Friday, January 30, 2009

New Blog for the Leshers in Puerto Vallarta!

Yes, this blog that you reached is a story about the Lesher family of 4 living in Buenos Aires, Argentina and traveling through other South American country's. If you are planning a trip to Argentina or somewhere in South America, you will find some great tips, links, restaurants, cruises, etc right here. If you want to know what we are doing NOW in 2009, go to Leave a comment if you have any questions!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Getting ready for the big trip to Hershey PA on May 19, 2008. Take a peak through this blog for links and websites to help those of you traveling to Argentina in the near future.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

"Mate", an Argentine Ritual

Nothing captures the essence of the Argentine culture more than the preparation and consumption of mate. Mate is an elaborate ritual that you see transpiring on the streets, in the boutiques, behind the newsstand, in the bus terminal, at the neighborhood park, on the bus, at the arts and crafts shows, and basically anywhere where one can take a thermos(for hot water), mate(gourd), yerba(the tea) and a bombilla(the straw with a filter). Leather bags are made just for the transportation of the "mate".

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There is an informal etiquette for preparing and drinking Mate. The cebador(server) fills the gourd(mate) almost to the top with the yerba(tea), then pours very hot water into the gourd(mate). It is then passed along to the group, being friends, family or coworkers. Sharing is key. Each participant drinks the gourd dry and then hands it back to the cebador, who then gives to the next person in a clockwise direction. The bombilla is the "silver straw like" thing that has a built in filter.

I was fascinated by the whole cultural thing taking pictures whenever I could with out being rude. I did some reading about it but really enjoyed seeing it transpire around us where ever we traveled.

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Check out my "Mate Moments" Slide Show:

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Old news: Buenos Aires Meatless? Later, Under Smoke?

Upon our return from the cruise around Cape Horn, we entered our previous apartment, so it felt like returning home again. However, things weren't all quite the same as we settled in so to speak. Of course, one of the first things to do besides UNPACK again was to head to the grocery store and restock the kitchen. Coto supermercado wasn't quite the same though. When I got there, the shelves were meatless except for some frozen chicken and the fresh vegetables were scarce? Watch this:

You Tube: Wheres the beef?

The farmers in protest blocked the roads so that meats and vegtables in addition to other items could not be easily delivered to the city of Buenos Aires. And did you hear this debate between the government and the farmers went on for over 19 days? Can you imagine? No one starved mind you. Just a little inconvenience for a cause.

We had just missed one of the protests that took place ALL over the city. Here's a sample of it:

You Tube: Grab your pot and pan

Did you notice whole families participating, peacefully?

Next event was the smoke that permeated the air throughout the city. Watch this:

You Tube: Buenos Aires under Smoke

I'm sure our friends out west in the USA are completely familiar with the dilemma of permeating smoke in their communities due to our raging fires set by careless people. This was our first experience with it. So people with problems flooded the hospitals. Others just put on a cloth mask as they went to work. Others just stayed inside. Although you did at times get the smell in the apartment.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Gallery Nights! Don't miss it!

GALLERY NIGHTS, whether you are an art connoisseur or just an admirer of it, you don't want to miss it! If you are visiting during the last Friday of a month, except during summer time(January and February), check it out. Each Gallery Night there is a new route and tour of the galleries. Some businesses feature an artist's display for the evening and regular art galleries along the route are open. All are serving a free glass of champagne and offering an opportunity to meet the artists as you admire their creations. You can see the route of the tour on a map before you head out. Just go to the website I linked in the beginning sentence and you can translate it easily with babel fish. Once you arrive at any of the 60 or so galleries, they will give you a brochure of the evening's gallery tour locations with a map of the route. So you walk a little, admire some art, drink some champagne, and watch the streets come ALIVE with people all dressed for the occasion.

Feria de San Telmo Return Visit

After cruising, we returned to our same apartment in BA. Our friends the Willbanks wanted to visit San Telmo for their first time so we returned. Here are more pictures of what you can expect to see at this antique hippy style arts and crafts affair!

Over 8 blocks on a street called "Defensa" are closed exclusively for this fair every Sunday. From Plaza Dorrego to Pasaje San Lorenzo you will find the unusual.

Crayons of all colors.

