Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Day at the Zoo in Buenos Aires

As I mentioned previously, we planned our itinerary all wrong.  We only had a couple of days in Montevideo, Uruguay, and then we moved on to Buenos Aires.  For six days.  I had actually done some research on Argentina's largest city and thought we could easily roam around for at LEAST six days.  The city was huge!  It was the "Paris of South America"!  Not so much.
Maybe it was where we stayed, in the microcenter of the business district.  Maybe it was the time of year - early spring, and the trees were bare and nothing was blooming.  Maybe it was just a bad week to be there.  Whatever the reason, it just was not appealing.  It was drab and dirty and we never felt safe out on the streets.  I had heard that the areas to the north of the business district were more residential and a lot nicer, so we headed up there one day to check it out.  We took the Subte (subway) and when we went up to street level we realized we were at the entrance to the zoo.  Let's go!  It was unlike any zoo I had ever seen.  Some of the big cages right inside the gate were empty, except for the stray house cats that seemed to roam everywhere.  They had taken up residence in them to get out of the rain.

 They were, however, outnumbered by the Mara running all over the place.  These large rodents look like a cross between a rabbit and a guinea pig, and were actually cute.  They were also fairly tame, and knew the sight of the bags containing the "zoo food" pellets meant treats for them.  We saw children feeding lots of them almost everywhere in the zoo.

There were also other cats here.  Big cats.  White Lions (which I had never seen before) and a White Tiger, with 3 adorable cubs.  We spent a lot of time watching them play, as their enclosure was big and gave them plenty of room to chase each other around  Aren't they cuuute?

Friday, December 12, 2014

MEAT - it is what's for dinner!

Meat, with a side or two of meat.  That is what we had for dinner - and lunch - in Montevideo, Uruguay.  An obscene amount of meat. And did I mention that it was grilled?  At the Paradillas we saw, they had massive racks covered in different types of meat, all grilling over different levels of wood coals.  Long coils of sausages sizzling over low coals, gently cooking through... flank steaks searing over the hotter coals... steaks of all sizes... chorizo and morcilla and kidneys and sweetbreads were all wedged onto the grill.

And a token vegetable, something that could double as starch like squash or yam. Bigger than my hand, and heaped on top of all the meat.  My Aussie husband decided it was his duty to consume all that was put in front of him, but even he had to give up on this platter!