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Posts from the ‘Argentina’ Category

Ice Climbing and Trekking on the Viedma Glacier

The Viedma Glacier is one of the 47 glaciers in the Los Glaciares National Park. What makes it special is that you can go ice climbing in the middle of the ice field as some of us did today. From El Chaltén it was about half an hour drive to a lake where we took a boat to the glacier. The boat ride was another hour but very scenic. As we came closer to the glacier the wind became stronger splashing water all over the open deck on top of the boat. Some people got soaked in ice water and needed to change cloth. After a while only the brave went up for a few seconds trying to catch a picture from the beautiful landscape. There were a number of small blue shining icebergs floating around on the lake formed by melted glacier ice. We also had an excellent view at the front side of the glacier where we could hear the cracking of calving ice.

After the boat docked we got off and walked over rocky area. Compared to other mountains the surface of these rocks looked more round since it was formed by the moving ice of the glacier. After walking for a few minutes we reached a tent where we got equipped for walking and climbing on the glacier ice. We put on a special type of crampons with which you cannot just walk on ice but also climb on it. They had strong spikes in the front of the crampon enabling you to climb vertically. Furthermore, we received a climbing harness and a helmet for security.

Before actually stepping on the glacier ice we received a demonstration how to walk in crampons. Compared to normal walking you need to keep your legs a bit more open so the spikes of the crampons don’t get tangled with each other or with your pants causing you to fall. We also received a demonstration on how to walk upwards, downwards and sidewards without falling. Walking in crampons felt strange in the beginning but after a while you get used to it and walk quite confident.

It was a maybe 20min walk over the glacier ice until we reached an area suitable for ice climbing. On our way we needed to cross a crevasse which is a deep crack in the glacier ice. We used a rope for crossing it so in case you slide into it you can be pulled out. The ice itself looked kind of dirty which is due to the rocks contained in it. In areas without rocks the ice was either white or blue.

The three guides with us prepared the ice wall for climbing and gave us a demonstration on the ice climbing technique and how to use the two ice axes in your hands. Then it was up on us to try it. It was actually quite fun since compared to rock climbing you are not dependent on the surface of the rock which forms the path to follow. You can actually climb more or less freely on the wall since you can put your crampons and ice axes in every place of the ice. I felt a bit like a fly walking up a wall. Each of us climbed 3-4 times at the wall and afterwards we had our lunch in the middle of the ice field. I had some sandwiches but tried not to drink too much since it isn’t allowed to pee on the ice field.

In the afternoon we climbed on another wall featuring blue ice which was even more amazing. Compared to the white ice the blue one was much harder and you needed more power to hew your ice axes and crampons into the ice. We also tried another ice climbing technique with which you go a bit sidewards with every step which gives you more stability when removing one of the ice axes to put it in another place. Climbing with this technique looked a bit like dancing cha-cha-cha and was funny to observe.

After having mastered the blue ice wall we went for a walk on the ice field looking at all kinds of ice formations. The highlight was the area where the glacier ice ended and the rocky area started. Here you could go in the area between the glacier ice and the rock which was extremely fascinating. There are several tons of ice above you and you just hope that it doesn’t crack and fall down on you. It felt great being under the ice. It appeared blue and transparent and the shape of it gave you an impression on how it’s actually flowing. There were also some holes in the ice which we could also see on the surface of the ice field. The holes are formed by melting glacier ice and here underneath the ice you could see it running down.

After we returned from the ice caves our guides had prepared a little surprise for us. It was an alcoholic drink cooled by glacier ice. After we returned to El Chaltén I was desperate for some pasta. The name of one shop sounded like they are selling fresh homemade pasta and I went there. They were actually selling pasta but only uncooked so I went into a small restaurant next door called “Mathilda”. The restaurant turned out to be a one woman show and the food I had here was truly homemade and very delicious.

Trek to Mount Fitz Roy

The next two days are “free time” in El Chaltén and we can do whatever we would like to do such as sleeping all day or go out and do any kind of activity. For some of my fellow travelers it’s also a question of money since more or less everybody has quit their job just for the reason to travel for several months. So you need to be careful to stay in your individual travel budget.

The wonderful thing about El Chaltèn is that you can go on self-guided hikes which don’t cost you anything. You just go to the supermarket the day before to buy some lunch, get a local map from the tourist information and start walking. If you are on a really tight budget you also have the opportunity to not stay in a hostel but pitch-up your tent on one of the free campsites in the middle of the national park.

