Archive | January, 2011


Mate: An Argentine tradition

Mate – it’s everywhere in Argentina.  The entire culture of the region is defined by that very commodity.  Hot water dispensers are in every store, baskets and leather cases are carefully designed to accommodate the mate paraphernalia.  Mate is a way of life.     At its most basic level, mate (pronounced mah-tay) is tea.  […]

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El Bolson Brewery

Enjoying El Bolson, Argentina

Yes, we’re bummed about our forced stay here in El Bolson while we wait for me to be recrowned, but it’s actually been a pretty fun place to hang out. Every weekend they have a large feria in the plaza – basically a craft fair where everybody hangs out.  The crafts are the highest quality […]

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Robbed! (El Bolson, Argentina)

“Nancy!” John screamed in the middle of the night.  “Davy’s bike is gone!” I scrambled out of my tent and looked blurry-eyed at where the bikes had been stacked together and carefully covered with a tarp before I had gone to sleep.  Now, my bike lay on the ground about ten feet away, and Davy’s […]

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Cycling near El Bolson

Craptola (El Bolson, Argentina)

We rolled into town around one today.  The first things I asked for were a campground and a dentist. The campground was just fine, but the news from the dentist was not good.  We had hoped for an easy fix – I’d visit the dentist and he would mix up his magic potion and the […]

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Leaving Bariloche, Argentina

Dethroned (Rio Villegas, Argentina)

I’ve been dethroned.  Uncrowned.  I was crowned Queen Nancy back in La Paz, now I’m back to plain ol’ normal me.  Minus a crown. My crown fell out. I was brushing my teeth this evening and all of a sudden something felt odd – my crown was mixed in with the toothpaste.  So here we […]

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triple bike in San Juan Islands

Live your adventure WITH your kids!

If I had a nickel for every time someone told me ‘I would like to do X, but have to wait until my kids are grown and out of the house’ I would be a rich lady.  My response is always, “Don’t wait!  Take the kids!” Here are five tips help you get started planning […]

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Lake Nahuel Huapi

Lake Nahuel Huapi (Bariloche, Argentina)

“We couldn’t have asked for a better day,” John quipped as he threw his arms out and turned his face to the sky.  “Not a cloud in the sky, perfect temps, and NO headwind!” The gods were on our side today. For most of the day we cycled along the banks of Lake Nahuel Huapi […]

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push bike through sand

Life lessons from a bike trip

We learn something new everyday – or so goes the old saying.  Years ago, when I was going about my normal, ordinary life as mother, wife, and teacher, I’m not sure I truly believed that.  Sure, every once in a while something popped up and I looked at it and said, “I learned something new […]

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Meeting the Freisens

Isn’t bike touring dangerous?

“I was driving down the road the other day and saw some cyclists ahead.  I braked and waited until I could get by safely, but I’m concerned about them – the other motorists who won’t do that.” “I saw a cyclist riding through my town last week, so I invited him over to my house […]

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cycling in the rain

Why I prefer traveling on bikes

The other day as we cycled through the Argentine Lake District in pouring rain, I wasn’t having much fun.  The plentiful lakes we passed were nearly hidden in the clouds and I most likely missed many of them altogether.  Rather than the vibrant green of the trees and magical blue of the lakes that we […]

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Mashing potatoes for ñoquis

Ñoquis – an Argentine staple

“Don’t make dinner tonight,” Emmanuel told me earlier.  “I’m making ñoquis.” “You’re making what?!” “Ñoquis,” he replied.  “It’s kind of a potato pasta or potato dumpling.” We couldn’t wait to try it. This evening Emmanuel gave us our ñoquis-making class.  What a great tradition! “Argentines traditionally make ñoquis on the 29th of every month,” he […]

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Emmanuel Gentinetta

Bike It Solo

What a treat!  After pedaling in Emmanuel’s tire tracks for so long, to finally meet him is wonderful! Emmanuel Gentinetta set the world record as the youngest to cycle the length of the Americas back in 2000 when he was 18 years old.  He had pedaled from Prudhoe Bay to Ushuaia in a mere nine […]

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Cycling the Argentine Lake District

Cold, Wet, & Miserable (Villa La Angostura, Argentina)

a.m.  It’s still raining.  Pouring, in fact.  It’s been going strong for around 18 hours now – do we pack up and take off anyway?  Or wait it out? At some point in the middle of the nigh, the rain stopped for three or four hours.  I was sorely tempted to pack up and head […]

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bundled up against the cold

Ugh (Lago Correntoso, Argentina)

Ugh.  I hate days like this.  When our journey is over and we’re looking back upon the good and the bad, today will be right up there amongst the worst of the worst. It was cold last night – very cold. Not Bolivian-altiplano-in-the-middle-of-winter cold, but our coldest night since then.  Enough to make for a […]

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Seven Lakes Route (Lago Falkner, Argentina)

What a change from the Argentina we know!  In the space of two riding days we’ve gone form dry, barren desert to lakes every five kilometers and streams every time we look. This area is really beautiful, but what is drawing my attention is how different it is from the past 2000 km we’ve cycled.  […]

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Cooking ravioli dinner

Happy Birthday!

From Daryl:  Yesterday was our birthday. We turned 13. Mommy thinks that that is a big thing but I don’t. It’s like going from 11 to 12 but one number higher. If 12 was secteen then that would be becoming a teenager, but it’s not so 13 is a big milestone. It doesn’t make any […]

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