Argentina (and Chile, and Uruguay) have a bit of an obsession with an herbal tea called yerba mate (pronounced mah-tay). Originally cultivated by the indigenous people of Paraguay, the caffeinated leaves were popularized around much of South America by the Jesuit missionaries. These days everyone travels with their mate; on the day we headed out to Peninsula Valdes, our tour guide and bus driver shared many many a cup while making the long drive from Puerto Madryn to the peninsula. The loose leaves are usually steeped with hot water in a cup made out of a gourd, and sipped up through a metal straw with a filter on the bottom.
Josh models a giant hot water dispenser for refilling your mate thermos (which also advertises a particular brand of mate), one of many that we saw throughout Argentina.
A typical sheepy Patagonian scene as we travel out to Peninsula Valdes
A far off elephant seal lazes in the shallows.
A handsome bull struts his stuff...
Argentina, November 11th, 2009