We found out one of the most scenic hikes you can do in the area is the one to the “Laguna de Los Tres Lagos” which are the lakes formed by the melting ice of the glacier at Mount Fitz Roy. The hike going there and coming back takes a total of eight hours. I joint my fellow travelers from the UK Mollie, Kim and Ian to do this hike and we started walking around 8:30am.

The first three hours of the hike were pretty easy and not really steep. We walked through colorful trees and crossed a few small rivers always with the spectacular peaks of Mount Fitz Roy right in front of us. Later on it got steeper and we spent the last hour hiking up a mountain until we ended-up at the “Laguna de Los Tres Lagos” viewpoint. Here we found out there are actually only two lakes and not as the name of the spot is saying three lakes. Unfortunately the sun, who was following us all morning, was gone by now and didn’t want to come out again.

Right at the top we had our lunch with a nice view at one of the lakes. Mollie and Kim had even carried a glass of Marmite to the top. Mollie has actually imported this British culinary delight from home. This serious are the British are about their Marmite :-) Even worse are some of the Australians I met during my travels who seem to carry a glass of Vegemite with them at all times. So far I haven’t found out how the two products differentiate in taste but one day I will sample both of them at the same time to find out. In Germany we actually have no comparable product which is as popular as Marmite or Vegemite.

After enjoying the close view of Mount Fitz Roy for an hour or two we hiked back towards El Chaltén. About half way down the mountain the sun appeared again. Ian and I were tempted to walk back to the top but didn’t do so in the end. During the way down my hiking boots started to cause trouble. This resulted in me having two big blisters on my heels at the end of the day. I can’t explain what’s wrong with my hiking boots since I own them already for five years and did quite some big hikes in them. The first time they started to cause trouble was by the end of last year when hiking in the Semien Mountains of Ethiopia resulting in me losing two of my toe nails. Probably either my feet did grow or the boots did shrink which both sounds very much unlikely. So it will remain a mystery.

Back in El Chaltén the four of us went for dinner into a small restaurant called “La Wafleria”. Most of the dishes served consisted of waffles and all sorts of hearty and sweet toppings. I started dinner with a pumpkin soup, one of my favorite dishes, and had a sweet waffle with Dulce de Leche for desert. Dulce de Leche is a very popular sweet in Argentina and the locals eat it with breakfast but also use it to prepare all kinds of cakes. As the name say it’s prepared from sweetened milk which gives it a caramel taste.

After dinner I went to one of the activity shop to pay for tomorrow’s ice climbing activity. On the way I ran into my fellow traveler Juri. While talking to her she spontaneously decided to join me tomorrow and was lucky to get one of the last free spots in the ice climbing group.

Hitting the amazing Patagonian Landscape in El Chaltén

A full day drive brought us to the little mountain village El Chaltén. “Chaltén” means volcano but actually there is none. The name was given by mistake since the clouds surrounding the mountains in this area appear like smoke. The landscape around El Chaltén is simply spectacular and probably the most fascinating one I have seen all over Patagonia. You just open your eyes and what you see is picture-book landscape. I always wanted to travel to Patagonia just too see this and now I’m actually here. What a great feeling!

El Chaltén is situated in the Los Glaciares National Park which has the largest ice cap outside the Antarctica and Greenland feeding the impressive number of 47 glaciers. Also part of the park is Mount Fitz Roy which has multiple very steep peaks which we could already see from a distance when driving into El Chaltén. Because of its steepness the mountain attracts a number of technical climbers who perceive it as one of the hardest mountains to climb.

In the village we stayed in the Pioneros Hostel which is situated at the main road. From there I went for a walk around in the village. It’s really a lovely spot with a number of small restaurants and outdoor shops. I really liked that the village isn’t crowded by tourists and most people I have seen around are backpackers. El Chaltén is not just known for its amazing surroundings but also for its restaurants where you can sample Patagonian lamb and beer brewed in local micro-breweries. I’m not a bear drinker so I didn’t try it but I heard from my fellow travelers it wasn’t too good.

