Where do John and I live? For the moment, London, England in a posh flat with a friend we met in Bolivia. Yesterday, it was a converted water tower in Leiston, England, a small town two hours northeast of London. It’s taken me awhile to get used to this concept, that home is where I am today. It’s been four months but it’s finally starting to sink in. My thinking on this subject was sparked by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros. They have a song called Home. Have a listen, it’s pretty magical.
Our last day in South America came faster than we ever thought it would. Before we knew it, we were having our last smoothie. It was a good one though, with pineapple, mango, maracuya (passion fruit), banana and lucuma powder. Yum!
I’ve posted about eating at Pita, Prasada and Comedor Vegetariano in Cusco, Peru, but haven’t shared any news about the goods we consumed between meals. One of our favourite finds was the Coca Shop, where they make artisan chocolate that, like all good chocolate should be, is free of dairy. They have an amazing variety of flavours, and are very generous with their free samples. Some of our favourite kinds where lúcuma, maca and, the classic, coca. They were so good, we couldn’t resist bringing some back for our family.
I love vegan potlucks. It’s always a lot of fun to get together with friends and community members to share food, recipes and ideas. For the first time since leaving our apartment in Buenos Aires, we had access to a well equipped kitchen and enough ingredients to make some interesting dishes for a potluck. All credit goes to our friends and travel mates, Dan and Calina, authors of the Flock Together blog, who had the idea and hosted the potluck. It turned out to be a great success, attracting 10 people and lots of great food.
While in Sucre, Bolivia, we stayed at the Hostelling International Sucre Hostel, which was just down the street from the Mercado Campesion, the local farmer’s market. Luckily, the hostel had a kitchen and we were able to cook up some dishes using the local vegetables. The streets of the farmer’s market are lined with beautiful, brightly coloured produce. And it’s sooooo ridiculously cheap. We had to make sure we went with lots of small coins because you can’t even break a $10 Bolivian bill there.
After leaving Rio de Janeiro, we flew to Iguazu Falls, one of South America’s best known natural attractions. Since leaving Brazil, we’ve been traveling through a series of small towns in Northern Argentina as we make our way up to Bolivia. So far, we’ve stopped in San Ignacio Mini, Posadas, Colonia Carlos Pellegrini, Tafi de Valle and Cafayate. Some of these towns are very, very small. Some are even too small to support a supermarket, which makes finding decent vegan food a challenge. However, there’s nothing like a string of boring food days to make you appreciate interesting culinary finds like Vegemite, artisan chocolate bars, and wine flavoured ice cream.
After leaving Punta del Diablo, Uruguay, we took five buses and traveled almost 24 hours before reaching Florianópolis, Brazil. Over the course of three short days we had a chance to visit some of the island’s 42 beaches, sand surf, drink lots of Brazilian caipirinhas and participate in some of the carnival street parties. We had no problem finding vegan food near our hostel in Barra da Lagoa. We ate at a few restaurants but the highlight was the abundance of local fruit.
We just spent four days in Punta del Diablo, Uruguay, a small fishing village with great beaches and a bohemian atmosphere. After spending the first night in a hostel, we realized we could stay in a private cabaña for almost the same price.
When we checked into our first cabaña, I screamed with joy when I saw we had a blender. We were able to make homemade smoothies for the first time since we started this trip. Using the local fruit that was available, we blended up an orange, mango, nectarine, pear and apple smoothie. Yum! Paired with whole wheat toast and peanut butter, it was the perfect birthday breakfast.
If you search for Punta del Este, Uruguay on HappyCow, you’ll find there are no listings for vegan or vegetarian restaurants. Zero. Usually every city has one, or at least a health food store. You’d think there would be a juice or smoothie bar to serve a community where the main sport is strutting in your swimsuit. No such luck.
Having no appealing restaurant options, we opted for cooking all of our meals at the hostel. We stayed at Hostel 1949, where we had access to a well equipped kitchen.
After reading about vegan grocery shopping in Buenos Aires, you may be wondering what we’ve been doing with all that food. Here are some examples of the simple meals we’ve prepared at home. They might not be the most exciting meals you’ve ever seen but keep in mind we’re trying to save money by eating at home so we can enjoy the odd meal out at a fancy veggie restaurant.