Wow. What a weekend. To start we had Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off! Friday was a national holiday in Argentina. The Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice (Spanish: Día de la Memoria por la Verdad y la Justicia) is a public holiday in Argentina, commemorating the victims of the Dirty War. It is held on 24 March, the anniversary of the coup d’état of 1976 that brought the National Reorganization Process to power. However, on Thursday night we had a dinner and a night out to celebrate Louis, the French interns’ last night in town. We had a great dinner at a local restaurant, then headed out for a night on the town.
On Friday, Elena, one of the Italian interns, and I drove Louis to the Neuquen airport (about and hour and a half) away, then after enjoyed a 4 hour lunch at a restaurant called La Toscana. Two brothers run the restaurant, and it serves the best Italian cuisine in all of the Rio Negro valley. It was one of the best meals I have had since arriving in Argentina. A massive cheese board, salads, Salmon with spicy rice, a ribeye steak, cheesecake and lemon merengue for dessert. We also drank a couple bottles of wine of course! The great part about this restaurant is they produce their own dairy products including goat yoghurt, and a variety of cheeses and bread that they bake in house. Needless to say, dinner was light that night!
On Saturday we relaxed, had a beautiful lunch, then headed over to another local boutique winery to try something different. This winery reminded me of when my parents were first starting out – only a few barrels of each variety! As the afternoon drifted into the evening, we experienced a classic Patagonian storm. Heavy rains, strong winds, and a light show in the sky! The lightening here is absolutely the most intense, raw, unbridled power I have ever seen. It will go on for hours, giving the effect of living inside a dome of electricity. The bolts would illuminate the entire sky! And with that came a power outage that has now lasted for 36 hours! Very common here….
Today, Sunday, we headed into town for a Parilla lunch – basically a little salad and bread, and A LOT of meat prepared on an indoor bbq. As my Italian friends would say, “bellissimo!” After, we had another vineyard and winery tour with a true garagiste winemaker, something that really puts the world of wine back into perspective.
Here are a couple of pictures from the vineyards there.
Afterwards we headed back to Chacra, and since there still was no power, we sat on the patio of one of the main houses, and enjoyed the sounds of Patagonian nature. A moment of meditation was something nice to finish off the weekend.