Itinerary and recommendations

Trip Start Jan 14, 2008
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Trip End Mar 05, 2008


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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, January 11, 2008

So a number of people have asked us for our itinerary. To eliminate numerous emails to friends and family, I have included it in this entry. Also included in this itinerary are recommendations that we have received from friends who have been to the places we are visiting and can come in useful in the off-chance that you are planning a visit to any of our destinations. For those who may be reading this Travel logue who are not amongst our friends and family, I am not going to lie, this itinerary is not for a backpackers lifestyle, but is a little more appropriate for those who are looking for a fantastic extended honeymoon.  For friends and family, here is where you can find us when we are on the road:

Hong Kong
Flight
Departs SFO: Tuesday, January 15th at 12:05am
Arrives HKK: Wednesday, January 16th at 6:55am

Hotel
Lanson Place 133 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay: http://www.lansonplace.com/lphk/

Recommendations for things to do
1. Victoria Peak aka "The Peak" - take the peak tram up to the top and walk around and maybe grab a bite, gorgeous views. Most people suggest heading up early evening
2. Lan Kwai Fong - this is the central row of bars, really fun and very cosmopolitan scene to go after dinner and have a few drinks
3. The markets - not sure which one is best now
4. Macau - vegas on steroids, only 45 mins away by jet ferry - if you have time in addition to the bling bling casinos there are some great old Portuguese landmarks (the central fort and some amazing old cemeteries with really cool epitaphs on the headstones from the 1700s and earlier - "so and so fell off the rigging of his spice trading vessel"...) From Hong Kong, take the jet foil from the Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal (MTR: Sheung Wan). The trip takes an hour. Jet foils depart every fifteen minutes or so, with extra service during rush hour. Departure tax of $15 or so not included. There is no tax on the return trip from Macau to Hong Kong.
5. Horse races - at the Jockey Club right in Causeway Bay (Shatin) Trip Advisor also recommends Happy Valley Racecourse
6. Lantau Island can be a fun day trip with a hike up to a Buddhist monastery that has a pretty good vegetarian restaurant in it and some old forts and an old fishing village. 2nd most recommended activity on TripAdvisor - all recommend skipping the museum. Take the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car trip to the Buddha. There are also good hikes there.
7. Star Ferry - Hong Kong Island to Kowloon for shopping

Food
1. Dim Sum at Maxim (2nd floor of city hall) for breakfast. 5 Edinburgh Place
2. Angus recommends The American Restaurant - 20 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai.
3. Felix Bar at the Peninsula is the best place to watch the daily light show. Felix Bar - Peninsula Hotel, Salisbury Road, Kowloon
4. Opia Restaurant in Jia Hotel - The Romance! 5 Irving St, Causeway Bay
5. Zen - Excellent dim sum. The Mall, Pacific Place, Queensway. May only serve on weekends and need reservations a day in advance. Check with Concierge??

Australia

Sydney
4 days and three nights 1/20-1/24

Flight
Departs HKK: Saturday, January 19th at 7:05pm
Arrives SYD: Sunday, January 20th at 7:15am

Hotel
Simpsons of Potts Point Hotel : http://www.simpsonshotel.com/
8 Challis Ave, Potts Point, NSW (612) 9356-2199

Patriots Game 7am Monday morning (Yes we will be watching the game in Sydney):
Cheers Sports Bar - 561 George St, Sydney NSW 2000 - TEL: 02 9261 8313
One World Sports Bar - Shop 1, 25 Harbour St, Sydney, NSW - TEL: 61 2 9264 5200
Sports Bar - 111 Darlinghurst Rd, Kings Cross (02) 9358 2755

Recommendations on things to do
http://www.sydney100.com/sydney5.htm
1. Picnic in the Botanical Gardens and visit Opera House.
2. Tickets to Bondi Outdoor Theater on January 22nd at 6:30pm "Death at a Funeral" http://www.bondiopenair.com.au
3. Ghost Tour of The Rocks
4. Bondi Beach: Cliff walk over to Bronte Beach
5. If we rent a car: Drive south to the Royal National Park for a day trip, hiking about and great beaches
6. Go out one night in Kings Cross
7. Take ferry over to Manley for lunch on the Wharf or go to the Zoo or go to Surf School: http://www.manlysurfschool.com/
8. Aquarium