Another long Drive Day to San Julián

The road from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia is long which requires us to drive longer hours as we did during the last weeks. This also means getting up earlier which was 5:30am this morning since driving started at 6am. For some reason I had set my alarm to 6:30am instead of 5:30am but the noise of other people putting down their tents wakes me up anyhow. Since it was raining the whole evening my whole tent was wet and the ground muddy and slippery. This isn’t what you want to step into at an early morning start.

Breakfast was a “truck breakfast” again and today’s cooking group was even so kind to serve us breakfast in our seats. We had yoghurt, a banana and a croissant each. We spent the whole day driving along the beautiful Patagonian coastline. The colors of the rocks and the sea are truly amazing. Apart from this there is not much else to see since the landscape has turned into a steppe consisting of small grass bushels.

I killed the time by listen to music and watching the movie “Bobby Fisher against the World”. I started to watch this movie already a few days ago while being with Pedro* in Brasilia since he’s a passionate chess player. Bobby Fischer is considered the greatest chess player of all times and was especially popular in the 60ies. To be honest, I never heard the name Bobby Fischer before starting to watch the documentary but after I’ve seen it I find him kind of interesting. He was very obsessed with playing chess and from his early childhood on he didn’t do much else than playing chess. He has put in thousands of hours to master the game of chess and even to develop it further. This effort paid out as he beat the Russians who dominated the game for a long time and became the World Chess Champion. On this other side this obsession made him arrogant, he feared to be not able to defend his title, became crazy after a while and got lost in religion.

The movie reminded me a tiny bit of myself since I observed I can also be kind of obsessive when doing things and trying to reach a specific goal. I can work obsessive, study obsessive, love obsessive, have obsessive sex and travel obsessive what I’m doing right now. However, my obsession is distributed among many things and so I hope not to become crazy one day :-)

We arrived in San Julián at 5:30pm which was earlier than expected. We stayed at a campsite in town which was quite nice featuring hot showers and Wi-Fi. The town itself was very sleepy and even the “tourist information” was shut down. Today’s cooking group prepared a chicken noodles dish for us and afterwards our driver Ross made a nice campfire for us.

(* name changed)

Rainy Day in Camarones

I woke from the sound of liquid sprayed on my tent. I actually don’t know what it was and can only guess some kind of animal was pissing on my tent. I got up to clean up the mess and luckily it didn’t stink.

Breakfast was a real treat. Today’s cook group prepared scrambled eggs with cheese and tomatoes. There were also some peaches left from yesterday’s breakfast which I enjoyed very much.

We started driving at 8am and arrived in Camarones around 3pm. I used the time to kick off studying Spanish. Since I will spent a bit more than four months of this year in Spanish speaking countries I thought I make the effort and learn a bit of Spanish in order to be able to have some basic conversations with the locals. Back home I purchased a Spanish course consisting of three books and six CDs which I digitalized so I can play them on my iPod. And today was the day I actually had my first Spanish lesson.

The main attractions of the area of Camarones, our home for tonight, are the nesting sites for large colonies of Magellanic penguins. Between September and April each year the penguins come to this area to incubate their eggs which we wanted to observe.

Since we were supposed to arrive earlier than we actually did our guide wasn’t waiting for us at the agreed spot. We figured out she had gone home already and drove to her house to pick her up. When driving towards the penguin spot, which lies 28km outside of Camarones, we quickly discovered we can’t go there because the road was too muddy and slippery and the likelihood we get stuck is very high. Our guide warned us by saying once we get stuck there is absolutely no way somebody pulling us out here and so we had to return. She also said in case it doesn’t rain until tomorrow morning and there is a strong wind the road will try out and we can go tomorrow. But unfortunately it rained all afternoon and evening so we decided not to try again and instead continue to travel very early tomorrow morning.

Since there isn’t anything else to do we spent the rest of the day hanging around the campsite. Juri, our fellow traveler from Japan, and her cook group prepared a very delicious Japanese dish for us consisting of rice, ground meat, spinach and an interesting combination of spices.

Marine Life at Valdez Peninsula

Puerto Madryn is the gateway to the Valdez Peninsula which we visited today. Since we will spent another night at the same campsite we didn’t need to put down our tents but just emptied them so nothing gets stolen. Our leader Anki advised us also to not lock our tent because it happened at this campsite that locked tents got slashed and not just things got stolen but also the tent was damaged afterwards.

