BootsnAll Travel Network

Archive for April, 2008

« Home

Slickers de la Ciudad

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Mel giving her horse some love…
Since the City Slickers movies of the early 90’s, Mel has dreamed of staying at a working dude ranch – learning to ride while living the cowboy life. (Surely this is coincidental to her ongoing attraction to men in cowboy hats and boots). What better place to experience this, than in Northern Argentina, home of the Argentinian cowboy, the gaucho? 

We are spending the weekend at Sayta (, an authentic estancia (or dude ranch in North American terms). Sayta is about an hour’s drive from the city of Salta, which itself is a 22-hour bus ride (or 2.5 hour flight in the Brel world), from Buenos Aires. Our estancia is everything we could want and more – gauchos in chaps chewing coca leaves, random chickens and geese running about, legends and myths, a tobacco plantation and a pasture of gorgeous horses. 

Our host, Enrique, is a hard-core gaucho – think Curly but with an incredible positive energy and spirit – the kind of guy who makes you instantly feel like you’ve been friends for years. His hosting style is one Brel can appreciate – bottomless glasses of wine, copious amounts of home-cooked food and a sense of humour second-to-none. Our lunches are cooked on a huge outdoor asado – endless, perfectly grilled meats arrive at our table for what seems like (and probably is) hours. Enrique goes to great effort to make sure we feel we are truly guests in his home. For dinner, we join him in his kitchen. We are served (and sometimes force-fed) beautiful Salteño wines until late into the night. In the afternoons, we join Enrique and his friends for mate. 

Riding is obviously a big part of staying at Sayta – there are morning and afternoon rides, through trails, up streams or into the mountains. Our delicate bottoms, too accustomed to our recent life of leisure, protest after every ride. 

We won’t soon forget our stay at Sayta. Enrique and his team have given us a welcomed sneak-peak into the world of the gaucho. Gracias! 

Our fabulous host, EnriqueB in baby chaps…Mel and NochetaB giving his horse some love…

estancia-day1-146.jpgB giggin´at the estancia…Check out those chaps…

Free Case of Wine to a Chronicles Reader…

Monday, April 28th, 2008

No, that wasn´t just to get your attention.

We are spending the next month in wine country – Bariloche, the Maipo Valley and Mendoza.  So as you can imagine, we don´t want our love affair with Argentinian wines to end.

We know we can´t just ship wine to Canada, because our wonderful country and it´s wonderful liquor control laws won´t allow it. The question is…if we ship it, what´s the worse that can happen? How much duty-taxes-penalties might we have to pay? There will be  3-4 weeks between the time we would ship it and the time we return to Canada.

One case of Malbec to the first reader to solve our dilemma…and our life-long gratitude…or gratitude for at least as long as the wine lasts. 


La Cumbre – en Español

Sunday, April 27th, 2008
Mi professora… While it may seem like our trip is all fun and games (and it is, mostly), Mel has been taking private Spanish lessons (3 hours/day) for the past few weeks. Well beyond telling time and ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Pichefying of Brendan, and the Powelling of Mel

Saturday, April 26th, 2008
 Half of Brel deconstructing his sandwich a la Piche With two years of dating behind us, and this many months of intensive dating via travelling, it was only a matter of time before we would start to ... [Continue reading this entry]

Yet Another Brel Attempt to Get Injured, Maimed or Die

Thursday, April 24th, 2008
 Up, up and away… We find ourselves in La Cumbre, a posh town in the northern part of the province of Cordoba, about 800 km from Buenos Aires. Known as a groovy, artsy town, La Cumbre is ... [Continue reading this entry]

Che Chicos! Lessons Learned on the Road Volume Cuatro

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008
 Drowning in wine… 1. Unpacking your bags once and settling down for a month: brilliant. 2. Don’t mess with the farmers. See previous blogs on beef strike and field burning. 3. You can never buy too many leather coats, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Buenos Aires – Good Airs??

Friday, April 18th, 2008
smoke-in-ba.jpg The literal translation of Buenos Aires is Good Airs, which is kind of ironic given what’s going on right now. The farmers, having recently given up their plight to restrict beef in Buenos Aires, have taken to ... [Continue reading this entry]

Mel Cries at the Zoo…well, almost…

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008
 Not sure he’s entirely happy… I realize that as an animal lover, I’m supposed to be anti-zoo. But I'm not afraid to admit it: I normally really, really like them.  The Buenos Aires Zoo, located in the heart of the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Important Beef Update

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008
Lunch for two!  We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog reading to bring you an important beef bulletin. We’re not sure why, but there’s some sort of reprieve going on with the whole beef strike. No need to lose ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Best of Max and Ollie

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008
 Our boys - all dressed up for our last night out together Some of you may have noticed the repeat appearances of two scruffy and dishevelled 18 year olds in our photos over the last few months. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Mel’s New ‘Do (and a pic of her wicked new boots)

Monday, April 14th, 2008
The End Result  Buenos Aires is a vain city by any standards: 1 in 10 women have an eating disorder; 1 in 30 people (that’s people, not women) have had plastic surgery; stylishly dressed and perfectly preened people ... [Continue reading this entry]

Tango in BA

Sunday, April 13th, 2008
 The Pros Tango is the soundtrack to Buenos Aires – whether it’s old school tango dancing in the streets, or the sounds of pop/rock songs that have been tango-ized, tango is everywhere. At once both seductive and ... [Continue reading this entry]

Beef is Everything – and so is Timing

Saturday, April 12th, 2008
One of the highlights of Argentina, as we learned from our travels here in 2006, is the beef. Unlike anything we can get at home, Argentinian beef literally melts in your mouth. And while you could piece the cow back ... [Continue reading this entry]

Home Sweet Home

Saturday, April 12th, 2008
 At home in Palermo At long last (sorry Brazil and Uruguay), we have arrived in Buenos Aires, the Paris of the Americas; the land of beef and wine, where history meets style and where thanks to a ... [Continue reading this entry]

Final Thoughts…Uruguay

Friday, April 11th, 2008
We spent a quick four days exploring some of the highlights of Uruguay. While not enough time to do it justice, we were able to get a flavour. By the Numbers • # of bottles consumed of medio y medio (a fantastic ... [Continue reading this entry]

Dolphins! the video

Friday, April 11th, 2008


Friday, April 11th, 2008

Final Thoughts…Brazil

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Come on, we know you’re all imagining this is what we do every day… Hiking Mel

By the Numbers