After months of photos about excellent food I thought an update on exercise might be appropriate.
Prior to travel, I worked out regularly at a gym or outdoors. When I made the decision to long term travel, I accepted that exercise as I practiced it at home would not be a part of my routine during this year, and I welcomed the break. Most of my trip I have relied on walking and semi-regular higher intensity activities like hikes to stay fit. For a few months, I did 10 push-ups each morning and evening too.
When I visited Adam and Kevin in Buenos Aires, we talked about exercise. Kevin said he uses a free application on his phone called 7M or 7 Minutes to add short, efficient energy breaks into his day. I downloaded the app. and have been exercising regularly since April 12.
All of the exercises can be performed without equipment, although a wall and a step or chair are helpful. Using the app. I have exercised in dorm rooms, on beaches, on rooftops and at many plazas. The series of movements on the app. is scientifically proven (for what that is worth) to pack all the benefits of a longer workout into a shorter time period.
I am enjoying my return to regular exercise and the mind and body benefits derived from this activity. I also know this routine would have been substantially more difficult to complete in places where the air quality was poor, the social conventions dictated specific dress requirements for women, and the culture did not encourage fitness.
So, for my friends and family who asked via email, “How can you eat so much food!?” My answer: exercise.
The snack provided by the bus company TurBus on my bus journey to Mendoza from Viña del Mar. I bought and ate almonds and yogurt for breakfast in Mendoza. The pizza and beer were my dinner the first night in Mendoza.
Along with a large group of great people from the hostel, we toured vineyards in Mendoza. This Malbec from Tempus Alba was excellent. We ate small empanadas – one sweet potato and one meat – with the wine.
Our group at our third and final vineyard of the day. The word vago means someone who does nothing all day long. We appreciated the irony in the name given our status as travelers and enjoyed the wine too. Throughout Argentina I bought Vago at grocery stores.
I met Marlou, Amy, and Ces at our hostel in Mendoza. At the hot springs we picked pomegranates from the trees to eat.
A sampling of meals: food served on the bus ride from Mendoza to Cordoba; fruit and nuts purchased early in the morning in Cordoba and then eaten for breakfast; a sandwich and juice in Cordoba; lunch in Alta Gracia was a meat empanada and locally baked sweets for dessert.
At the hostel in Rosario I met Carlos (Argentine) and Alex (Russian). When they introduced themselves to me they joked with me and said they were grandfather and grandson. Of course I believed them! I bought wine and nibbles at local speciality stores. A tabla or appetizer plate is a popular restaurant order in Argentina and I made my own version.
With the help of TripAdviser, I found a cafe in Rosario for lunch. The set menu included quiche, salad, and coffee. I added dessert. This meal was one of my first salads in a while and was also more colorful than the food I had been eating. The dessert was Oreo cookies soaked in a mild liquor and layered with whip cream and caramel. It was rich.
In Buenos Aires I went grocery shopping after I arrived. Kevin and I (Adam had a work commitment over the dinner hour) munched on food from a tabla we assembled and drank wine.
The Palermo neighborhood in Buenos Aires is upscale. This traditional French coffee shop is not out of place in the area. I ate a macaroon and drank an espresso.
Spending time in a private kitchen stocked with all the utensils is a small pleasure for me. Kevin and I made picnic lunches and ate in their neighborhood park. Argentines consume more ice cream than most other nationalities. For about $10 USD, Adam bought a kilo of gelato for enjoyment during our days together.
There is a large Italian influence in Argentina making great pastas, pizza and dough readily available in Buenos Aires. A block away from Kevin and Adam’s home is an empanada and pasta shop. We bought caprese, meat, and spinach empanadas for our Friday night dinner and heated them in the oven. White wine and salad completed the meal. Saturday morning after the fundraising run Adam made waffles.
We drank sparkling wine before going out Saturday evening. Earlier that day Kevin prepared mate for me so I could taste some of this traditional Argentine drink.
Puertas cerradas restaurants (closed door restaurants) are popular in Buenos Aires. These dining establishments require reservations, serve food within a private home, and offer a different dinning experience from traditional restaurants. The three of us dined Saturday evening from 10:00pm to 1:00am at Casa Felix. We ate a 5-course pescatarian meal with a wine pairing.
This meal at Casa Felix was the first time I had wine paired with food. It was amazing how the flavors complimented each other and the pairings were a highlight. We all agreed, the food, while good, did not meet my expectations.
While I spent Sunday being a tourist in Buenos Aires, Kevin dedicated time to kitchen activities. He baked chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin pie and made yogurt in their yogurt maker. I had not realized how much I missed preparing food and being in a kitchen.
Sunday dinner was pasta tossed with a homemade pesto that Adam prepared. He has tomato and basil plants on their terrace so the pesto was fresh. We also ate salad, drank wine, and ate cookies for dessert.
Leftover salad from Sunday dinner was our lunch on Monday. I also had a slice of pie. Almonds, pear, and a peanut butter sandwich was my breakfast.
Meals on the bus from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls in Argentina Emily and I had dessert together.
Emily and Ben do a great job cooking while they travel. Together, we grocery shopped for ingredients for pasta bolognese and for lunches. Emily and Ben are from the UK. Emily said more than a few times that we needed to buy “mince” for the pasta. Each time she said “mince,” I heard “mint.” We had a great laugh when I realized we were trying to buy ground beef.
Breakfast at my hostel in Argentine Iguazu Falls. I supplemented the meal with fruit. My first meal in Foz de Iguazu in Brazil was at a per-kilo restaurant in the local grocery store. Per kilo restaurants are buffets where 1kg of food will cost between 40-70 reals or $13-22USD. This style of restaurant is prevalent across the country.
At the grocery store in Foz de Iguazu I bought ingredients for salads. It was a pleasure to eat lunch with Emily and Ben. Breakfast at our hostel on the Brazilian side of the falls was one of the most complete morning meals offered by a hostel.
My sister Wendy celebrated her birthday in Minnesota. I did not get to taste this meal but the fajitas, cake and Moscow Mules looked like something that belong in Eating Well.