Thursday, February 27, 2014

Yerba Mate

I'm trying this national tea called Mate. It's a bunch of mate leaves finely chopped up and put in a gourd. You use a silver straw that has a flared filter at the bottom of it to stop the bits from coming up the straw. We see people all over carrying their hot water in leather bags while sipping their mate as they walk down the street. 

It tastes horrible!‎ It's like dried grass clippings with dandelions thrown in. 


‎Dulce de Leche Waffles with banana and an iced coffee. Perfect way to start the afternoon.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Today, we climbed and hiked Perito Moreno Glacier. It was an amazing experience and we saw some incredible sights. Deep blue crevices that you could see all the way to the bottom and rivers that ran along the glacier then disappeared into giant drain holes. 

We had a picnic lunch on the glacier with spectacular panoramic views and enjoyed the perfect sunny weather. It was another great day!

We wore crampons to hike the glacier

Our guide said he was going to come back with his wetsuit and googles to dive in this large crevasse. It would be amazing to do this!

TK jumping over a large crevasse

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Perito Moreno Glacier

‎Today we went to Perito Moreno, located about 80 kms from El Calafate in Argentina. Perito Moreno is a glacier the size of Buenos Aires ( yes really) and it is one of the most beautiful natural sights we have ever seen. 

We first went by boat and cruised along the one half of the glacier face. It is 5kms wide, 30 kms long and over 60 meters high. The glacier also moves up to 2 meters per day! The sheer size of it is hard to appreciate as you lose perspective until you have something like a person or a boat nearby - then you can truly appreciate the enormity of this glacier.

We spent part of the afternoon admiring the glacier and watching giant slabs of ice cracking and splitting off the face and into the blue water creating huge waves!! Listening to the ice cracking and splitting was really cool. The ice falling into the water sounded like thunder. We could have done this all day long. :)

Tomorrow we will hike part of the glacier, so we're really looking forward to that. 

We will be in El Calafate for a few more days, enjoying the stunning Patagonian scenery. This is truly a spectacular part of the world and we feel so fortunate to be able to experience it.

Monday, February 24, 2014

El Calafate

‎We arrived to El Calafate this afternoon after a 1 hour flight north of Ushuaia. 

El Calafate is situated in the southern border of Lake Argentino. The name of the city is derived from a little bush with yellow flowers and dark blue berries that is very common in Patagonia. 

We walked the small town ( pop. 6000) and enjoyed a great crepe and then a Submarino. A Submarino here is a a tall glass of hot steamy milk with a chocolate bar thrown in! Mmmm!

In the morning we will head to Perito Moreno Glacier.

Sunday, February 23, 2014


The octopus here is just simply amazing! Tender and flavorful. When mixed together with king crab, it just is magnificent. Basically all we have eaten is king crab and octopus since we got here! And that is very okay!

Penguin Island

‎Today we visited Penguin Island where 12,000 Magellan penguins live. As well there are 60 Gintoo and 2 King penguins (pictured with orange head/beak). We were able to walk along the beach with them and then to their nesting grounds. These penguins are massive compared to the Galapagos penguin. The King penguins are the second largest penguins and are beautiful!

Friday, February 21, 2014


‎For our last night in Buenos Aires, we went to a fabulous tango show at a historic theater. What a night! The dancers were spectacular! And the music was fabulous. It was a great way to end our time in the lively city of Buenos Aires.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

To the end of the world... and beyond?

‎Early in the morning we head to Ushuaia. It is often referred to as "El Fin Del Mundo," The End of the World. Located at 54 degrees south, this port on the famed Beagle Channel is the jumping off point for Antarctica. Surrounded by Magellanic subpolar forests at the base of the haunting Martial range, Ushuaia is windy, cold, and desolate although likely not as bad as current conditions at home!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Buenos Aires

We've been chilling out in BA and have enjoyed the sights of this great city. We wandered the massive San Telmo outdoor market, the Casa Rosada (pictured) and saw Eva Peron's old room, as well as the current President's office. We also went to the beautiful La Recoleta Cemetery, which is the final resting place for many of Argentina's most famous and prestigious families.  Patagonia is next!

