A Travellerspoint blog

Time has a way


The last month has been full of events that I did not have time to record. I guess once you start running around and doing things, things start to shake and make a shift in your life`s events.

For one, I hopped a flight to Brazil spontaneously with a friend and checked into a $25 p/n hotel for 6 days in Buzios. It was a very nice place, but definitely not a destination to head for off-season. The town is adorned with big doors marking the entrance to the best clubs in season but this time of year, its just part of the typography. Thats all. There were a few good days and some nice restaurants, like David and Don Julio which were pretty good. It's really the St. Tropez of Brazil with all the little boats floating by the shore,the houses along the coast and the warm breeze coming into the bay. Pretty tranquil and picturesque but not a destination for two single girls. Wait, two restless single girls with a lot on their minds. Just before I left, I let the guy know that I was leaving and I received a call that I would be missed and that I should not worry, we would have more opportunities to see one another in the future. Pretty promising and sounds incredible. What a way to keep me hanging. So after 5 nights of self-entertainment in the hotel performing one-on-one karayoke for ourselves, endless conversation about relationships, and ridiculously romantic dinners for two, we were Rio bound.

One of the most disappointing places I have ever been in considering it was so expensive I resorted to sushi almost every day, ventured to Barra to buy a real brazilian but instead found New Jersey right in the heart of it all, and encountered strange scenes at the city's best night spots only to be carried to Lapa to taste some real Brazil where most of the people were either tourists or drunk locals hitting on the tourists, hoping to get lucky. I think that the only time I really enjoyed myself, where I could breathe and take in everything before me, was at Corcovado where I looked at Rio from above and enjoyed the peace and quiet, the air, the geography and the sea of course. It is a city that to me is highly overrated and it`s quite sad. Sure, the geography is great with the tropical rainforest surrounding the city, but really not much more than that.

One week later, I was back in Buenos Aires. Things felt SO much better and I was definitely feeling like a local coming home. It was wonderful. The next week brought on some romantic surprises which were clearly wonderful, considering all the thinking I had been doing back in Brazil about someone, which rendered no answers or clarifications.

A few days after, a friend arrived from Tel Aviv, giving me a taste of everything I know to be home. Along with that, came the time to encounter people from the near past, including one specific individual. He managed to create a stir inside, getting me to think about the feelings that I thought had been somewhat put to rest. It was not good. I realized how impossible it really is. How this person really does not have what it takes to make me happy, to keep me in love and provide me with what I need and deserve - at least not now. It was by far the biggest smack in the face and it hurt so bad I gave myself a 6 hour long heartburn during the course of the night. I haven`t seen or heard from him for one week now. Everything is for the best, I choose to believe.

As I was still digesting the conclusions of this bad boy, destiny brought a different person my way. Someone who makes me laugh like no one has for a long time. It is a wonderful powerful chemisty that I am very thankful for and one of the most surprising encounters, considering I have been here for 3 months and this happens on the last week I am here.

I had a very interesting job interview, the result of which will be known on Tuesday. However, even if I do get this position, it is time to move on and I dont know why, but it is. Maybe the timing is right now. I am now 3 days away from my departure to NYC. The option to extend my ticket is still there but I`m not sure I should do this any longer. At least not for now. I have given myself 3 extensions and after all, it`s 3 strikes until the decision is made. It`s not such a bad one really, considering this has been an incredible journey of so many ups and downs. It may be time to start looking ahead. Buy that laptop and work on the dream and business plans for the coming year. I have every intention to come back to Buenos Aires, stronger, happier and more whole with everything that is a part of me and who I am.

My time here has brought so many interesting people my way and so many opportunities to learn about myself. I need to trust my instincts and feelings and decisions. Even if no one in the world stands by me, I stand with myself and proud of who I am and what I have achieved. I recall writing this in one of my earlier blogs which only proves to me that this really holds true now as well, and probably always will. Being alone, having to make decisions alone, far away from my safety net, has not been easy and it still is very hard. My mind questions all that I do but I must know and believe that everything I chose is out of choice and because it`s what I feel is right for me.

