Meetings, South American automobiles and food

This was a full day of meetings and posters with sessions on neuroprotection of the retina and RPE including growth factors and cytokines, the genetics of AMD, and exidant stress and retinal degeneration. At the posters sessions, I was also fortunate to run across Kenneth Greenberg who had a great poster titled In Vivo Engineering of Light Sensitive Neurons in the Diseased Retina and is completing his Ph.D. in the laboratory of John Flannery. I am actually pretty excited about his work as we have been talking about doing some engineering like this for some time, so I inquired as to his plans post graduation which occurs in May. He said he would be looking for a post-doc, so I invited him to keep us in mind for potential post-doctoral opportunities. He appears to be a snowboarder, and had been through SLC before, so perhaps we have our next post-doc lined up.

The weather outside is a bit dreary and appears to be blowing something in over the Andes to the West of us, which does not bode well for our outing tomorrow on Nahuel Huapi lake. But after the meetings, we went for a little stroll around town. This is the first time I’ve actually walked around Bariloche, and it was really restricted to the central part of town, but it gave a nice flavor of the area. Ann said it best when she described Bariloche as Park City after about 20 years of economic decline, but it is now in a boom period with lots of outside investment and building around the outskirts of town. The city of Bariloche/country of Argentina would be smart to try and encourage some of the economic development in the town of Bariloche as well. The central tourist areas are bright and clean, but their principal clientele is skiers in the winter and students who have just graduated from secondary school and come here to party it up, so they are limiting their potential income to the lower end of the economic scale.

The town’s narrow economic focus combined with the apparent runaway inflation in Argentina is combining to limit the purchasing power of Argentineans. This of course is reflected in the automobiles seen on the streets. I’m a gearhead, so images of economic performance are often reflected through the filter of automobiles. The auto’s I see are 1960s Ford Falcons, Citroen 2CVs, Ladas Nivas (with an Apple sticker!) along with some newer vehicles, such as the Ford Ka, and some very cool Toyotas such as the Toyota Hilux and Prado which absolutely mystify me as to why they are not available in the US.

I understand some of the historical reasons why the Suzuki Jimny is not sold here given the misguided Consumer Reports assault on the Suzuki Samurai back in the late 80’s, but I owned one and it was one of the most reliable efficient and safe vehicles around at the time. But why some of the other vehicles like the Ford Ka, and some of the Toyotas and Peugeots are not sold here escapes me.

After looking around town, rather than go back and eat in at the hotel, Robert and Ann and I decided to have dinner at Linguini which was rather tasty. I had the beef with local mushrooms. The local mushroom sauce was a bit heavy, but amazingly tasty with local mushrooms and the beef was slightly more well done than I would have liked, but it had a wonderful flavor reflecting grass fed beef rather than the predominantly corn/feed fed beef that we are used to in the USA.

6 Replies to “Meetings, South American automobiles and food”

  1. Hi! Thanks for visiting my country!
    I have just came back from Bariloche and Villa La Angostura! I love the lakes region so I try to go once a year.
    Let me clarify that the area is not only developed for the ski season and graduates. Bariloche has different “high seasons”: ski season of course, summer ( countless tourists from all around the world / Argentinean People as well ) visit Bariloche during summer (backpackers and rich people) ideal season for trekking, rafting, sailing, climbing, camping, etc etc etc.
    Later there is the flyfishing season, hunting season.
    It is true that we are a 3rd world country, I hate our leaders sooo much because they are all thieves. But besides the economy facts, you barely mention the beauty of the landscapes… why?

  2. I don’t undersand either why some of the Toyotas don’t make it stateside. I have spent some time down there as well and have seen a lot of models that you can’t get here. As for the Prado, the 4runner is built on the same frame and they are the same in their offroad capabilites. But there are some fine vehicles that are not avalible here like the Landcruiser 70 Series, they even have a model that has a truck bed. And on top of that they have a lot of high quality diesel engines not availible here, like a 4.5L V8.

  3. que lindo que hallas visitado mi ciudad donde naci y vivo :) y corrigiendo una cosita jeje, el ford falcon de la foto es aproximadamente de 1964 jeje, saludos!

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