La Leona, Argentina – January 2020 – Three for the Price of One

In our travels across North America we have visited the Badlands in South Dakota, seen fossils in Arizona, and dinosaur bones in Colorado. In Southern Patagonia we had the chance to do this all in one place, La Leona.

And because it happens to be on a 30,000 acre ranch owned by one person, it is very restricted as to who can go there. We arranged a tour through one of the agencies in El Calafate, and were very pleased the next morning to see a mini van come to pick us up. Our group had 7 people, a driver and the guide!

The area is about 1.5 hours north of El Calafate – the scenery was fantastic along the way.











After a long drive up a bumpy dirt road, we got out and took off through the badlands.









It wasn’t long before we came upon the first dinosaur bone. They have been removing nearly full dinosaur skeletons from here for more than 20 years, so what is left are the ‘scraps’.

Still very impressive, they welcome you to touch them, hold them, and examine them – just leave them. They even gave us instructions on how to tell bone from rock – lick them. Or rather, lick your finger and press it against the object. If it sticks it is bone, otherwise it is rock.













There is even interesting vegetation throughout.





Our hike through the badlands continued with our guide Roci, until we reached the ‘petrified forest’. Roci was very knowledgeable and gave an excellent overview of what we were seeing, and how it got to be that way.





It is amazing how heavy small fragments of the petrified wood weighs.





We spent about 3 hours wandering around the badlands, finding plenty of petrified wood, and the occasional dinosaur bone.

What an amazing place, and fantastic day. To be able to see and touch these wonders of nature was great – and with such a small group at that.







































































Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina – January 2020 – Cruising for Ice

One of the more popular activities at Los Glaciares National Park is to take a 5 hour cruise to see the glaciers beyond Perito Moreno.





The cruise left the port and headed north across Lago Argnetino.





It wasn’t long before we saw icebergs.









































The cruise took us past a number of dramatic glaciers including Spegazzini – the largest in the park. All were impressive in their own way.

























































With one last look at Perito Moreno Glacier we headed back to port, and ended our ice adventures.





The entire crew, especially the hostess Victoria, provided great service with an education on the glaciers.





A Gourmet Glacier Cruise – Muy Bien.







Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina – January 2020 – Walkway to Glacier Heaven

If you thought Buenos Aires was far south, you haven’t seen anything yet. We made a 3 hour flight further south to El Calafate.




Which my phone said was here




We have come to far southern Patagonia in Argentina to see Los Glaciares National Park for a few days. It is home to the 3rd largest ice fields in the world (after Antarctica and Greenland).

To my amazement though the surroundings are desert, so the drive out felt more like Southern California than what I think of as glacial areas like Alaska.







With our mid day arrival, and an hour and a half drive to the park we only had time on this day to do the walkways.

We had our first glimpses on the drive into the park.



This was well worth the trip out for the afternoon, as the walkways are well built paths that take you to various levels very close to the snout of the glacier Perito Moreno.








































The walkways was an excellent way to start our visit to the park, but there is much more to see in subsequent postings.






Buenos Aires – January 2020 – A More Detailed Visit to the Palace of Running Water

Early in our time in Buenos Aires I made a stop, and a posting, on the Palacio de Aqua Corrientes – the Palace of Running Water. This time we get a more in depth look at the building, and what it contains.

The exterior is of course amazing. Comprised of over 300,000 terra cotta tiles from Royal Doulton, it is the best looking building in the city.





































While it still functions as a pumping and water storage station, as well as an office for the water company, it has a nice museum.





















We caught up to a tour that was going to the library, crossing this great tile floor.









A large area off of the main water museum had an art exhibit from recycled materials.














From this space we had a view of the interior sections.






Including the giant water storage tanks.






The Palacio de Aqua Corrients – one amazing place.








Buenos Aires – October 2019 – La Chacarita Cemetery

While Buenos Aires is home to the famed Recoleta Cemetery, it is by no means the only impressive cemetery in town.

We went on a tour of La Chacarita Cemetery with Pablo, an interesting person with a vast amount of knowledge of the history of the city.




While it has some similarities to Recoleta, it is much larger.



There are many massive tombs that were used for societies, as this one dedicated to, and for the use of people of the Spanish immigrants society.





Chacarita has more famous Argentinians than Recoleta, including Jorge Newberry. Jorge lead a very interesting, if short, life as an early aviator.

One of the two airports for Buenos Aires is named after Jorge. He died in an early attempt to fly over the Andes Mountains. The plaques on the wall are dedications to him from other groups.



While most of the crypts are well kept, some are in need of repair.



Carlos Gadel was a singer, songwriter and actor. It is said he gave Sinatra pointers on how to become a more polished performer.

People often leave lit cigarettes in his right hand for good luck.



More scenes of Chacarita…
















But there is more to Chacarita than the large crypts, much much more. Built in the brutalist style there is a massive underground area.

It is an unreal sight with over 1/4 million people entombed below.















Beyond this area is an area dedicated to famous Argentina performers. These are not just statues, the performers are actually buried here.





Beyond that area is a massive ‘common grounds’




The crematorium is in the center of the cemetery. The place is so large taxi’s troll through looking for fares.

One urban legend says to never take a taxi in the cemetery – if you look in the mirror the driver will not have a reflection.




Additional monuments are scattered throughout.




Another stunning sight is the perimeter wall – it is lined with more crypts. In all there are well over a million people in the cemetery.




For the most part the cemetery is in nice shape, however there are portions that need some repair, as shown below.




We spent over 2 hours wandering about La Chacarita Cemetery. It was an amazing, and visually stunning experience.




When in Buenos Aires look up Pablo, under Walks with Pablo. He is an excellent guide.






Cambridge, Massachusetts – August 2019 – Insider Tour of MIT

I am fortunate enough to know someone who has spent considerable time at MIT, and she was kind enough to show us around to sights on campus that most visitors don’t realize is there to be seen.

We started out with some familiar sites; the Kresge Auditorium. Designed and completed in the mid 1950s by Eero Saarinen, it is an excellent example of mid-century modern.






Next door is a chapel, also designed by Saarinen.






The Rogers Building serves as the center of MIT. It’s atrium is beautiful.



The windows facing Mass Avenue are equally impressive.




The Frances Russell Hart Nautical Museum is tucked away on an upper floor of the main building. It contains a number of intricately designed model ships.






As you wander the halls you come across all sort of great sights.



















While this might look like any other hallway at MIT, it is very special. It is known as the Infinite Hall, running the length of the main building and leading to a second building.

You have heard of Stonehenge, perhaps Manhattanhenge (a posting is available), and even Carhenge.

This otherwise nondescript hallway twice a year is the location of MITHenge – the sun shines straight through the entire distance, lighting up the floor. I need to come back in November!




The outdoor space is enhanced with sculptures. MIT is a very cool place, and thanks to an insider we saw some cool sights (all completely open to anyone, you just need to know where to look).