Friday, February 14, 2014

First Month Of Travel

‎What an incredible 1st month of travel! We did the Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu, visited the beautiful city of Cusco, Peru. Explored the Amazon jungle. Wandered Quito, Ecuador. Stood on the equator line and had an amazing experience in the Galapagos islands. We're loving every moment of our adventure and we so enjoy sharing our experiences with our friends and family. Next stop is Argentina!

Thursday, February 13, 2014


‎We left Isabela Island this morning at 6am and traveled by speedboat back to Santa Cruz island. It was a 2 hour ride back on pending seas. 

 Isabela is a very laid back place and we wish we could have stayed much longer there. ‎We swam with penguins, a beautiful giant sea turtle, a giant stingray the size of a dining room table and lots of new types of fishes we hadn't seen before.

 On our way back from the lagoon that we snorkelled in, there was a large male Fur seal staying in the middle of the boardwalk. We tried to go by but he charged me several times. All I could do was hold my snorkel and flippers in front of me to block him. He finally turned and jumped off the boardwalk. The seals that are in populated areas are definitely aggressive compared to on the uninhabited islands. 

We will be here in Santa Cruz until tomorrow morning and then we will head back to Quito for one night and then we leave for Buenos Aires!

Galapagos Penguin

‎Can't get any closer than this to a penguin! While snorkeling, we came across this little guy and he became very interested in his reflection on the camera. We had great fun swimming in circles.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Galapagos tortoise

Galapagos penguins

Blue-footed boobie

Galapagos islands

We arrived yesterday to Isabela Island after sailing around the smaller islands for 5 days. We saw some amazing things while sailing and snorkeling several times a day.

 We swam with penguins, leather-back turtles, sharks, fur seals, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, pelicans and some amazing tropical fishes!

It was mating season for the fur seals so there are seal pups everywhere! They are adorable to say the least. 

It is amazing how all the wildlife here just are simply not afraid of humans. You can literally get nose to nose with almost every creature here. Even the baby seals!

Yesterday we visited the Charles Darwin Research Station in Santa Cruz island where the giant tortoises are bred. These incredibly large creatures are magnificent to watch and are very curious and friendly. ‎You can even hand feed them. The largest males weigh over 200 kg! 

Isabela is the largest island in the Galapagos and very laid back here. It has beautiful beaches and volcanoes.

Galapagos is amazing!

Thursday, February 6, 2014


‎Tomorrow morning we are flying to the Galapagos islands where we will sail around for 5 days exploring different islands and hopefully seeing many interesting creatures!  After that, we will stay on Isabela Island for a few days before heading back to the Ecuadorian mainland.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


One of our favourite things about traveling is experiencing different cultures through food.  From local diners to fancy restaurants, we love how different flavors are combined and presented.  Today was a fun food day as we experienced amazing food in two very different settings.  The first was breakfast... we wandered around the narrow, cobblestoned streets of old Quito looking for a good place for Desayuno (breakfast).  We stubbled upon a little spot that seemed full of locals (always a good sign).  We got the last table at the back of the restaurant and looked around to see everyone enjoying the same dish.  We mentioned to the waitress that "we'll have what they are having"... she responded with "Of course - that's all we serve!".   Breakfast consisted of freshly made bread with fresh cheese, a plate of sauteed beef with a delicious and greasy sauce, rice, peas and carrots, and rice - as well as juice and coffee.  It was a HUGE breakfast that filled up us for most of the day and it was $1.75 each.

Feeling like we saved so much money on breakfast, we decided to go to a nice restaurant for dinner.  We chose Casa Gangotena's restaurant, which is inside the beautiful and very fancy hotel at San Francisco Plaza.

The restaurant was very high-end with beautiful flowers and art throughout.  Michael ordered the grilled beef tenderloin with andean potatoes and pumpkin ravioli.  The tenderloin came with 6 different accompanying sauces!  Tenille ordered the Ecuadorian veal stew, which was also very delicious.  Although we felt a little under dressed in our travel clothes, we had amazing service and very much enjoyed the fine cuisine.

Although we're both so full from dinner... there's always a part of me that's excited for the next meal to come!

Monday, February 3, 2014

El Presidente

The Presidential palace is a block down the street from our hotel. This morning we saw a huge crowd in front with horses and the Presidential guard in their 19th century uniforms. We then watched as the changing of the guard was performed while the President  and his distinguished guests looked on from the balcony. The band's played on and the flag was raised as everyone sang the national anthem. It was pretty cool.