Food
1. Restaurant Guide: http://www.eatability.com.au/au/sydney
2. French - Tabu on Crown St
3. Bistro Moncur on Moncur St
4. Asian $$: Jimmy Liks Victoria Rd., Longrain on Commonwealth St. (both have great bars)
5. Any place on Woolloomooloo is harbourside and nice but pricey
6. Icebergs (views over Bondi Beach can't be beat but $$)
7. Seans Panaroma in Bondi ($$)
8. Love Supreme (Pizza) on Oxford St, Pompeii Pizza Bondi
9. Bentley on Crown St.
10. Wasavi sushi in Paddington
11. Doyles for fish and chips and beer.

Bars
1. Victoria Room in Darlinghurst
2. The Loft (with Views in city on Lime St. Warf)
3. The Lincoln in Kings Cross
4. Lord Dudley in Woollahra (Traditional Pub)

Barossa Valley
3 days 2 nights 1/24-1/26

Flight

Depart Sydney 1/24
Flight: Virgin Blue
Departs: 9:45am, Arrives 11:20am

Hotel
Novotel Barossa Valley: http://www.novotelbarossa.com/
Golf Links Road, Rowland Flat, Barossa Valley, SA (61 8) 8524-000

Golf
Tanunda Pines Golf Club

Wine
Wineries Map of Barossa Valley: http://www.barossa.com/webdata/resources/files/Barossa_Cella r_Door_and_Dining_Map.pdf
1. www.bethany.com.au - known for its Port
2. www.twohandswines.com http://www.twohandswines.com/twohandsMap.pdf
3. Langmeil
4. Charles Melton
5. St Hallet
6. Barossa Valley Wine: http://www.barossa-region.org/
7. The Barossa Valley wineries number more than 50 in the area between Mt Pleasant and the Sturt Highway in the north. You come across such well-known names as Wolf Blass, 8. Seppelts at Seppeltsfield, Penfolds, Kaiser-Stuhl, Saltram, Hardy's, Leo Buring, Yalumba, St Hallett, Bethany, Krondorf, Orlando and Chateau Yaldarra.
Yalumba 2005 Hand Picked Tricentenary Vines Grenache # 62
Penfolds NV Great Grandfather Rare Old Liqueur Tawny # 68
9. Pirathon has the # 13 top rated wine in '07 by Wine Enthusiast
10. Rolf Binder '05 Heinrich Shiraz-Mataro-Grenache # 56
11. Torbreck '05 The Steading # 73

New Zealand
1/26-2/9

Flight
Air New Zealand
Adelaide/Auckland: Depart: SAT 26 Jan 11:35am
Auckland/Christchurch: Depart: 8:00pm, Arrive 9:20pm

Hotels
1/26-1/27, 1 night
The Charlotte Jane, Christchurch

1/27-1/28, 1 night
Hermitage Aoraki Hotel, Mount Cook

1/28
Real Journeys, Queenstown
Shotover River Rafting, includes transfer ex Queenstown centre, hot showers, sauna & light snack

1/28-1/30, 2 nights
Sofitel Queenstown, Queenstown

1/29
Limousine South, Queenstown
Private guided Central Otago wine tour
Trust the Chef lunch for 2, Including bottle of local (non-cellar) wine

1/30-2/3, 4 nights
Milford Track Guided Walk, Queenstown, accommodation in private double room

2/3-2/4, 1 night
Sofitel Queenstown, Queenstown

2/4
Hukawai Glacier Centre, Franz Josef
Combo Glacier Interpretive Display & Ice Wall Climb

2/4-2/5, 1 night
Te Weheka Inn, Fox Glacier

2/5
The Helicopter Line, Fox Glacier, Fox Glacier
Neve Discoverer scenic heli-flight, including two glaciers & snow landing.