I came all this way, almost one year ago to spend time with the man who shook my heart and now, after three months of being here again, having returned to travel and to see the world and if there was anything real between us and might never really know after all, there are some things that are lost but many things gained. After the end of my 7 year relationship, I thought I could never weep on something that hurt so much. But its not true. I did this time as well. I was touched far, far deeper than this individual even knows. This departure to NY is not going to be an easy one as I have decided to leave without saying goodbye this time, and I am not expecting a smooth landing for myself on the emotional and mental side but its a challenge I need to face. I think I need to leave here to know that I can come back.

Posted by enoura 16:22 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Timing is everything; everything is timing

The plan

sunny 23 °C

So... the initial entry was a little desolate and sad.. luckily enough it remained only as a draft because since April 17th to date, things have changed for the better. I think I finally realized where I am and how lucky I am to be here. I have compromised a lot to make this big change in my life and move to another continent, on the other side of the world, in another hemisphere and ridiculous time zones away. But I did. I knew I could and I believed I would.

So, I have decided to stay in Buenos Aires a little longer thanks to the friends I have made here and the interesting encounters and understandings life and destiny have brought my way. LAN has seen way too much of me but has no complaints thanks to my penalty charges! But who cares really when.. I Am Here!! During the last two weeks, I´ve had some of the most interesting conversations I have ever had in my life with people I dont even really know. I now live in a great apartment in Palermo with the first room mate of my life and I am really enjoying it. Living like a Portena, food shopping, laundry, the whole package. Things I have never done before. It feels great. And although my travels have somewhat stopped geographically, I have not ceased discovering more each day, in the little things around me.

Last weekend, I joined a group of friends to La Martina (http://www.lamartinapolo.com.ar), a polo country home belonging to the family of world champ Adolfito Cambiaso. It was amazing! We were all gallopping on a breed of gorgeous horses, strong and poised, against the backdrop of sheer lush grass and forest. It was only about 60km from BsAs but far enough to feel very far away and disconnected from everything. A party of 7 in super intimate surroundings, we enjoyed a great asado and rode the horses for 4 or 5 hours! I`ll admit, these arent little farm horses, these are real polo horses so I was a bit freaked out, especially being after lunch and a superb bottle of Mendozan wine. But I´m in the land of chance and risk so why not. It was definitely one of the most beautiful experiences in my life. The feeling of riding fast on a horse in an open field, feeling the speed of the horse and trusting in the mind of this incredible creature is absolutely priceless. Unfortunately, and despite vaccinations I took before coming here, I got bitten 8 times on one hand and landed in the hospital because of an infection! It was a medication filled week that I managed to shake off with the help of wine and caipihirinias. Not a smart move, but Í`m in Buenos Aires and I am okay!

The passed week also brought a pleasant surprise. Lunch with the man that has no idea the my heart is a melted bowl of dulce when he is around. 6 weeks after being here. It was a very nice afternoon, talking about everything but, but at least talking and communicating. It felt nice and was something I had really missed, being here and all and not having had the chance to call or contact, in the city where I last fell in love. Really though, I made the choice not to. For obvious reasons. I have no doubt that I still have feelings for this person even thought it`s a mission impossible at this moment in time, knowing there´s a fear of acting on something for whatever reasons they may respectively be and not daring to face it. I know I can`t change that even though I wish I could but I dont regret one moment, because having fallen in love is an amazing thing and a real gift. Still, many things in life are about timing, and the world is a big, open place with so many possibilities and good things happen when we let the universe do its work.

So when I recall all of the coincidences I have with this specific individual and even those that stilll arise today and leave me speechless, I just look up to the sky and say ¨To me, its all destiny but I really dont know what to think anymore but I trust you so please, do whatever it is you have to do because I am just powerless at this point and I give in. Take me where I have to go¨. Timing is everything and maybe now is not the time.

