Why we skipped Uruguay

Trip Start Jan 05, 2011
Trip End Apr 03, 2011

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Where I stayed
Bo Hotel

Flag of Argentina  , Northern Argentina,
Tuesday, February 22, 2011

For those of you wondering why we didn't make it to Montevideo, the cost of the one hour return ferry tickets for the family was Ł568, I personally thought this was a bit much for a day trip.

The next stage of our journey takes us to the north west of Argentina, to a small village called Chicoana in the region of Salta. It is summer, but intense heat means rain, for 9 months of the year they don't see a drop of rain, but in summer, ie now, the rain is torrential. The road to Cachi Is impassable due to a landslide 2 days ago, which swept away two 4x4's. Bad planning me thinks, however, there is a break on the weather and we have glorious sunshine.

The hotel is lovely, well it should be, we did spend months trawling the Internet researching hotels. It is owned by a couple, Tony who is half French, half English and Roxanne, half Peruvian half Argentinian. They have led very interesting lives, owning an award winning bakery in Toulouse in the 90's before deciding that maybe running a hotel in Argentina was their destiny. They have created a beautiful place, the use of bright colours on the walls is a bold move, but it works so well reflecting colours of flowers in the garden. The garden has lots of terraces with places to sit, a small pool and it's just perfect for relaxing while the children are in the kitchen learning how to make bread and empanada's.

Inside, their taste is impeccable, it's shabby chic without the shabby! The kitchen is simple and functional but has a huge ornate chandelier, in the lounge, they have a mix of traditional French furniture, with modern pieces in bright orange and a pink chandelier, it looks great, Tony and Roxanne are bakers, hoteliers and seemingly interior designers. It is more like staying in a friends house than in a hotel.

The area grows huge amounts of tabacco, just next to the hotel are some smoke houses where they heat the tabacco leaves to dry them.  Roxanne takes us to have a look and meet the workers.  The leaves are harvested by hand, then transported on trucks to the smoke houses, which youŽll find on all farms.  The modern method stack the leaves into metal frames, which are secured with a large metal comb, these are then put on racking in the smoke houses, powered by gas heaters.  The traditional method sees them sewing leaves onto wooden stakes, with a machine, but it is still a much slower process.  These smoke houses are heated with wood fires.  Once the tabacco leaves are dry they are sorted by hand into 5 qualities, they are then bundled and taken to the buyers, who decide the price.  It is hard and monotonous work but the indian workers were very happy, laughing and joking all the time we were there, I wonder if they were laughing at us! 
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Niki on

Sounds Idylic - will be checking out the website soon. Make sure you post some photos to cheer up a wet and miserable english febuary.
Take care and I'll email soon
Niki X

Jude Ilott on

Hello Orsmans! Been following your blog which sounds amazing - really glad that you are having such an awesome time. Hotel with a baker - a great choice. Also looking forward to sharing some baking successes, stories and photos!! Keep enjoying and savor every moment (the bread too)! Jude xx

Phil Stewart on

Sounds like all is going well since we saw you in BA last week. Hope the weather is staying good for you all.....It's pretty rubbish back here in the UK!
Was great to meet you all and hope that you have safe travels.
Hope the new camera is being used to its full potential!!!
Phil and Tim x

lucyorsman on

Hi Jude, great to hear from you, we´ll have to compare notes when we get back, and see how much South America has changes since you and Dave travelled here. Harry has been amazing, broccili still the only veg he will eat, but he now has omelettes and he´s even eaten a toasted ham and cheese sandwich! wonders will never cease. Hope you all well. Lucy x

lucyorsman on

Hi Phil & Tim, glad you found the blog. We had a great last night in BA, thanks for joining us, we hope you enjoyed the food, it was different, but interesting.

The hotel in Salta was great, it was like staying with friends (he picked us up from the airport, drove us round and cooked for us, he he). They were great cooks, roasted garlic, eggplant caviar on toast, a refreshing change after plain steak for 2 weeks. Now in Iguazu, it´s very hot and the falls are magnificent. Looking forward to Brazil tomorrow and for the next 3 weeks, it´s a tough life! Lucy x

Charlotte Woodman on

Glad you are having a good time, i love looking at the pictures. Everyone in my lessons keep going whens Harry back and Sam is like april! See you when your back, Enjoy the rest of it!
Charlotte :) x

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