2/5-2/6, 1 night
Cathedral Inn, Nelson

2/6-2/8, 2 nights
Awaroa Lodge, Takaka

2/8
Abel Tasman Kayaks, Abel Tasman National Park
3hr Kayak trip ex Awaroa Lodge, including morning tea

2/8-2/9, 1 night
California House Inn, Nelson

2/9
Interisland Line, Wellington
13.15h departure ex Picton / arrive Wellington 16.25h

2/9-2/10, 1 night
James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel, Wellington

2/10-2/12, 2 nights
County Hotel, Napier

2/12-2/13, 1 night
Sudima Hotel, Lake Rotorua

2/12
Mitai, Rotorua
Evening Maori cultural perfomance & hangi dinner

Chile

Flight
Departs AKL: Wednesday, February 13th at 5:25pm
Arrives SCL: Wednesday, February 13th at 12:45pm

2/13
Hotel Plaza El Bosque Suites
San Sebastián Street # 2800
Las Condes - Santiago
Phone: (56-2) 498 1800

2/14
Tour and premium wine tasting at Viñedos Orgánicos Emiliana. This vineyard has developed organic and biodynamic agriculture in all of its grapevines. It is enclosed in a small valley, co-inhabiting with wild animals and birds.
Afternoon, arrive to Valparaiso, one of South America's oldest port cities, patrimony of humanity and historic sites.

2/15
9:15 am: Departure from hotel in Santiago to Aconcagua Valley about 90 km. from Santiago.
12:00 am Tour and wine tasting of 2 reserves wines made at Viña Errázuriz; one of Chile's most beautiful. The tour includes a visit to the original winemaking facility and a walk through the valley's hillside vineyards.
1:00 pm: Tour and Premium wine tasting of 2 varietals, 2 reserves and premium wines made at Viña San Esteban.
2:00 pm: Lunch accompanied by reserve wines at "Casa San Regis".

2/16-2/20
Depart Santiago 9:00am
Arrive Punta Arenas 12:20pm

Hotel Remota
Huerto 279
Puerto Natales, Patagonia
Phone: (56-61)414040

2/17
Full day tour to be chosen from menu of excursions

2/18
Full day tour to be chosen from menu of excursions

2/19
Full day tour to be chosen from menu of excursions

2/20
Depart Punta Arenas 1:00pm
Arrive Puerto Montt 4:20pm

Hotel Bellavista
Av. Vicente Perez Rosales 060
Puerto Varas
Phone: (56-65) 232-011

2/21
We depart from the hotel in Puerto Varas and drive to Pargua where we will take a 30-minute ferry ride via the Chacao Channel to Chacao, a small farming village and port of entry to the island. Passing near Ancud, skirting the Pudeto estuary and over the bridge, the road runs through rolling woodland. In late February the ulmo trees are in full bloom. Lying on the shores of a fjord we arrive to the city of Castro, one of the Island's highlights. We will visit the typical colourful wooden houses (palafitos) built on stilts over the water. Stop at the Plaza de Armas and visit the Church of Castro, now preserved as a National Monument. Originally built in native wood in 1906 by local craftsmen and now repainted in bright colours; inside the church we find a beautiful wood work in cornices, the altar, arcades and choir; outside is covered completely with metal plates. We visit the small museum, holding interesting exhibits on Chiloe's history, mythology and handicrafts.  After lunch we will make our way back in direction Chacao. The next stop will be at the city of Ancud. We visit the nearby Fort of San Antonio, built in 1770 to protect the town against pirates and raiders. It was here where the last Spanish flag of all South America flew. We shall pay a visit to the colourful marketplace, where handicrafts, sea and agriculture products are on display. If time permitting we may visit the Archaeological and Mythological Museum, before returning on our way to Puerto Montt back to the hotel.

2/22
Depart by bus from hotel Bellavista towards Petrohue, passing through the city of Puerto Varas, also know as the "City of Roses", located in front of Lake Llanquihue, Chile's largest lake, with volcanoes Osorno and Calbuco reflected in its clear waters. Proceed skirting the lake towards Ensenada and Petrohue River with its falls and rapids.  Here you will board a launch and cross the spectacular Lake Todos Los Santos, also known as Emerald Lake due to its vivid blue-green colored waters. After a two hour journey, arrival in Peulla transfer from the pier to the Hotel Peulla or Hotel Natura, where lunch (on our own) will be served. Continue by bus crossing to Argentina over the Perez Rosales Pass to reach Puerto Frias. Once Argentine immigration and custom formalities are over, we will board a launch to cross Lake Frias and arrive in Puerto Alegre and proceed by bus for a short ride to Puerto Blest where we will once again board a launch and cross the beautiful Lake Nahuel Huapi, putting an end to our Chile-Argentina Lake Crossing in Puerto Pañuelo in the city of Bariloche.