So for now, as I am here, living my life, enjoying my afternoon teas, scouring for interesting books, swaying my head to the sound of sweet melodies at Thelonious and various good bars, and meeting more victims of Argentine men who stole their hearts and sanities as well. I am absorbing it all, letting it all be and just going with the flow. It`s all good and I am here. And its enough for me for now. Its amazing as it is. Whoever wants to be in my life will and vice versa. So I will be here until it will be time to move on. With or without the things I hope to achieve. And I´ll know because I`m learning to listen from the inside and live it like it is.

The other day, I sat at cafe Mott in Palermo Soho and a childhood memory came back: when I was in 6th grade, all the kids, including myself, were applying to a top notch school for the gifted and talented. My teacher at the time told my mom that she didnt think I was good enough, that I might not make it in. I went anyway. And when I got the pink letter in the mail, my mother, who to date is my biggest fan, screamed and cried with victory as if she herself just got accepted to the school. She bragged about it to all her friends, all the parents and in my teacher´s face. I will never forget it. I was a bit embarassed at the time because I didnt know how to handle it. I wanted to be special but I didnt know if I really was. And had I actually proven that I finally was worth it, that I was good enough? Why did it hit me? I realized how much my mother believes in me and my abilities. And if I wont believe, who will? So I have made the conscious choice not to return to my job just to prove I am worth it, because in essence, its not worth it. I dont have to prove that any longer because I realize, being so far from anything close to a routine, that anything is possible and its all a choice. And something else will always come along, doors open and close all the time. But you always stay with yourself so I´d better be damn comfortable!

Its time to learn some Spanish for real now. I´m going to enroll at LV Studio next week, a 10 minute walk from my newfound home and a chance to up the challenge a little more. I knew 2010 would be about something incredible. Not easy, but incredible.

Manana? A baseball game in Tigre. What`s better than a bunch of hot Argentine guys running around in tight uniforms on the field?


Posted by enoura 23:39 Archived in Argentina Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Princess in the Pod

A Weekend at Estancia La Candelaria

sunny 26 °C

What better way to live like a portena than live spontaneously and book a weekend at an estancia. And not just any place, a castle. Castillo La Candelaria, an hour away from Buenos Aires. Saturday morning greeted us with a warm sun and blue skies and as Shak and I breezed through the kilometers, buildings turned to country houses to toll booths and to open fields, the fresh air whipping away our hair in the car. The car stereo jammed to tunes of the sultry Brazilian talent, Vanessa da Mata. It was perfect.

The estancia is located 115 kilometers away from the urban bubble. We took the car but transfers are also available right from the hotel. A day of fun here is priced at 165 pesos, a night at the cottage 400 and a room in the castle 500 pesos and includes lunch, afternoon tea and tartes, dinner and breakfast. Why not, right? We came just in time for lunch and checked into the lunch room, marked with our name. The salads were nice and the highlight of the meat dishes was definitely the asado. We closed off with a wonderful flan and gaucho dance, and one of the dancers followed me all the way to the ladies room to dance with me. It was actually hilarious.. Shak had to get in there after me and pull me out.

In the afternoon we checked into our room, already prepared for the old spirits. No haunted house here though. It was just a nice, sweet room from 1894 equipped with two mosquitos that decided to eat every edible and visible piece of my skin during the entire night. 48 hours later I am once again beaten up and scratched like I just walked out of the Amazon. Definitely bring insect repellent! As we walked to dinner and crosse the lawn, a gorgeous black sky adorned with stars shined down on us and it was truly one of the most amazing things I have ever seen in my entire life. Pitch black. A zillion stars. Shining down on us. I could actually see the aura of light of the galaxies. Definitely outdoes anything and everything I saw in Sinai. The scene was both incredibly spiritual, a wonderful moment to connect with this miraculous universe and also romantic to tears. All there is is the feeling of wet grass beneath your feet, silence and a huge open sky shining down on you.

