Showing posts with label Alta Gracia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alta Gracia. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Newsletter August 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

Andrey and I are greeting you from a windy Argentina! We hope you are all doing well. August is an important month for us. We are officially 3 years in Santa Rosa de Calamuchita! I cannot believe how quickly time is flying and how much we have accomplished over the last 3 years. Many days I have to pinch myself because it still feels so unreal.

The one thing I have noticed over the last 3 years is how much the weather have changed. We experienced a lot of rain, drought, fires, wind, snow, tornadoes and heat waves over the years. This winter was also different compared to last year. Some days have been exceptionally cold with snow the one day and then out of the blue warm sunny days!

Recent snow on the mountains
I really came to appreciate the nature that surrounds us. Previously I would kill any moving insect but now I realize each one plays an important part in the Eco-system. Every year we have the ladybugs who move into the house. They group together in corners and change colour. In Spring they wake up and fly away in search of food. I love these little fellows and look forward to their return every year.

I get terribly upset with people who stop in front of our land and cut down trees because they don´t want to buy firewood. Some people have no respect for nature and after a recent incident I joined a "Green peace" group to try and protect what we have here. I don´t think I will be able to change the mindset but I might be able to create an awareness. It is difficult when people tell you: "I have been born here and it is my right to cut down a tree".

People cutting off trees!
People cutting off trees in front of the hostel
Andrey and I are busy to promote the annual Oktoberfest and will start preparing the rooms towards the middle of September. It means a lot of maintenance and beds that need to be carried down from the second floor. Despite the hard work and preparations we always look forward to the Oktoberfest!

Last month I offered to house sit 2 puppies, 1 mom and 2 cats for fellow South Africans in Alta Gracia. It was a quiet time for us and I was looking forward to get a couple of days away from my normal routine. But Murphy was doing the rounds and just before I left we got reservations from an Argentinian couple and 2 British girls. Andrey´s English is pretty good but he battles with the Canadian, British and Australian English. In the end he didn´t do too bad and I spent some time exploring museums and life in Alta Gracia.

If you are interested to read more about the places that I have visited in Alta Gracia, please click on the link to see photos and to read my blog:

La Gruta
Museo Maneul de Falla
The Clock Tower (El reloj del torre)

Maggie and Ico
Maggie and Ico
In a previous Newsletter I mentioned Martin who travelled South America with a motorbike. Due to unforeseen circumstances he cut his trip short and decided to go back to Germany. We were very happy that he stopped here for a couple of days. We helped him to book a flight and arranged for accommodation close to the airport. What a complicated process to get a motorbike on an aeroplane. But it was also very interesting for me and hopefully I can help other travellers in the future. Martin landed safely in Nuremberg and is happy to be home.

Martin packing and getting ready to leave for Germany
We also had our first people from Spain here - Marc and Marta. Lovely people who enjoyed cooking and made wonderful company. Mariano from Cordoba joined us for a couple of days and it is great to have return visitors at Tinktinkie. Last weekend we had Miguel here from Rosario. I nearly fainted when I saw all the handmade shoes that he was selling. He told us that it takes 4 days to make a pair of shoes. If you want to see what the shoes look like follow the link! You might faint too!

Marc y Marta de Españia
Marc and Marta from Spain
Rachel and Nauka de Inglatera
Rachel and Nauka from England
Maxie our adopted cat left for a month and came back just before I left for Alta Gracia. He has made himself so comfortable you would think he was born here! Ru and Maxie get along just fine and it is incredible to see a dog and cat play without hurting each other.

Ru and Maxie our pets
Ru and Maxie
We are also proud to announce that we have received a sticker from Tripadvisor endorsing our hostel. TripAadvisor is a very important Internet site for travellers. We have received good reviews from our customers and TripAdvisor gave us their stamp of approval! What makes this very special is the fact that customers have to type a review and then email it. We all know that people will sit down to type a letter of complaint but not always type a letter of praise. A Big thank you to our customers!

I will not be sending out another Newsletter until the end of October or middle November. Wish us well for the Oktoberfest!

God Bless.

Andrey & Nelieta

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Newsletter May 2011

Greetings from a cold Santa Rosa de Calamuchita! Andrey and I hope that you are doing well. Things are starting to wind down now that winter is approaching so news will be a little scarce.

Martin from Nuremberg, Germany arrived here for a couple of days in April. He ended up staying for more than a month! Martin decided to take some time off and tour South America on a motorbike for a year. He came with a cargo ship from Hamburg to Buenos Aires. Martin saw our Hostel on the internet and liked the idea of spending time, recuperating, in the countryside. Unfortunately he made the mistake, like many travellers, to go to Santa Rosa La Pampa first, instead of Santa Rosa de Calmuchita in Cordoba.

He is currently in Bolivia and will be seeing countries like Colombia,Peru, Brazil, the Amazon jungle, Chile and more. Martin has promised to come here next year April before he heads back to Germany.

With Martin here we used the opportunity to explore some towns nearby. In our line of business it is important to be up to date with museums and places to visit. Luckily the towns are close by so we can easily hop on a bus or the scooter and embark on an adventure. On one such a day we took a trip to Embalse were we´ve discovered a very interesting museum. We visited the Embalse Power plant, where our electricity is coming from and walked close to the lake.

Entrance to the Municipal Museum in Embalse
The museum is telling the history of Emblase

Walking at the Lake in Embalse
 We also visited our friends Hendrik and Laura in Alta Gracia. We had an amazing day and they are wonderful hosts. While we were in Alta Gracia, we paid a visit to the Che Museum. It was my second visit and a first for Andrey. I love this museum!

Our friends Hendrik and Laura with Andrey

Che´s motorbike which had been used in the movie "The Motorcycle diaries"

Grant and Martin arrived here for a weekend. They are both from the United States. Martin is studying for a pilot in Cordoba and Grant is working as a teacher in Rio Cuarto. Martin will go back to the States in November and Grant in July.

This coming weekend our town is hosting the annual Rally Argentina. It is not as huge as the Dakar but it passes 700m from Hostel Tinktinkie which is very exciting. We are looking forward to have a return visitor here this weekend.

A couple of nights ago a little cat walked into the kitchen when we opened the door. He is such a gorgeous little thing. We gave him some food and shelter and she quickly crawled into my heart. The problem with a stray cat is that you never know whether they will be staying or not.


We should be seeing snow soon on the mountains. That means cold…brrrr! I am not looking forward to that but it is Andrey´s favourite time of the year.

I am looking forward to be chatting to you all again next month!

God bless and wrap up warm.

Andrey & Nelieta

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