Hotel Edelweiss
San Martin 202
San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina
Phone: (54-2944) 445 500

2/23
Transfer from hotel Edelweiss to the airport to board your departure flight to Buenos Aires Depart Bariloche 7:50pm
Arrive Buenos Aires (Aeroparque) 9:50pm

Buenos Aires
2/23-3/3

Apartment
Located in the Barrio Norte/Recoleta

Recommendations for things to do
1. Recoleta cemetery (grave of Eva Peron)
2. San Telmo (Sunday antique market)
3. La Boca
4. Las Violetas - Famous Café
5. Bosque or Lago de Palermo parks (great for running)
6. Malba Museum
7. Plaza de Mayo (casa rosada)
8. Day trip: Tigre or an Estancia (a ranch) in the pampas for a day trip about an hour and a half outside the city.
9. Tango-try to see the show at the Faena hotel.
10. Palermo Soho. Best place to start is the corner of Armenia and Honduras. Patio Bullrich, Paseo Alcorta also higher end malls

A Guide to Palermo Viejo
1 El Diamante
A favorite among locals, this tapas restaurant also boasts the funkiest terrace in Buenos Aires - and the kindest host, Sergio De Loof, who looks like Salvador Dalí. A glass of Malbec goes well with the rice croquettes stuffed with mozzarella and chopped parsley or the Camembert toasts with cherry tomatoes and arugula. (Malabia 1688)

2 Felix
iIt sells button-down shirts in colorful ginghams and stripes and groovy flat-front trousers. The T-shirts with cheeky sayings are the perfect gift for a hard-to-buy-for teenage boy. (Gurruchaga 1670)

3 Mark's Deli & Coffee House
Hands-down the trendiest café in the trendiest neighborhood, it's tough to find a free table here. But the people-watching makes it worth the effort. The crowd looks like a casting call for Argentina's Next Top Model: lots of long legs and chiseled cheekbones. The liquados, fruit smoothies made with fresh strawberries and peaches, are delicious too. (El Salvador 4701)

4 Lo de Jesus
Argentina is famous for its free-roaming, grass-fed beef, and a la parrilla, or seared on a wood-burning grill, is the best way to enjoy it. This parrilla is a former corner grocery store that retains its old-world charm with black-and-white tiled floors. Hanging above the sprawling bar is a large side of prosciutto, which Jesus, the former owner, comes to slice weekly. I had the ojo de bife, or rib eye. Sides of crispy french fries and chimichurri, a sauce of parsley, olive oil, and garlic, rounded off this perfect Argentine meal. (Gurruchaga 1406)

5 Club del Vino
A statue of Bacchus, god of wine, appropriately greets visitors in the courtyard of this wine bar/restaurant/music hall. We stopped in one Saturday night with our friend Sebastian Delfino and sat at a small table ten feet from an intimate stage to watch legendary tango musicians play. We ordered three different glasses of red from the tasting menu and a plate of queso y fiambre, or cheese and cold cuts. Buenos Aires bliss. (Cabrera 4737)

6 Social Paraiso
Alicia, co-owner Diego Wiscnecki's mother, greets diners at the door of this excellent restaurant. She recommends the Ruca Malen, a bold red that stands up beautifully to the garlicky sautéed mixed-mushroom salad. The cordero patagonico, baby lamb chops from Patagonia, are grilled a perfect pink. But the sorrentinos stand out: large handmade ravioli stuffed with Brie, bathed in a fresh tomato and olive sauce, and topped with slivers of fresh basil. Simple but stunning. For dessert, try the house specialty: thin slices of oven-dried apple layered with a scoop each of passion fruit and Szechuan-pepper ice cream, reminiscent of ginger. (Honduras 5182)