Anything I saw after this only downgrades this blog after trying to describe the beauty of the moment. But still, dinner was OK and satisfying. Breakfast was much better, in the castle´s dining room and out-of-touch Moroccan style chandelier which honestly, was a truly disconnected accessory in this entire castle. Dont know what they were thinking about when they put it up! Nevertheless, everything about breakfast was great.

Horseback riding with the gauchos was rather nice, although somewhat tiring. I wanted to gallop away into the open plains of the Pampas, feel the wind against my skin and feel like a warrior, holding on to dear life. But that didnt happen! No... just a calm relaxed ride around the estate. Nice, but definitely left a taste for the real thing. Polo lesson perhaps?

We drove back to the city, in somewhat silent anticipation to get back to the congested life... an urban dweller´s phenomenon that may never be explained clearly or ever understood. We made our way to yet another delicious spot, Tea Connection, where all the blends and drinks ar made of 100% natural ingredients and the food is as , fresh and tasty as a homemade meal. It was wonderful! The place is on Uriburu and the corner of Pena and tends to get packed with people enjoying the food and the WiFi on the way. Occasionally, there are even some good looking folk to refresh the eyes.

In the early evening I hit Palermo Soho with some friends and it is just one of the best places in the world that I truly, truly love. You just have to be here to understand what good weather, good food and good looking people bring together in Argentina. It could bring world peace, even if temporary! In the evening though, I could definitely feel that autumn is well in the air and in full throttle, especially when Las Canitas (Baez St) goes to sleep earlier than usual, which is what happened when Martin and I went for a drink.

The next days brought on internal debate on the road ahead. More on that soon.

Besos from rainy BA tonight.


Posted by enoura 20:47 Archived in Argentina Tagged lodging Comments (0)

Buenos Aires is much more than good air

what we eat, where we buy, how we live and why we love it.

sunny 25 °C

Coming back was truly a breath of fresh air: the tree lined streets, the chirping of the birds, huge mosquito bites, lovers kissing at every corner and even the smog of these ancient city buses felt like home again. At once, I reconnected with the fellow portenas and portenos that make up my life here and it felt wonderful.

Sunday we indulged in a great breakfast at Quimcombo on Costa Rica & Armenia with what was the most authentic pumpkin ravioli, handmade with love in butter and honey sauce. What could be better? The company I was with, a bunch of wonderful friends who make it all worth it. Sundays are never complete without a round of retail therapy to heal anyone, albeit temporarily. We covered the shopping areas of Palermo and somehow I found nothing. Everything is timing and timing is everything. Come dusk, we put on our urban asks and went to Isabel, BA's coolest and chicest spot where all one will find is a bunch of well bred locals, which I personally love. I found myself chatting with a rather interesting guy and actually enjoyed it. Of course, the encounter was followed with the classic Argentinean guy's charm, an sms "good night gorgeous". Does it ever end!?!?

And yet, the following morning was opened with a wring at my heart again. No time for moping, I took myself to Belgrano and walked the lovely neighborhood, reminiscent of my weekend strolls as a kid on the Upper East Side. Seriously, the beauty of this neighborhood cannot be captured on camera. It just has to be experienced. The tall trees just reach up to the sky and the leaves shade the calles, letting the sun peek in and it feels just like Paris. My dear friend Shak texted me just in time for lunch, and it was off to the land of "Oui Oui", a place you would never, ever come across until you sought the road less taken. Having met this place back in June, I was thrilled. The place has seating areas outside and it so relaxed and charming and sweet. Inside, the place looks is really a home-like, warm kitchen perfumed with the aromas of dulce-drenched muffins, waffles, cheese cakes, chocolate croissants decadent tarts. From our love of food, we moved on to discuss our love of love and all of the trials that come with it, a sea full of them, sometimes with no answers. All this, over a dulce-filled pie and Earl Grey tea served in 60's style dishes grandmothers love to use. We loved it. It was perfect.

We strolled SoHo and found our plan for tomorrow.

I was on a rampage of life! The evening brought another round of coffee with other friends at Voulez Bar on Cervino St., a gorgeous little boulevard just behind Republica de la India, or basically, the Zoo. What was once a local supermarket was renovated to a cafe and underground restaurant that looks incredible. To give the illusion of windows, they designed European style shutters illumnated to resemble a street lamp light peeking inside. It's amazing and really resembles a place where the intellectual come to debate on life, politics and ways of the world. And that's what we did as well.

In the spirit of NY Chinese takeaways, I parted from the lovely guys and ventured back to my friend's to enjoy one last dinner with all the girls and Leti who was flying back to France the next day. In between dipping eggrolls into Argentinean sweet & sour sauce, we summed up our new friendships with some tears, big promises to visit one another and a FB group - kitsch, I know, but appropriate.

Shak and I deecided it was time to reconnect to ourselves. We found a great Yoga studio, ValleTierra on Costa Rica that proved to be the remedy we needed to refresh and restart. It was great and I was ridiculously proud for having done a yoga class in Spanish. I learned to breathe in and out in a way I never knew before and the sounds that came out resembled those of an ocean. I felt very, very happy. We headed to Bar Seis to check out the lunch and were pleasantly surprised. The place filled up with local hippies and artsy types that I always love to look at and wonder what they're thinking.

It was there that in another deep conversation, I decided it was not time for Brazil. That gut feeling. Instead, I have chosen to stay in Argentina a bit more and head to Costa Rica & Panama in a couple of weeks. Rio will be kept for another time, in the near future but again, it's all the timing. And I cant explain it but it just felt right. One of those things. And when my brother texted me with thoughts along those exact same lines, I knew it was right. Intuition is a wonderous thing. It has the power to move things in the universe if you really, really listen hard. I was very motivated and my eyes started to sparkle.

We headed out to seek interesting things and came across a stunning boutique hotel, Ligado Mitico, that really is a dream out of a travel magazine. We lingered there for a bit and absorbed the atmosphere, the hospitality and the art. I indulged in a gorgeous silver wrought bracelet bound together by an oval topaz stone in the middle. Speechless. It had to be mine!

In BA, afternoons are meant for tea time and what a surprise awaited us at El Ultimo Beso. Heaven. Ok, a girl's heaven but heaven. Love oozing from every single item adorning this place and from every crevice in the walls. We each selected tea from the menus, named and inspired by sensual, romantic movies like Indecent Proposal, Ghost, French Kiss and others. Really cute. To match the teas of course, something sweet. Lemon pie and dulce de leche tarte. We couldn't roll our eyes back any farther from delight! It was in-cre-di-ble. That places makes you want to fall in love and somehow, everyone who came in after us was of the female kind, women sitting around these wrought iron pieces and French-style chaises talking about everything. Where are the men? Not here! I suppose I can understand why when you have chandeliers with dangling love letters above you, "I love you" dishes and cakes eyeing you, erotic books and the intoxicating smell of roses sticking to your clothes. It was great, really.

I was really feeling happy from the inside, being able to appreciate how lucky I am to be in this incredible place, experiencing these amazing things with such fantastic people. I am blessed.

Although I hadn't really kept the Passover tradition this year, I mean, Mendoza is not a place to deprive yourself of carbohydrates when you're downing wine all day long, I joined Nati and her family to a post-Passover dinner which was set in a beautiful home with nice people and a delicious menu. Again, I am blessed!

And this morning, my heart rang the memory bell, as if I should god forbid forget, and pushed up some feelings. I think that the energy burst of the last two days and my deep conversations with Shak were more powerful than we both realized. I believe that she is the answer to the letter I never wrote, asking for help and direction. An answer came today. I couldnt believe it. Only moments after my feelings got the best of me. Someone must be listening. You may think I'm crazy but I know for sure that the decisions and actions set forth this week were really, really significant. I spent my day getting to know a new friend from ASW (www.asmallworld.com) and it was great. This trip is really bringing in some great people into my life and along this journey. We lunched at Mark's best known for its salads, scoured for bargains and visited the Sybl Vane shoe shop on Armenia for the 10th time, coming out with yet another purchase at just under 200 pesos. You can never, ever have enough shoes. I parted ways with Julie and went to Carol's to greet the evening with a bottle of Malbec and cheese. Splendid.