Although we don’t meet our local guide until 10am we drove already to town at 8am since many people wanted to go to an internet café to check for emails regarding their lodge reservation at Torres del Paine National Park where we will be in one week from now. We will spend five days in this park and most of us will go trekking. The longest you can trek is the so called “W-Walk” which includes four nights in the park. While most people will go for less than four nights and spend the night in lodges with full-board I and my fellow traveler Ian from the UK have chosen the hardcore option of trekking the whole four day with my own tent and food. Although this option is the least expensive one I’m not doing it to save money but for the experience. I enjoy completely giving up luxury from time to time and going back to the basics so I appreciate later on what I have in civilization and not take everything for granted. What fascinates me is being very close to nature and dependent on my own. I will need to carry all my clothes, camping equipment and food for four days. I also heard at least two of the campsites have no facilities and so I need to fill up my water bottle from the stream and if I want to wash myself I need to do it in the stream as well. Sounds like fun to me. I only hope there will be no heavy rain or strong wind otherwise it will be quite uncomfortable.

After picking up our guide we drove towards the Valdez Peninsula. During the drive our guide told us some interesting facts about the area such as Puerto Madryn being the only Aluminum production site in the country which provides good employment to the region. Another major industry is obviously tourism since the town is a popular beach destination for Argentinian holiday-makers. There are also a number of cruise ships stopping here but this year there were less than half tourists than in the years before. The reason is volcanic activity in Chile leading to ashes blown to this area of Argentina and flights getting cancelled frequently. Our guide also told us that many people living in the area got health problems from the ashes such as problems with the skin or breathing. Lastly we learned the first settlers in this area were Welsh and in some smaller places in the area you can even go for an afternoon tea to one of the local tea houses.

Our first stop at the peninsula was a visitor center where our nature experience began with some Patagonian foxes hanging out at the parking space. They were not afraid at all and came close to have a look at us. The center also features an exhibition about the fauna and flora of the area including a huge whale skeleton. Another attraction of the visitor center was the toilet. While in more or less all toilets in South America you are requested to not throw the paper in the toilet because otherwise they don’t flush here you were actually allowed to do so. There was even a sign explicitly asking you to throw your paper into the toilet.

We continued to a little village at the peninsula were approx. 300 people live in the middle of the national park. Here we had lunch out of our truck before we continued to more remote areas along the coast. In total we made three stops at the peninsula. At the first stop we could observe southern elephant seals which are remarkable larger than ordinary seals. Unfortunately they were a bit far away and we were not allowed to leave the path along the coast and get any closer. At the second stop we saw a penguin colony which was much closer than the seals. The third stop was a spot called “Punta Norte” were we were expecting to see some orcas coming with the peak of the high tide around 6:20pm. We spent two hours watching but were not lucky enough to spot any. But this is nature. You aren’t in a zoo and therefore, there is no guarantee to see them. At least we spotted a hairy armadillo instead which was crawling through the bushes.

The drive back to Puerto Madryn took two hours. Since it was already 9:30pm we didn’t cook our own food at the campsite but went to a restaurant instead where our guide had reserved a table for us. The service was incredibly fast and so it didn’t took long for 21 people to make individual choices, eat and pay. I thought when I’m at the sea I should eat some kind of fish and ordered calamari and a bottle of red wine which I shared with Molly. When it came to payment it turned out that somebody had thrown a fake 50 Pesos note (12 USD) into the pot. Luckily we had not just paid our food and the cover charge which is supposed to be the tip but some additional tip on top so nobody needed to put in additional money to replace the fake 50 Pesos note. Fake money is a real problem in Argentina especially affecting the 100 Pesos and 50 Pesos notes. Since nobody of us has experience with fake money we all had a closer look at the fake note the restaurant returned to us and it was pretty obvious this note is fake. There was no watermark, no silver strip and even the photocopy was kind of blurry.

Long Drive to Puerto Madryn

It’s a long way down to the end of the world, how the very south of Patagonia is called. Yesterday we travelled approx. 700km overland and today it was even more than this. Therefore, we needed to get up before dawn. I really don’t like to get up in the dark but sometimes you have no other choice. I always wake up before my alarm goes off because people around me putting down their tents which is kind of noisy. So I got up at 5:30am, needed 15 min for the whole procedure to dress, put down my tent and pack away my sleeping bag and mattress.

