Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Announcing the Winners - and More!

Today’s post is a potpourri of items from and about Argentina and Chile.

The Chilean Bicentennial Book Awards
Well, it was Isabelle Allende who won the Chile’s National Literature Prize earlier this month but, for my part, I can finally announce the winners of last week’s quiz to give away four copies of the third edition of Moon Handbooks Chile, for those who could distinguish between two volcanoes, one in the Chilean lakes district and the other in the Cascade Range of California, Oregon and Washington. They were Jacques Couvion of New York City; Meghan Reynolds of Brooklyn, New York; Jennifer Rose of Morelia, Michocán, Mexico; and Wendy Walker of Córdoba, Argentina.

Of the four, Jacques was the only one to identify the photograph above as Volcán Llaima (pictured above), in Parque Nacional Conguillío, east of the city of Temuco, and Mount Shasta, in Northern California. I originally said I would give away two books to those who could simply tell me which was from Chile and which from the Cascades, and two to those who could identify the specific volcanoes in question, but I relaxed my rules to be certain I would get four winners.

The obvious giveaway, for anyone who looked at this quiz but decided not to enter, was the Araucaria araucana sapling in the foreground of the Llaima photograph; the coniferous “monkey puzzle tree” grows only in a narrow swath of the Argentine and Chilean Andes. That photograph was taken from the north side of Llaima - a very active volcano - in early summer; the other shot was an aerial photograph of Shasta taken on a commercial flight from Oakland to Seattle.

In any event, keep your eyes on this space for further quizzes and contests, especially with the new third edition of Moon Handbooks Argentina about to hit the stores.

Moon Handbooks in Your Town
Speaking of which, this is simply to remind everyone in Marin County (as well as San Francisco or elsewhere in North Bay) that I will be “Exploring Argentina” at REI Corte Madera at 7 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday) night. The presentation will a digital slide show on Argentina’s attractions and recreational possibilities, followed by a question and answer period. This is free of charge but, with limited seating, phoning for a reservation might be a good idea.

For upcoming events over the next-month plus, please refer to the previous post, which has a complete schedule.

Bloomberg on the LAN-TAM Merger
According to Bloomberg News, the financing for the proposed merger of Chile’s LAN Airlines and Brazil’s TAM Mercosur - a topic I covered in a post last month - may be a little more complicated and tenuous than originally anticipated. Personally, though, I would not bet against LAN and its continued expansion.

Ice Cream Special
In last Sunday’s travel section, devotedly exclusively to Latin America, the New York Times focused on Buenos Aires ice cream in general and the sickly sweet dulce de leche - not a personal favorite here - in particular. Dealing primarily with chains, they lagged well behind my own coverage of phenomena such as Palermo’s Heladería Jauja and the Heladerías de Buenos Aires guide to the city’s ice cream. Readers of Southern Cone Travel are well ahead of the curve.

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