Mendoza

apologies for the gap in posting – its internet availability dependent, more photos in next blog. promise.

Mendoza was heaving on Saturday night when we arrived turned out it was Ephifany a major holiday in the Catholic calendar and clearly when Argentinean children gets presents as the lively night markets were only selling toys.

The people here are genuinely friendly and helpful and although there is a lot of news coverage and a “Malvinas memorial plaza” in every significant town but then it doesn’t seem to be an issue with the “man on the street even when discovering we are English. E.g. looking for somewhere to eat (a fiercely competitive business) the hawker outside one establishment engaged us and discovering our English took us to meet the chef busy cooking over a grill visible to the street. His good English explained it was an all you can eat buffet and we could have whatever we wanted cooked to order.

A pleasant evening ensued with the local beer, and the excellent food – which included salad bar and deserts for less than £10. All was well until leaving I left a tip for the chef for looking after us and he wanted to practice his English more and asked where I was from and he then revealed he was a Man U supporter ! – he did say he liked the Beatles. Could have been a beautiful friendship dashed.

Our second day was a wander around Mendoza which is very pleasant with lots of open spaces, and a fantastic park, however due to the holiday everything all shops closed until Monday.

Third day we got to go wine tasting, most of the group came and it was a fun afternoon, a little less formal than Chile but stops at 4 places, the last being not wine but rather Olive Oil, which was interesting in itself. The company only makes extra virgin olive oil ( the highest grade) and busy in olives from the local growers over 3 months (May, June, July) to make a whole range of products other than just the oil for dinner.

 

We had an excellent last night dinner with Jane and Colin, digesting the news that Graham, the trainee crew member was leaving with immediate effect. A genuinely nice guy, shame things didn’t work out as hoped  between him and Odyssey but I guess that’s just the way it goes sometimes. He is going to stay in SA for a few weeks independently and may catch up with the group in Rio or Salvidor and I promised to stand him a beer.

In the meantime the main trip goes on we are heading north heading ultimately to Iguazu Falls, the longest (as opposed to the highest) falls in the world. They straddle the border between Argentina and Brazil and are apparently truly spectacular. More details later.

In the meantime a couple of longish days in the truck as we have 1600+km to cross, punctuated by a couple of en-route stops. The tranquil sunset somewhat undone by the dogs that barked all night after the frogs stopped croaking ….. we have a couple of nights at a nature reserve, we arrived mid-afternoon in scorching heat at least 35 degrees to a lovely campsite.  There is wildlife everywhere; including the frog that lives in the shower block that scared the bejazers out of me at 5.30 am ahead of our first guided tour to see the wildlife.

Photos in next post !

 

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