The wheels of our truck were rolling at 6am and in order to save time and not get up even earlier we had a “truck breakfast”. This means we didn’t had breakfast before starting to drive, what is what we usually do, but had breakfast while driving. It consisted of yoghurt, a cereal bar and an apple each.

Around 10am we reached the border of the Chubut province where there was a checkpoint for fresh food products. An inspector searched our truck, in particular the boxes with the bulk food and our fridge. Since some people including me didn’t had their breakfast yet he found the apples in the fridge. We kindly asked if instead of throwing them away we can simply eat them and he agreed to it. So he watched us eating apples and made sure we throw the parts we didn’t eat away. In addition we needed to empty our dustbins and get our truck sprayed before we were free to go.

During today’s journey I was sitting next to Canning, a fellow traveler from Canada. I suppose when he booked this trip he wasn’t fully aware what to expect from an overland trip meaning less luxury and active involvement. While most of us just travel with a backpack Canning carries four!!! bags why we gave him the middle name “the wardrobe”. Canning is kind of funny and geeky in his own way. When sleeping next to me in the truck he even had a band which was attaching his head to the chair-back so his head is always kept straight and he’s not getting any neck problems.

Around lunch time we stopped in a small town where the cook group on duty shopped for today’s dinner and tomorrows breakfast and lunch. It was a rather small shop so there was not much choice and we had to buy whatever was available. In order to save time each of us was also buying snacks for lunch which were some grapes in my case. While the cook group finished their shopping we sat in the grass in front of the truck enjoying our lunch and the warmth of the sun.

I spent the afternoon playing cards with Juri, a woman from Japan, and an Australian couple. First we played Wizard and later on 500. I’m not particularly good in 500 but since Marco and Bob, who are both incredible good at this game, left the truck in Rio, I and my partner Juri actually managed to win.

We arrived in Puerto Madryn around 6:30pm which was a bit earlier than expected. Puerto Madryn is a beautiful port town on the Atlantic coast of Argentina. While driving into town I spotted some dive shops and also people kitesurfing. Unfortunately I won’t be able to do so since tomorrow we have already planned a visit of the Valdez Peninsula nearby.

At the campsite we were running into “Mamacita” the truck we travelled with from Manaus to Rio before we changed to “Yana” our current truck. Mamacita is travelling the same route as we do but will usually be a day ahead or behind of us. We were also running into Toni who left us in Rio and now traveling on Tucan. It’s kind of funny how long term travelers meet again and again on the main routes.

Beach Bush Camp in Monte Hermoso

We left Buenos Aires at 8am this morning to head south towards Patagonia. It was the first morning I put my fleece on since the air was a bit chilly. Actually it’s still very warm but everything below 30 degree feels somewhat cold when coming from the extreme heat of Brazil. I’m also afraid it will become much colder in a couple of days when we are down in Patagonia. I heard there is lots of wind which makes it feels even colder than it actually is. Although I have lots of warm clothes with me I feel mentally not ready for the cold. My grandma used to say “lieber erstickt als erfroren” (rather suffocate from heat than freeze to death) and you know grandmas are mostly right.

To avoid getting up early I skipped the hotel breakfast and got some take-away from Starbucks. Probably not the healthiest option but certainly convenient and tasty. After breakfast on the road I continued sleeping until lunch time. After a quick sandwich type of lunch next to the road we continued travelling all afternoon.

The road number 3 which connects Buenos Aires with Ushuaia is more than 3,000km long and you can spend whole days travelling on it. While travelling south you can also observe how the vegetation is becoming significantly thinner. The lush forest, we had in the Iguazú National Park a couple of days ago, is all gone by now and we are surrounded by a few bushes only. The land is flat and so you can see kilometers ahead. There are also less towns and villages next to the road so it’s kind of boring to look out of the window and you easily fall asleep. From time to time the view is interrupted by the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean and you recognize how mighty the landscape at this part of the world actually is. It feels really good to be out here and after all the city life and “luxury” in the last days we are back to the basics and in the middle of the nature.

We felt nature even more during nighttime when we arrived in Monte Hermoso around 7pm. The local campsite was closed for some reason and so we had to look for a bush camp. It took us only a couple of minutes to find a beautiful spot at the beach where we set up our tents. Actually this type of bush camp is my favored one since I love the sea. When you lay down in your tent you can hear the sea, breathe fresh air and you only have to open the zipper of your tent to have an amazing view at the sea. The only thing I was unsure about is the tide but I couldn’t resist to put up my tent as close to the sea as possible. In the worst case I will get swamped in the middle of the night and need to get up to move my tent.

