Monday, March 28, 2011

The Roaming Gaucho

More to come on our new life but in the mean time, I have plenty to share about Porvenir still...
Remember this guy? Well he is still roaming around the Tierra del Fuego hills with his horses and various dogs. A couple of times I even saw the horses tied up in Porvenir for days on end. I'm not sure how he survives exactly but apparently he is doing ok because every time we see him out in the middle of nowhere, he asks only for cigarettes, no food or money! Wanted to share these great photos Fernando took of him about a month ago. Just like last time, he has a gentle look and friendly disposition.








Friday, March 25, 2011

Checking In

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind - nothing like our routine in Porvenir. Moving to Punta Arenas was definitely the right decision for us. But we are not completely unpacked, we don't have internet and I got slammed with work so blogging has not been a priority lately!
Will be back soon, with pictures and reflections on our hop across the Strait!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Baaaah

I haven't shared anything about sheep in awhile. They're still here, in case you were worried. In the craziness of packing for our move, I leave you with some nice photos taken at an estancia (ranch) not too far from the king penguins. I think the sheep had just been sheared and were being rounded up to head back out to the pastures.




Oops- one who thought he escaped the shearing gets caught and sent back:


Look how all the other sheep steer clear!


A sea of sheep!


A close up of the sea!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Eating cow, like a cow at "Como Vaca"

One of my favorite things about traveling is discovering great places to eat and enjoying local food. While in Argentina, in the little town of El Chalten, we hit the jackpot with perhaps the best steak I have ever had. It was so good in fact, that we ate there three times (once a day!). The restaurant is called "Como Vaca" (which can translate as "I eat cow" or "Like a cow"). YUM

The steak was as big as a brick. Even Olivia seemed to not be able to get enough:


And not only was the food good, but the restaurant itself was super cute, family owned with a great ambiance:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Olivia's contribution to packing

Getting ready for the big move!





Note to parents of small children: letting your kid pull apart a Styrofoam block to make "snow" is a really bad idea!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Moving On



It is with a little sadness and a lot of excitement that today I share with you that we are moving to Punta Arenas in one week. Our days in Porvenir are coming to an end. A combination of factors have led to this decision. It was not an easy decision as Fernando will continue to have to be in Porvenir on a weekly basis for the king crab factory but life in a small isolated town on an island has just gotten to be too much for Olivia and me.
We will miss being within driving distance of a king penguin colony but instead will be within driving distance of a mall. (may sound superficial but let me see you try to live for a year and a half without the comforts and joys offered by a mall, especially in a harsh climate!)
We will miss the peace and quiet but instead will be surrounded by people, lots of them!
We will miss the personal relationship with the store clerks but instead will have many different stores to chose from with lots of food and goods we cannot get here.
We will miss the view from our house but will be replacing it with a beautiful view on the other side of the Strait from the upstairs of our new house.
And speaking of houses, we will miss our comfy little house that we put so much work in to but will be replacing it with a bigger, two story house in Punta Arenas.

Ok and now the things we will NOT miss:
Having to take a ferry to get anywhere in the world.
Not seeing anyone outside on the streets.
Not having anywhere to take Olivia to play inside.
Not having a mall, movie theater, swimming pool, bowling alley, more than 4 restaurants, a drug store, or a CAFE.
When sick, having to go to the hospital at 8:00 a.m. to take a number and then wait for hours to see a doctor (no appts, only first come first serve).

I haven't exactly decided what to do with the blog yet. Obviously I cannot continue blogging from the "in the land of fire" address as I will no longer be living in Tierra del Fuego. And also, life in Punta Arenas, while still fascinating and different from many of your lives, is not quite as fascinating as life in Porvenir. So give me some feedback. Should I continue blogging (under a new address) about life at the end of the earth even though it's not as extreme as life in Porvenir?

I have many more reflections and ideas to share about our time here. More later...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Perito Moreno Glacier

Our road trip last week took us through the Argentinian side of Patagonia, basically their equivalent of Torres del Paine. The main difference is that on the Chilean side, you have to do a lot of hiking or boat trips to get the best views whereas on the Argentina side, they have built up enough infrastructure that you can drive right to the views. Each side has its charm and advantages/disadvantages. But when you are pregnant and have a toddler, the driving right up to the view side is nice!
Our first destination was the Perito Moreno Glacier. Here are some pics.

Approaching from afar:





Here you can see just how close you can get. They have built a series of metal walkways that lead you right up to the glacier. You can take the pictures, buy the t-shirt and get back in your car and leave. Again, the Chilean side has its more rustic, exclusive charm since you have to hike or take boats to the best views but sometimes it's nice to step out of your car and look at an awesome glacier.


Nap time:


Not sure if it's a seasonal thing (since it's summer and it was actually quite warm), a global warming thing, or just a normal year round occurrence but about every 10 minutes a chunk of the glacier would fall off and crash into the water. It was very cool but very hard to catch on camera. Fernando got one good shot:


Getting tired on the labyrinth of staircases:


A final shot of the sign on the way out: