Why look, it is time for another meal!
Why look, it is time for another meal!
Apr 072011

San Martín de los Andes proved to be a smaller and quieter version of Bariloche.  Like Bariloche, it is situated on the bank of a nice blue lake and is completely surrounded by pine-covered mountains.  I guess it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the surrounding forests and parks are the main attraction.

A photo of me taking a photo.
A photo of me taking a photo.

On our first morning we climbed the Mirador Bandurrias for a view of the town and the far eastern end of Lake Lácar.  It is an easy 45 minute hike from the edge of town once you find the trailhead.  There are a couple houses near the top and an old lady that charges you a couple of pesos to enter (private property?) but it is certainly worth it.  The views were spectacular and the old ladies’ goats were also fun to watch.  I gave one a crab apple that I found on the trail and he seemed very pleased with it.

Volcán Lanín - 3776m
Volcán Lanín – 3776m

Later that day we hopped in the car and drove north to Lago Huechulafquen to get a peek at the Lanín volcano.  It was late in the day so we opted to not enter the park (around $12 per person) but were still able to see it from the windy shore of the lake.

On day 2 in San Martín we headed west on a dirt road that hugs the north shore of Lago Lácar.  The road goes all the way to Chile but we only wanted to go as far as Yuco Park to check out the lake shore.  We rolled into the park in our tiny Chevy Corsa and discovered a couple dozen other vehicles in the parking area: all of them were SUVs.  At first I thought that perhaps I had misjudged the quality of the road on the way in (it was dry and mostly downhill).

Arrayanes trees
Arrayanes trees

It wasn’t until a few minutes later, when we came across a group of 40 or so American/Canadian tourists, that I put two and two together.  Their guides were packing up their fancy catered lunch and they were all piling back into their SUVs.  The way I had it figured, they were each traveling two to a vehicle.  That’s an environmentally conscious way to tour a national park.  Either way, after the group left we had the place more or less to ourselves.  It was gorgeous.

San Martín de los Andes
The town as viewed from the mirador.  A short 45 minute walk from the center.
The town as viewed from the mirador. A short 45 minute walk from the center.
...and the view in the other direction down Lake Lácar.
…and the view in the other direction down Lake Lácar.
A photo of me taking a photo.
A photo of me taking a photo.
San Martín has a nice selection of dogs.  Here is a particularly furry model.
San Martín has a nice selection of dogs. Here is a particularly furry model.
The central plaza (either Sarmiento or San Martín, I can't remember which.)
The central plaza (either Sarmiento or San Martín, I can’t remember which.)
They have strange pine trees in these parts.
They have strange pine trees in these parts.
Volcán Lanín - 3776m
Volcán Lanín – 3776m
La costa de Lago Huechulafquen
La costa de Lago Huechulafquen
The next day back on Lago Lácar
The next day back on Lago Lácar
Arrayanes trees
Arrayanes trees
More arrayanes trees
More arrayanes trees
Our own private beach
Our own private beach
A hummingbird!  Check out what happens when he turns his head...
A hummingbird! Check out what happens when he turns his head…
Yep, it is red when viewed from the front.  Same bird.
Yep, it is red when viewed from the front. Same bird.
The view from our room at Siete Flores Hosteria.  Got this place for $40/night thanks to a groupon deal in BsAs.
The view from our room at Siete Flores Hosteria. Got this place for $40/night thanks to a groupon deal in BsAs.
Killer breakfast with all sorts of locally made jams.
Killer breakfast with all sorts of locally made jams.


Birthday Dinner

Argentina Comments Off
Apr 052011
My main: Trout Navarra
My main: Trout Navarra

Last week, Amy treated me to dinner at a little place we read about called El Mesón in San Martín de los Andes.  The restaurant is in a small house that is just off the main street.  We showed up at 9PM, about the time the dinner crowd starts in Argentina, and found the place completely empty.  We were eagerly greeted by the owner and shown to a table.

The Lakes District in Argentina is known for its trout so I wanted to have that as my main course.  For the starter, we picked out some sort of toasted bread covered in smoked eggplant, red peppers and anchovies.  The owner surprised us by comping a plate of salmon and trout ceviche along with some homemade mint liquor at the end of the meal.  I was one happy (and stuffed) camper on my birthday!  There are more pictures below (those of you reading via email subscriptions will have to visit the web site).

An entrada complements of the owner!  Trout and salmon ceviche and caprese salad skewers with toasted bread.
An entrada complements of the owner! Trout and salmon ceviche and caprese salad skewers with toasted bread.

I am sorry that there haven’t been more regular posts over the past few days but we have been very busy touring Chiloé Island here in Chile.  I hope to pick up the pace over the next few days!

Birthday Dinner at El Mesón
One of the best restaurants in town is actually in a small house on a side street.
One of the best restaurants in town is actually in a small house on a side street.
The dining room was ready for guests but we were the only ones that night.
The dining room was ready for guests but we were the only ones that night.
Birthday boy considers the options.
Birthday boy considers the options.
Amy shows her sparkles...
Amy shows her sparkles…
...and is always planning.  How to take over San Martín here.
…and is always planning. How to take over San Martín here.
An entrada complements of the owner!  Trout and salmon ceviche and caprese salad skewers with toasted bread.
An entrada complements of the owner! Trout and salmon ceviche and caprese salad skewers with toasted bread.
Our actual entrada: a big piece of toast with smoked/marinated eggplant and red pepper topped with anchovies.
Our actual entrada: a big piece of toast with smoked/marinated eggplant and red pepper topped with anchovies.
My main: Trout Navarra
My main: Trout Navarra
The trout was sauteed with garlic and topped with crispy ham.  On the side: veggies and a twice baked/fried potato.
The trout was sauteed with garlic and topped with crispy ham. On the side: veggies and a twice baked/fried potato.
Amy's main: grilled veggies
Amy’s main: grilled veggies
A cafe to finish and afterwards some delicious homemade mint liquor on the house.  Almost in a food coma by this point.
A cafe to finish and afterwards some delicious homemade mint liquor on the house. Almost in a food coma by this point.


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