Dinner was prepared by our driver Ross and he cooked some delicious fresh tortellini with tomato sauce. While cooking he also benefitted from the beautiful outlook at the sea which was right in front of him.

Buenos Aires City Tour and Architecture Museum

After I have spent the last three nights in Buenos Aires but didn’t do any proper sightseeing, I thought today I need to go out to see some sights. Actually I have seen them all during my last visit in 2009 but it can also be nice to return to places especially when you are not under time pressure.

I went to Florida, the main shopping street of the city, from where the Buenos Aires Bus is departing. The bus stops at 20 major tourist attractions at which you can hop-on and hop-off. The tour has a total duration of 3h 15min when you stay in the bus. In case you hop-off to have a closer look at a specific sight you don’t need to wait more than 20min until the next bus arrives to continue your tour.

From my previous visit I had already the places in mind at which I wanted to hop-off to wander around for a bit. The first of these stops was La Boca with its colorful houses which used to be painted with the leftovers from ship paint. Some streets in La Boca are kind of touristy and you can find many artists on the street selling their paintings or local people dancing Tango at the street in order to get tipped for it.

My next stop was the harbor area of Puerto Madero which is very modern and here you can find many nice restaurants with a view at the water. At the harbor you can also find the famous white Woman’s Bridge which is supposed to symbolize a tango dancing woman. Next was the Floralis Genérica which is a large metal flower and one of the most recognized symbols of Buenos Aires. The special feature of the flower is that its petals are opening and closing depending on the time of the day.

I continued walking to the Design and Architecture Museum close by which doesn’t seem to be a popular place since during my whole visit of the museum I was the only visitor. There was a special exhibition on Uruguayan architecture going on which I found kind of interesting since I just visited Montevideo two days ago. From the museum I walked over to the La Recoleta Cemetery which is famous because several Argentinian presidents and Eva Perón are buried here. Furthermore, the architecture of the cemetery is interessting to see since the graves do not just have a gravestone on top but are small buildings.

I ended my city tour at the Café Tortoni which is one of the oldest cafés in the city located on the Avenida de Mayo very close to my hotel. During the day I found it very interesting to experience how well I remembered the city since when walking around I always knew where I am and in which direction to go. It’s probably because I like the city.


Posh Steakhouse La Cabrera

Today was a lazy day. I wasn’t in the mood for heavy sightseeing also because I have already spent one week of extensive sightseeing here in Buenos Aires 2.5 years ago. I spent the day chilling out in the area around the hotel, had some nice breakfast at Starbucks and talked to all kinds of people crossing my way. Yesterday some of my fellow travelers went to the La Bomba De Tiempo drum show which is held every Monday and is one of the must see attractions in Buenos Aires. Others went to see the The Wall Live concert tour by Roger Waters for which they had purchased tickets well in advance knowing we will be in Buenos Aires on March 12th.

For dinner our leader Anki had booked us into the posh steakhouse La Cabrera which is said to be the best steak house in town. Based on this promise I had high expectations and was looking forward to a nice big piece of steak. La Cabrera actually operated two restaurants in town which are more or less next to each other. Although we had a reservation and made a down payment with it to secure the spot we had to wait for 20min until we got in so crowded was the place.

The atmosphere in the restaurant was really nice. There were all kinds of antiques on the wall which gave the place a cozy feeling. The service was quick and friendly and it didn’t take long to order and receive food, even with a larger group of people. Looking into the menu I spotted the restaurant is also serving Kobe Beef which is actually my favorite type of meat and so the decision what to order was pretty easy. Kobe Beef is actually a Japanese specialty. The meat is very soft since workers are employed to massage the cows which give the meat its unique and soft texture. While living in Japan for several months I discovered my preference for this type of meat and went to a number of specialty restaurants serving it.

When the serving of Kobe Beef arrived at my table in the La Cabrera restaurant I felt somewhat disappointed since the quality of the meat was far behind the Kobe Beef I have tasted before. It wasn’t even a good steak and had lots of fat on it which I don’t like at all. I guess I need to plan for a special vacation in Japan just to eat real Kobe Beef in a specialty restaurant and fresh Sushi at the Tsukiji Fish Market at four in the morning.