Monthly Archives: March 2012

Reunion(s)… Love them!

Mike is a fine fellow that I met about 10 years ago through mutual friends back in the “Chico days” (as some might call it).
This entrepreneur started brewing beer during college and with his drive to make it happen, took his business mind to Argentina. He is now the successful owner of Fenicia Brewing Co in Rosario and welcomed me and Denise with open arms.

We walked a small neighborhood of the city. More street art:
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Had some eats and local beer at his buddies restaurant called Antares .
Mike was invited to join a chugging contest on stage in which he won(excluding the guy that had a crowd yelling before the finish line).
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

And for desert he hooked up a local drink called “Mate”, pronounced Mah-teh. This traditional beverage is a “social” tea that’s served in a gord styled container with a metal straw. It’s hot enough that one doesn’t gulp or even drink for that matter. It’s more of a sip and taste then pass it along. Even though I awkwardly have one eye half closed, the flavor wasn’t bad. I would partake if this was offered, however I wouldn’t necessarily crave such a taste. Glad I got to try it though, thanks Mike! More to come of this fun gentleman when we hop a bus to Rosario for his St.Patties Day fiesta!
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The following evening we met up with Stuart and Andrew, two guys I connected with during the layover in Brazil.  At the airport, I was questioning the line I was standing in to board the flight when, to my relief, I heard English speakers in front of me. These friendly Canadians helped me out and we parted ways without any exchange of info.

I got off the flight and while waiting for my luggage here come my “heroes”. Another “thank you” to them and we cheers good bye.

Remember the market from my first Argentina post? As Denise and I were aimlessly strolling around, here come the boys with a pep in their step (yes, I said it… A pep). “Hey, I know you!” 

We agreed that after 3 unintentional path crossings, it was in the books for an official connection. Info was finally exchanged and plans were made!

We met up and went for dinner at a place they suggested called  Sagardi .
We enjoyed a brilliant bottle of local wine while we dished up our own pinchos from the tapas bar. This was our appetizer before the “Argentenean Steak” was brought out.
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Obviously from my edibles page, I’m not a huge red meat eater, however again with the “when in Rome” idea…. Here we go!
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Luckily we all agreed for some greens as well to complement this hunk-o-beef and enjoyed.
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Apparently whosever tongue was the darkest had had the most wine…
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

A walk after that meal was refreshing and turned exciting when we heard music coming from the street…   It’s after 10p on a Wednesday and theres a decent group of people gathered around tables. Giggling children chasing  each other through the bundle of friends sipping coffee while others enjoyed a bottle of wine. All topped off with a live band and tango dancers as the center peice! The dark sky was lit with a few street lights and the ambiance overflowed with a local vibe. You would of thought Denise and I had found the gold at the end of a rainbow!

I wish the pics were more clear, but we plan on going back so I’ll try again.
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Buenos Noches to our new friends and a quick group tango…
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Categories: Art, Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Color me yum

Most of the meals we’ve had here have been homemade at our apartmemt. It’s financially smarter between the two of us and also beneficial to our health. (that sounded way more serious than I meant it). Also, when we DO eat out at a local place, it increases the appreciation for flavor, variety and the whole no cooking or dishes part.

Here is an unplanned “creative” meal we through together.

In the fridge we had an egg, a cup of lentils and some veggies. Excellent…. An  omlette with lentils on the side, next to some raw veggies.

Even though the yolk is where the cholesterol and fat is, it’s also the home of many nutrients that are good for the body. I wouldn’t necessarily have them every day or multiple at a time, but once in awhile is ok. Sometimes if I’m making 2 eggs, I’ll just use one yolk and two whites. This meal was a whole egg because there wasn’t a significant amount of fat in any of the other sides and we were out of avacodo and nuts (or that would of been a tasty garnish).
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Chopped up bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms went into the egg. Fresh cucumber, bell and a few carrots were on the side of steamed pumpkin. Each plate was then topped off with a portion of lentils.
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Protein: lentils and egg
Carb: lentils and veggies
Fat: yolk from the egg

MEAL #2

I had a smidge left over, that would of been so easy to either toss or “force down”… But why? 
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The following morning I remembered my other half of the Plain Greek yogurt in the fridge. Grabbed a few rice crackers as well and Viola! Now I have breakfast for the walk to school. 
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Protien: Lentils and yogurt
Carb: veggies and crackers
Fat: Rest of the yolk and a dash from the yogurt

Categories: Edibles! | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fish N Chips x 3

I mentioned in a previous post that I would tell you what I did with the beautiful (but massive) plate of fish, chips, veggies and salad I was served back in Timaru, New Zealand.