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If you are LUCKY, you'll catch a Tango show in the streets. Just leave a tip in the hat!

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Musicians play throughout the day.

Have any dust? Get your handmade feather duster right here.

No flower vans allowed on this street.

I'll post a blog on this contraption soon...
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Randall bought his first hand woven bracelet from this man. I think it's wonderful to give to those who are willing to work for some money.
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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Last Port - Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo, Uruguay is a charming city made up of 19th century Beaux Arts buildings, parks and historical monuments. Located between Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay is the second smallest country in South America. Half the country's population of 3 million live here in Montevideo.

Once again we found a South American style arts and crafts fair.

Randall discovered a antique rendition of a leather man.

It still plays! What ambiance it added to the scene.

Once again another adventurous chapter in our lives comes to a close. Time to say good bye to new friends.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Penguins at the Falkland Islands or Islas Malvinas?

Penguin Slide Show:
just click on the arrow above to play it.

In the 1982 there was a bitter short war between the British and Argentines with both claiming rights to the islands off the coast of Argentina. The British won. While the world refers to the islands as the Falklands, the Argentines believe the islands are rightfully theirs and solely refer to them as the Islas Malvinas.

Right out side of Stanley, the capital, is where we anchored taking tenders ashore. A quaint town with brightly colored roof tops sits on relatively flat land. Historically the economy has been based on sheep farming. However a worldwide slump in demand has left the farmers struggling to survive. Now they rely on fishing and tourism.
I'm a happy camper because we are going to see the PENGUINS!

The islands are a paradise for bird watchers with over 120 species. One of which is the penguin.
Gentoo, rockhopper, king and jackass penguins can all be found on the islands. At Gypsy Cove we saw the jackass penguins.

If you look closely, you can see the penguin in his nest.

Unfortunately, none of my penguin pictures turned out very crisp and clear! Oh well. I looked up a website for you if you 'd like to see some better penguin pictures of the various species on the island! Check these pictures out.

"Okay, enough with the penguins!" And back we went to the ship.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


After leaving Ushuaia, the southern most city in the world, we left the Beagle Channel and cruised out around Cape Horn! In the distance you can see we are approaching Cape Horn. The southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of southern Chile. Cape Horn is the southern tip of South America and also the most southerly of the great capes. For many years clipper ships had to use it as a trade route. However, the waters around the cape can be particularly hazardous, due to strong winds, large waves, and icebergs. These dangers have made it notoriously known as a sailors grave yard! Hum, here we go...

Cape Horn
Knowing it was going to be blustery cold overcast morning, it was so hard to get out of bed. But, how could I miss seeing it! According to the ships log(as mentioned below the other day), the winds were force 10 to 11! I had to hold on tight to walk across the ship to get the pictures along with all the other crazed passengers. Randall and the children, warm in bed, peered through our cabin window, hum.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Southern most city on earth, Ushuaia

Traveling through the Beagle Channel on our way to Ushuaia. Beagle channel is named after the ship that carried Charles Darwin on his voyage of discovery in 1831 - 36.Ushuaia, the city on the island of Tierra del Fuego where we dropped anchor, is known as the southern most city in the world. It is nestled against a backdrop of snow capped mountains, densely forested peaks, and the Martial Mountains.

Ushuaia serves as the main jump off point for international scientists and tourists heading to Antarctica; as the southern terminus of the Panamerican Highway, it is literally at the end of the road; it is the capital of the Argentine portion of the island of Tierra del Fuego; and it is one of the most expensive cites in Argentina!
Just enjoying the views!

Nothing like a dip in hot water during a cold brisk day!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Easter fun at sea...

Randall looking down onto the eggs...
Extravagant Easter decorations located in the center of the ship throughout Easter day. In the "anytime dinning" room which is open 24 hours with buffets, there was numerous displays of Easter eggs in many shades and sizes! There were Easter egg activities for kids who wanted to participate.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Punta Arenas

This is a statue of Magellan in the square of Punta Arenas, Chile.
Apparently according to legend, if you kiss his foot you will return to Punta Arenas someday. Wouldn't mind returning to the awe of the Patagonia but imagine the germs! Yuk.

During our jaunt through the city we discovered an arts and crafts fair.
Apparently, this indigo blue lapis is one of the local mined gems.