This pretty much sums up the events of the past few days and I'm looking forward to what's in store.

Next destination? Probably land of the glaciers.

Buenos Aires is all that is passionate, unpredictable, exciting and inspiring.

Signing off at 12:54 from pleasant BsAs..


Posted by enoura 20:50 Archived in Argentina Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

The Perfect Ending: Total & utter indulgence

Trout & Wine Wine Tour

semi-overcast 21 °C

I´m so happy to finally be able to begin with a positive statement. It was wonderful! I highly recommend this kind of tour if you have no time for nonsense, non-English speaking tours with 30 people. This is THE way to go. I had such a great time. Michelle the tour guide from Trout & Wine was lovely and knowledgeable and yes, an English speaker.

We visited some excellent wineries today, starting with a French family-owned 85 year old winery called Carinae, named after one of the constellations in the sky. The wines were excellent and I was seeing stars at 10AM. I loved the Octan´s wine, which is the couple´s baby wine, perfect with meats. There were some nice Malbecs, Syrahs, Cabarnets and one stunning Torrentes, which I love and I dont generally like white wines. It was a great experience and definitely opened my appetite for more. All around the winery was a lovely vineyard and an original home which is now the tasting room, with a kitchen right out of the 40´s or 50´s. Beautiful.

Later we visited Bodega Terrazas de los Andres, which is really a gorgeous complex I wish I could call home. We had an amazing wine tasting on a long Tuscan-style wooden table, thick in density and long enough to seat 16 people. It was wonderful so see all the wine glasses presented so beautifully and the elements of vanilla, spice, dulce de leche and cinammon laid out before us. The tastings were wonderful and it was so much fun to sit there and flirt with all these wine varieties, trying to find which one appeals the most. The entire experience was so awesome, I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.

After 9 glasses of wine at this point, it was time for lunch at Ruca Malen, a beautiful vineyard and winery close to the Chilean border. Myself, along with a few other travelers, sneaked a little tasting off the vine to indulge in 100% malbec...wonderful! The dinner can not be concluded with any other word apart from regal[i].

We had 7 different types of wine including my new passion, Torrentes which comes from Cafayate...not to be missed! The food was delicious, the views were breath taking and the company around me was lovely. This was exactly what I needed and I finally found it, if only for a short while. I dont remember the last time I had such an indulgence-oriented meal.

Finally, our last stop was at Bodega Altavista, originally Spanish but bought by a French family linked to the ever famous Chandon. Little guinea pigs played in the grass across the estate and the birds were singing and the wind was whistling and some of the grapes were already harvested. We visited the winery after yet another 5 tastings and toured the place with a glass of champagna. At this point, anything they would tell me I would believe without question. I was so drunk but very content. On the drive back, the conclusion of the day was that this tour was worth every penny. Seeing all the effort that goes into the bottle of vino is fascinating, its a science to the last sip. I loved it.

When I got back to the hotel, which by the way is also a BIG NO NO (Hotel Carollo), I was supposed to have enjoyed a transfer back to the airport but instead had to lose my mood and awaken the temper when I encountered poor, poor service at this place. There are so many options and its so much better to go for a hostel (Monkey or Lao, personally) and its a big lesson when coming to a place like Mendoza. I was really fed up with the whole atmosphere of this city and lack of personable service and caring I hopped into a taxi two hours before my flight and hung out at the airport, where the sales lady at the gift shop was so nice she practically redeemed the entire city of Mendoza with her kindness.

I was very happy to finally be going back to Buenos Aires.

Posted by enoura 21:58 Archived in Argentina Tagged luxury_travel Comments (0)

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