I believe in a balanced lifestyle that best suits each individual person.  For example, some enjoy 3 large meals with no snacks in the middle, many are gluten free, others may feel at their best as vegetarians… Whatever fits your daily routine and allows you to maximize your health, energy and schedule, I say go for it! 
However, If you’re always sick and/or tired, over or under a healthy weight,  not sleeping well, (the list goes on) I would suggest evaluating not only your stress level, but your nutritional habits.

For me, I feel at my best when I eat veggie based, protien enhanced, small portions with as much variety as possible. I add products with fat by sticking primarily to the ones that have some type of benefit to my health if it be nuts, seeds, bananas, yogurt, avocado, oils, etc.
Once in awhile, I’ll throw in a scrumptious meal thats out of my norm…just to keep my body guessing and taste buds alert. Also, this world is full of amazing things, how dare I limit myself to what “I” think is the best.

MEAL #1

The first portion I ate just the way as it came. I always try it exactly how the chef prepares it out of respect for their creation and also because usually…well always… It’s made differently than I would of done it and I love new things!

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As soon it came out I separated a serving size of the fiput and put the other 2/3 in a to go box. (I de-breaded it leaving just the white flaky fish for left overs). 
I thouroughly enjoyed all of the fresh raw veggies and put a good portion of the cooked veggies aside with the remaining fish. Chips (fries) are obviously not the healthiest choice, but an unusual treat and I valued every single bite. There were a few crispy ones left so not to be wasteful, I put those in the to go box as well for a future recipe. 
With every meal or snack I try and balance protein, carb and fat. Here’s how this one worked:

Protien: Fish
Carb: Veggies and chips
Fat: Oil

MEAL #2

So now I have 2 servings of fish left, some chips and cooked veggies. I took a little less than 1/2 of the fish and the rest of the chips and put them in a bowl.   Added 1 egg white, and some raw chopped veggies including celery, carrot, onion,  bell pepper, and zucchini. Herbed it up with some cilantro, garlic and pepper (salt not needed due to the left over Chips). Mashed it all together to create a fish, veggie patty and grilled it. Once it came off the grill, I put it aside a green salad with no dressing and used the flavor of the patty and a dash of salsa to complement the greens. 

Protein: Fish and egg.
Carbs: Chips and veggies.
Fat: Oil from the fish, and chips.

MEAL #3

Remaining fish and veggies simply thrown in a brown rice tortilla with a dab of yogurt, cucumber, avocado and lettuce. A fish wrap… Easy!

Protein: Fish and yogurt
Carbs: Tortilla and veggies
Fat: Oil from the fish and avocado.

So one plate made 3 huge, complete meals with only adding a few additional items. This round I was lucky to have a fridge and grill to use for my left overs as well as a fresh market within walking distance. Score!

Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Buenos Aires! Welcome to my new home… For the next month.

Let’s recap. Last year I went to Europe and while in Alicante Spain I took a Spanish class for a week that included accommodations in a student residence. This is where I met Denise and Sofieke. 2 sweet Dutch girls from Holland that were also there to study Spanish. With their welcoming open vibe, we made friendship quickly and I ended up spending most of my free time with these girls. That same trip, I got to reunite with them when I made my way to Amsterdam.

Here we are at our residence in Spain.
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Out in the town.
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Reunited in Amsterdam.
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During our adventure I had mentioned my desire to come to South America and keep up on my language courses, both agreed that if possible that would try to join me! 

Well 6 months later I’m in a cab on my way to meet Denise at our apartment in Buenos Aires in which we’ll be studying and volunteering for the next month together! Sofieke will be missed, but she’s currently back in Spain livin it up for us! 