7 Ølsen
This trendy, quasi-Scandinavian restaurant offers brunch, a rare concept in Argentina. We didn't have a reservation but Diego, Ølsen's host, who looked as hip as the crowd with his pencil-thin Mohawk, found us a spot amid the stylish porteños in the ivy-and-fern-walled courtyard. The menu includes huevos rancheros, as well as eggs any way, gravlax, caviar, and corn pancakes. The dinner menu provides a nice break from beef: roast chicken with goat cheese, or grilled salmon with cucumber, beet, and orange salad served with yogurt-coriander sauce. And then there's the extensive vodka menu. (Gorriti 5870)

8 Sopa de Principe
When Véronica Longoni made her first doll with her grandmother 30 years ago, she had no idea it would be the start of her career. Now, the 35-year-old artist owns this shop, which sells adorable stuffed animals (elephants, monkeys, giraffes, and farm animals) with striped bodies and hand-stitched button eyes. (Thames 1719)

9 La Cupertina
Palermo Viejo pioneers Ramon Torres and his wife, Cecilia Hermann, have run this sunny corner restaurant for 13 years. They make the best empanadas in all of Buenos Aires, according to our pal Gerardo, who met us one day for lunch. I ordered the carne picada a cuchillo, which translates to "steak chopped by a knife" and explodes with flavor - garlicky beef, laced with cumin and paprika. Make sure to grab an alfajor, a favorite Argentine treat: two shortbread cookies stuck together with dulce de leche and rolled in coconut. (Cabrera 5296)
Food:
There is a lot of meat and Italian restaurants in town.
Usually dinner hour is 9-10pm during the week, 10-11pm on the weekends.
Most of the below have detailed descriptions in Time Out

1. Cabana Las Lilas puerto madero one of the best steakhouses
2. La Cabana recoleta supposed to be good expensive
3. El Mirasole puerto madero/recoleta very good
4. Sottovoce recoleta great Italian, 1 block from the Alvear Get rolls de berenjenas
5. Alvear recoleta fancy restaurant, good food
6. Central palermo viejo trendy, hip restaurant for lunch or dinner
7. sucre belgrano great wine list, service isn't great
8. la corte las canitas trendy, hip restaurant dinner
9. Olsen palermo viejo trendy, hip restaurant dinner***
10. Bar 6 Palermo Viejo great for lunch or late afternoon drink Bar Uriarte Palermo Viejo trendy, hip restaurant dinner
11. Cluny Palermo Viejo trendy, hip restaurant dinner
12. Morelia Palermo Viejo great pizza, chill bar
13. Grappa Palermo Viejo great pizza, one of my favorite
14. Dominga Palermo Soho trendy, hip restaurant dinner
15. Marks deli Palermo Soho great for midday snack and coffee***

Iguazu Falls
2/25-2/26
Depart Buenos Aires Domestic Airport (AEP): Monday, 2/25 at 12:30pm, arrive Iguazu IGR at 14:15
Depart Iguazu: Tuesday 2/26 at 18:35, arrive Buenos Aires at 20:25

Hotel
Sheraton Iguazú Resort & Spa
Parque Nacional Iguazú, Iguazú 3370 Argentina
Phone: (54) (3757) 491800 Fax: (54) (3757) 491848

Uraguay
Average Temp: 71 degrees
Ferry ride from Buenos Aires spend one night or Colonia del Sacramento, a small cute town as opposed to Montevideo, which is supposed to be a more generic city. Otherwise go to Punta del Este, a beach town much like the Riviera.
http://www.frommers.com/destinations/puntadeleste/2317010002 .html
http://www.buquebus.com/cache/HomeARG.html
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g294066-s301/Punta-Del-Est e:Uruguay:Arriving.And.Departing.html

Depart Buenos Aires on March 4th
Flight
EZE - MIA (Buenos Aires to Miami)
Departs EZE: Tuesday, March 4th at 12:40am
Arrives MIA: Tuesday, March 4th at 6:20am
Departs MIA: Tuesday, March 4th at 8:10am
Arrives SFO: Tuesday, March 4th at 11:25am

There you have it...
Slideshow Report as Spam
Where I stayed
Jia Hotel

Comments

Maria Segura on

When travelling to Santiago, CHILE stay at Bellas Artes area in Downtown. It´s very cosmopolitan, like a tiny version of NY Soho.
Check it out: http://www.rentapartmentsantiago.cl/

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