I will acknowledge cycling on a road surface feels like heaven after days on dirt roads.

…especially when you have a tail wind.

We took the Marion Bay Road – out of Marion Bay – and surprisingly they call it a scenic drive. Given you don’t see much apart from farmland… I guess it’s different to the usual views of the ocean.

But finally we did make it to the lighthouse.

… and for that view alone I think the scenic view was definitely worth it.

Argentinean Wineries

Vina Cobos

When in Mendoza, we spent a day visiting three wineries:
The day commenced at 11am.  It did seem early, but it was scheduled. This means the visit was pre-arranged with the winery, and ensures you are accommodated with their team – but more importantly you get past the security guy on the gate.  Once we got in the building (Vina Cobos) it was quite a large building a few years old, and we perused the tasting menu while while they cleared up after the previous group.  The tasting menu lists the various combinations of their different wineries, and the cost of the different tasting packages from 30 – 55+ $AG. We were talked through the region of the location of their vineyards and the affect of the terrior on their different wines.  At this point we were sat down and selected the wine tasting package.
The tasting serves was equal to a size your would pour yourself with dinner – which was still quite large. Thankfully we had a driver and we shared the one serve.  At the first winery we tried all Malbec variety of wines – we were in Argentina and this is their specialty.  They were good, but thankfully our ability to buy a number of bottles was restricted…as we weren’t going to pay an addition $US480 for a dozen to be sent home!  We decided to buy one bottle, and then headed to the next winery.
At Domino del Planta we received an explanation about their winery and then taken on a tour of the winery production area with another four tourists.  As we were walking among the vats, one of the openings on large vat of red wine burst open spraying wine all over the six tourists.  Thankfully we weren’t wearing white!  As part of the the plan for the day we had lunch here and as the guide was very embarrassed, provided us all a glass of their best wine… and it was truly great.  We didn’t buy a bottle as they had a supplier in Australia.  After lunch, we headed to Bressia winery.  Here we didn’t get a tour, but a limited overview of their wines.  The host had been with the company since April, and perhaps was the least skilled in providing us with an overview and selling points of the wine.  It also didn’t help we had completed lunch which included wine!

Domino del Planta

As if tasting wine all day wasn’t enough… early evening we also attended a wine tasting event where we were staying (Cavas Wine Lodge).  While Malbec is the most known grape variety of the country, you can also find a fabulous varietal called Torrentes.  This was delightful (read the wikipedia link for more info)  One of my ultimate finds this holiday was the variety of Torentes – this wine was truly outstanding.  I really wished we could buy a bottle… but I will have to be hopeful I can find an importer of this in Australia.

Wine tasting at Cavas Wine Lodge

The day was certainly an interesting experience  – as it provided an interesting comparison to the Australian experience.  We need to be very thankful we can jump in car any day of the week and just rock-up to a winery, and try wines without paying, and getting past security on the gate.  We are truly fortunate.

14 hours…!

Apparently the title of this post is a complaint… Or so Kym tells me. Maybe it is, but to me it is more of a “I can’t believe I’m going to get into a plane for that length of time”, sigh.

Here we are again in a lounge waiting to board, Kym is downloading magazines and I am will check out an ebook.

The holiday has been fantastic. We’ve been a little short on posts due to wifi limitations… So expect some more posts, and photos to be uploaded on the other side of the pond and over the weekend!


Easter Island from the air


… and so we must pack


Today in Valparasio it wasn’t sunny at all. The fog had rolled in and we had sea mist for the better part of the day, with a temperature around 20 and cool. Thankfully, we saw Valparasio at its best yesterday with blue sky and warmth.

We spent the day wandering up and down the hills (oh the calf muscles!), visiting a market, riding the 612 up and down the hills (crazy crazy bus ride where if you were sitting and weren’t hanging on you could of fallen out of the back door!), and photographing graffiti.

Alas, all things must come to an end, and we must pack. Back to the airport tomorrow morning at 9.

Looking at the temperature in Adelaide… My only statement is who turned up the temperature? It’s warmer there than here!


Dog lovers…

Bike tour

There are a lot of dogs in Chile. You can see them everywhere. On the street, in the parks, hanging around street shops, and running around with each other. This includes Easter Island.

So… Who owns these dogs? Well, in short no-one, and everyone. I can hear the dog fans up in arms. But it’s true. In parks and on some streets there are dog houses built by the locals for the dogs. People from the neighbourhood will come and feed them either at the dog houses (we did see this) or on the street. As you dog lovers can appreciate its hard to reject the eyes of a dog who is staring at you while eating.

The bike tour we went on in Santiago had a dog follow us for the majority of the journey… and a few days later we noticed the same dog outside the building where the tours commenced. Our guide was very surprised dogs had to be registered in Australia.

I will admit there are some dogs which look better than others. But it is probably the toughest which survive.

This may depress some of you, given the lack of care, but not being a dog fan myself the dogs here are really quiet and seldom bark. Which is a good thing given the number! This makes us wonder, do the dogs bark at home more because they have no interaction with other humans or dogs while we are out at work, and crave attention when the owners come home? Have we created barking dogs ourselves? Oh, that’s a little too deep for holiday thinking, must be time for dinner!

Foodie report.

You might be wondering where all the reports about food are. Well worry not, South America is not a foodie desert. There is an abundance of great food.

I could start with with Easter Island’s fantastically friendly Japanese restaurant using local fish to prepare great sushi or sashimi. Or the great empanadas we’ve had in Mendoza, Córdoba, Santiago, or Easter Island. Particularly the empanadas with cheese and locally caught tuna on Easter Island,

Cavas Wine Lodge

Or I could start the three amazing restaurants that are easily amongst the best in the world.

Amazing foraged tastes at Borago in Santiago

Cavas Wine Lodge
The best steak cooked with fire at 1884 in Mendoza

Urban chic in Palermo, Buenos Aires

Or I could start with the fact that Argentina seems to be one of the few countries that know how to cook scrambled eggs properly. Yum!


Or I could start with the amazing private and romantic dinner on the roof terrace of our “hut” with a wood fire over looking the Andes….Magic! Or maybe lunch amongst the vineyards of Mendoza.

Dinner - Cavas wine lodge

Domino del Planta

Well, I haven’t even really started.. I’ll share more with you tomorrow. I can tell you tonight, however, that if you like food you will love Chile and Argentina!

Easter Island

In a word – fabulous. The moai statues are truly, truly amazing.

If you remember Internet speeds of 1200/75 or 300/300 then you might have an idea what the Internet speed is like here eon Easter Island. We do know we are on the most isolated island on earth, so we aren’t complaining.

Pictures, I’m afraid will have to wait until Sunday night our time.