We are living in a student residence that has several different bedrooms, a shared kitchen and bathroom with a variety of social quarters.The building itself is street front to a main avenue that leads to the famous Congresso.
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Here’s what you see from the road before entering out place. Can you find our front door?
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The stairway up to our floor.
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Dining, reading, card playing hang out space with more balcony views.
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Entertainment and lounge area
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Kitchen 
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Our bedroom with the balcony Views.
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

We barely unpacked and couldn’t wait to see what was walking distance around is. Here’s a quick tour of what we found:
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Street art
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

An open market…
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

That went on and on and on…
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With a walking (dancing) Brazil band
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Anyone seen my basket?
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…and the ladder?!
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Ok, so did the tree grow around the old sign or was there a wicked wind storm?
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Me and Denise catching up at a local park.
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¿La mapa?
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Suns going down, time to head back
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It was dark, but can you make out what this represents?
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First dinner in Buenos Aires… Why not on our private balcony under the Argentinean sky? (I apologize for the horrible lighting, just wanted to give you the idea)
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Categories: Accommodations | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

51 Hours of travel to get 1/2 way around the world

Since I was traveling through a variety of major time zones, I’ll simply put which hours of my journey I’m describing rather than what time it actually was (don’t know if I could be accurate with that anyway).

HOURS 1-3
Departed his place, checked in and flew to Aukland.
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HOURS 3-6
The start of a wicked layover!

I landed by noon, but wasn’t able to check in for Dubai until 2:30. Snapped a couple of pics before getting rid of my bag.
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I love how this says “Relax”.
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Finally checked in, boarding pass in hand and 4 more hours to burn until I get on the flight.

HOUR 6-8
In New Zealand you’re aloud to bring liquid on the flight and I had a left over bottle of Mount Gay Rum (That I purposing picked in  name of all my friends in Barbados, miss you boys!) There was no way I was going to drink all of it, especially alone, so off to the food court to find a new friend!

I walked around the corner of a pub and in front of me is an older woman. She suddenly turns to me and with a confused look, points to a group of gentlemen in costume. Loudly she says “You here with them?”. They naturally turn and look at us as I smile and laugh while saying, “Of course I am…. These crazy boys do this to me all the time!” 
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She gives me the “seriously?” look as the guys agree and invite me in their direction….. Found my new friends! This bundle of joy reunited here after years of not seeing each other… Bachelor party… Woohoo! We shared a beverage and a few stories before they debarked. Hopefully those vibrant smiles stayed with them as they made a memorable mess of the weekend… Cheers to unexpected paths crossing!
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

With more left in the bottle, I approached a table of 4 who were playing cards and said “Have time to finish a bottle before your flight?”. You would of thought I was handing them gold! Sharing is caring.

Roamed through Duty free.
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HOUR 8-10
Finally near my gate but still 2 more hours. Hmm, ooh.. I know!
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

All of the photos were takin with my self timer, so if you can imagine the sight of me running back and forth trying to get the right pic. That alone was half the fun! Either that, or I’m just a dork. Well, in the midst of one of my “running in action shots”,  I hear the voice of Tim. Another new friend? Yup!  “Can I grab that photo for you?” (I must of looked in need of some special help). 

After a pic or two he offered a walk to the nearby cafe, what a treat! We walked for a bit with great conversation and ended up waiting to board at the same gate.  From the hour I spent with this Aussie, I picked up on his kind nature and a very distinct drive for a fulfilled life. What an encouraging person to send me on my way. 
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Side note: If I end up working in Hong Kong…. You can blame thus guy.
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Time to get on the plane… Finally! See that cute little bugga on the left? That’s your average size for domestic flights. Im riding window in the monster bus to the right.
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HOUR 10-14
Fancy warm towels before we depart for the pit stop in Sydney. (I asked this stewardess if I could take her photo and she answered with a giddy energy, “”Everyone always wants a picture of themselves, nobody ever asks for mine!”) glad I could make her smile.
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These are little adhesive tabs that you put on the top of your seat in case you fall asleep. I’ll give you one guess on which sticker I picked.
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(FYI: it was the green one)

“Soda Water”
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HOUR 14-27
Back on the bus for the 13 1/2 hour flight north… Next stop Dubai.

