Category Archives: Travel Journal

Costa Rica plants, animals, volcanoes and a quetzal

If Costa Rica doesn’t bring visions of lush forested jungle, it should. We visited Monte Verde Bosque Nuboso, not a rainforest, but a cloud forest. The distinction between rainforest and cloud forest wasn’t clear until we hiked to the viewpoint … Continue reading

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A man a plan a canal Panama (and a hat)

Our location at a Hyatt Place in Panama was easy to find. All we had to do was tell the taxi driver “Iglesia del Carmen” and he (or she) would bring us to this beautiful gothic church around the corner … Continue reading

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Lima, the city not the bean

The Old Town of Lima, Peru is filled with buildings from its development as a colonial capital beginning in the 16th century after the Spanish explorer Pizarro overtook the region from the Incas. We watched the changing of the guard in … Continue reading

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Santiago, a modern city with fascinating recent history

After visiting the old town of Buenos Aires, the wilderness of Patagonia, and the wineries of Mendoza, Santiago seemed different. It is a modern city, with highrises and chic neighborhoods. …and every U.S. chain imaginable. TGIFridays remains TGIFridays here, not TGIViernes! … Continue reading

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Valparaiso = Colorful in Spanish (not really, but it could)

From the modern city of Santiago to the old cobblestoned streets of Valparaiso is only a couple hours by car, but the differences are huge. Google Maps led us up twisting, turning narrow streets that reminded us of the nearly impassable … Continue reading

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The Chilean Connection: cows, wine, and Michigan Tech

We visited just one winery in Chile, Kingston Family Vineyards, and we think we picked the best one! Kingston was identified as one of the best Chilean wineries to visit and it was on our route between Santiago and Valparaiso. Surprisingly we found out we had … Continue reading

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Crossing the Andes, then and now

The distance from Mendoza Argentina to Santiago Chile is only 111 miles “as the crow flies.” But not many crows could follow the flight path over the high Andes. For us, making this crossing by car was relatively easy, though … Continue reading

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Wines of Mendoza, malbecs and more

It’s two weeks before harvest starts in Mendoza. Wine makers are a bit nervous about this year’s vintage because the area has had twice the normal amount of rain this season. Many of the vineyards have netting over the vines because … Continue reading

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El Chalten, our hiking adventure

About 130 miles north of El Calafate is El Chalten. All the local maps indicated we would have 30 miles or more on gravel road, but fortunately we didn’t. Instead we had this: Patagonia is a backbacker’s mecca. We saw numerous pairs … Continue reading

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El Calafate, home of Perito Moreno glacier

Our next Patagonia location was El Calafate. This town is the jumping off point for exploring spectacular glaciers. But first, a bit of other information. El Calafate borders Lago Argentino. Along the shore and growing wild throughout the area are calafate … Continue reading

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