gravitated toward the air conditioned attractions. This is shot from the Galeria Pacifica, a glorious old building which was transformed into a shopping mall with an art gallery on top. Here's a little guy from an exhibit full of neat little garbage creatures.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Tuesday 1 January 2008

Well, I'd say this year is off to a pretty good start. Last night, Ryan and I welcomed in the New Year with a quiet night in our apartment (the one we've rented for the month of January) with a little too much champagne, watching the fireworks zip up from between the buildings, filling the sky with light for a solid hour. My only resolution this year: to read only Spanish books on this trip, once we leave Buenos Aires. (Now I just pray that Ryan doesn't read any fantastic books in English that I just have to read as well!) Also, Ryan's friends J and R arrived today - they're visiting for a month, so we get to play tour guide. It should be a fun time. Yep, I have high hopes for 2008!