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Archive for May, 2008

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Brel World Tour – Repeat Toronto Appearance

Friday, May 30th, 2008

With our tour of South America almost over, we will be in Toronto from June 15 – 20, before heading off to Turkey.

We´d invite you all for a BBQ were it not for the fact that we are homeless. We´re hoping that perhaps one of our dear friends will volunteer to host? Mel is happy to do the cooking. Shameless, we know.

So mark Thursday, June 19th on your calendars. (That date, coincidentally, will be the Brel 2-year anniversary. So whatever we do, a beer at the Foggy Dew is required.)

The Middle of the World

Thursday, May 29th, 2008


It´s high time Brel spent some time apart. And with Brendan writing away and working hard to meet deadlines, I ventured into the Ecuadorian cloudforest for the weekend. Two hours from Quito (the capital and largest city in Ecuador) lies a beautiful, mostly untouched cloudforest. And you get to cross the equator 3 times on your way there, which is kind of cool.

Staying at an extremely remote eco-lodge 2,200 metres from sea level, I  added some great birds to to my collection: new trogons, a multi-colored toucan, and a whole array of hummigbirds. Can´t wait for the birding in the Amazon and the Galapagos Islands…and of course, having my birding companion with me…Brendan really is a good spotter…

Barbet ToucanMasked Trogon

Important Brel Itinerary Updates

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008
We are in the midst of planning the third and final leg of our adventure and would love your thoughts if you´ve been to any of the countires on our itinerary. We´ve changed our plans considerably (yay Africa! see you next ... [Continue reading this entry]

Vines of Mendoza

Monday, May 26th, 2008
 Luigi Bosca With over 1,000 wineries, Mendoza really is a wine lovers´paradise. And with only one week to explore, you can imagine the pressure Brel was feeling to sample as many as possible. While our livers may ... [Continue reading this entry]

See, Swirl, Sniff, Sip and Savour – Brel Style

Monday, May 19th, 2008
 Brel tasting session “Wine tasting is the sensory examination and evaluation of wine. There are five basic steps in tasting wine: color, swirl, smell, taste, and savour. Essentially, a taster is looking for clarity, varietal character, integration, expressiveness, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Don´t Cry for me Argentina…

Saturday, May 17th, 2008
 Out the bus window..
Don´t cry for me Argentina  The truth is, I never left you All through Puerto Varas  And Santiago I kept my promise You knew I´d be back....
Sorry Chile...our hearts are still in Argentina, so we´ve returned to spend some time in Mendoza, a.k.a. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Final Thoughts…Chile

Friday, May 16th, 2008
wineries-015.jpg  Moments We´d Rather Forget...
  • How much we made everyone worry that we were too close to the erupting volcano
  • The sticker shock - especially after a month in Argentina
  • How North American it all seemed...

Santiago – kind of like a big bowl of pollution

Thursday, May 15th, 2008
Mmm…smell that clean air… This is a bad time of year to visit Santiago. Surrounded by the Andes, it's kind of like a cesspool of pollution. The air is thick and nasty and you can't actually see the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Brel at a Chilean Volcano…no, not THAT volcano

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008
 puerto-varas-046.jpg We´ve crossed the Andes and entered Chile at a most interesting time - the Chaiten volcano is erupting for the first time in over 9,000 years and it´s all over the international news. The smoke and ... [Continue reading this entry]

Final Thoughts…Argentina

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008
 Hola Argentina! By The Numbers
  • Number of Purchases:
    • Leather purses: 7
    • Leather jackets: 5
    • Shoes and boots: 7
  • Number of animals who gave their lives for our purchases (including a guanaco): uh, not really sure we want to know this
  • Number of days ... [Continue reading this entry]

Just think of us as coming from the Land of Chocolate…

Sunday, May 11th, 2008
 Mel in her happy place Bariloche, in northern Patagonia, Argentina, is home to more than 50 artesan chocolate shops and over a dozen microbreweries. How do you spell Brel heaven? B-A-R-I-L-O-C-H-E. Set amidst the Andes, Bariloche is also a world-reknowned ... [Continue reading this entry]

World´s Worst Photo of Brendan…or is it?

Friday, May 9th, 2008
 salta-south-055.jpg You know Mel is the one writing this blog when this photo actually makes it onto the site. I just can´t help laughing out loud every time I see I actually date this person? Of course this ... [Continue reading this entry]

Journey to Salta

Friday, May 9th, 2008
salta-north-049.jpg  Gaining an understanding of Argentina means more than just hanging out in trendy restaurants and binging on beef and wine in Buenos Aires. (Not that there´s anything wrong with that.) And so we journeyed to the province of Salta, ... [Continue reading this entry]

A Rant about Rogers

Friday, May 2nd, 2008
An open letter to Ted Rogers:  One would think that being out of the country for 4 months would translate to fewer issues with you, the cable and internet provider from hell. I’m sure you understand our surprise then, to find ... [Continue reading this entry]

Groove Armada!!

Thursday, May 1st, 2008
We are going to Grooooove Armada! Right now!! In Buenos Aires!  Wicked.