This night flight starts out dark so I decide to leave the flash off so I don’t disturb the other passengers.  Ooh look, another warm towel before the dinner meal. 
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Bored.
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Tired.
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We’re here!
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

HOURS 27-29
Layover here was a nice treat. Besides your typical airport restaurants and shops, it also had this beautiful Zen garden with benches,  greenery and soothing water running through it… And why wouldn’t they have a hookah shop?
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

HOURS 29-43
Back to the Airbus! 14 hours to Brazil before the final flight to Argentina. The sun is up now, however I’m totally confused on what day it is.  Should I be tired? Why am I so hungry? Good travelin times!

This plane is a bit smaller, but still a decent size. They turned off the lights for the morning departure, check this out. Remember when bringing your Walkman or Gameboy on the flight made you the cool kid? Times have changed…
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Who do I get to sit by? This friendly local of Rio De Janeiro. He wrote down several suggestions that other travelers wouldn’t know about and helped me brush up on my Spanish. Gracias!
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HOURS 43-45
A transfer in Rio.
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

HOURS 45-48
Final flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina… Whew!
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Landed safely with all smiles.
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HOURS 48-51
Over an hour collecting luggage and going through customs, found my ride and headed to my new apartment. This is where I’ll be living for the next month while I attend a spanish immersion school and volunteer within the city. Ciao till next post!

Categories: Art, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

Last stop of New Zealand… Queenstown!

We arrive and set up at the youth hostel centrally located on the main street.  
Cute place with an incredible view of the mountain range appropriately named “The Remarkables”.
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Here’s our room and our other new roomie Steph.  She’s a down to earth, spunky Canadian with an approachable personality. Short and sweet visit with her, but definitely many smiles. Safe travels my friend! 
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Kitchen and lounge area with a balcony.
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This pic was taken standing on the balcony.
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I haven’t been doing a great job mentioning how common recycling is here. In fact, it’s harder to find a rubbish bin than it is to have a compost place and/or a section like this.
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Ever since I got to New Zealand, I’ve been told that I have to go to “Fergburgers” , an extremely popular joint that only provides burgers and sides. Well, I haven’t had a hamburger in years and Erica had also heard of this amazing place so as she said “When in Rome…”. 

When we arrived I was impressed by the menu which ranged quite a bit. Patties of beef, lamb, deer, fish, veggie or falafel. Every topping you can imagine and of course we had to get the chips (fries) too! 
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After a meal like that, it was time to walk it off (or atleast a fry or two)and have a night out on the town.

We spent a whopping 20 min in each place (I think we were trying to hit every variety of age and genre of music possible in one evening.

We started at the nearest place called “Buffalo’s”. This is your popular, tourist, college age, rowdy crowd. They were giving $300 for a bikini contest prize… Did NOT go in! 
(But the picture was fun)
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Then we found an adorable candle lit bar that drew us in with a live acoustic version of Green Day, “Time of your life”. We end up connecting with a retired Rugby League Pro and the group that was there with the band (of course).
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What is that we hear? Finally good dance music… Is that you? 
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Nope. That’s 16 yeatan dingstanding around wondering if it was too cool for school to dance. I tried to fit in…
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Last try of the evening was a place that had a tiny sign out front that said “Open mic night”.  Perfect! Good crowd, local artist and a laid back vibe…
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

On the way back we stopped by the market for a snack and this is where we learned a new term. At least new to us. I was joking with Erica using the term “Dirty bird” (ask someone if you’ve never heard of that in the states) when two kiwis walk by and say “Oh, it’s right down that street, but don’t know if they’re still open”. We look at each other confused and they said “You’re talking about KFC right?” Turns out they call KFC “Dirty bird” and MCD’s “Mackers”.
We end up hanging out with these locals, Karl and Scott, and what a great connection! Extremely polite and hospitable. The next day Karl picked me up for lunch and a personal tour of Arrowtown, a cute town that is home of the historic Chinese village during the gold rush.
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We stopped by a local brewery for a taster and chat with the owner.
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

My last night there I was lucky enough to get an invite from my new Kiwi friends for dinner and a spare room. Woohoo! Laundry, dinner cooked for me, a hot shower, my own room and a ride to the airport in the morning… Thanks again Karl! No dramas

His place on the hill.
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Front room and what you see while standing on the balcony.
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Oh dear laundry, enjoy the view and the fresh mountain breeze!
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…and view from the dinner table (I literally took this pic from the table)
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Rise and shine! Off to the airport for my journey to Argentina.
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Categories: Accommodations, Fashion from a backpack, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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