Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Mendoza and on - catch up

Well, Mendoza is beautiful - a desert city under the the foothills of the Andes made verdant green by the irrigation system - gullies - or gringo traps as the locals call them - which run through all the streets of the city. Mountains, with Aconcagua the highest peak outside the Himalayas just a a couple of hours away and fantastic Malbec wineries and pretty good whites (Torrontes - apologies of the lack of accents & ny signs - my keyboard won't manage them) on our doorstep.

Can personally testify to the friendliness of Mendoza people after our washing was trapped in a laundry - which was closed Saturday afternoon when we returned from Andes trekking - and we were due to bus it to Salta on Sunday. The guy at the nearby garage, his mate, the chap in the tourist office, the woman in our hotel and a random by-passer in the street - half of Mendoza it seemed were on the case, trying to locate a mobile number for the laundry owner and full of alternative suggestions. I was full of admiration for my ability to make our predicament understood in Spanish. Only later, nursing a comfortingly large vodka soda, did I realise what I'd actually said. Translates literally as: "the lavadorio is closed, and our cloth is in".

Now in Salta - and the package of clothes our hotel sent on is likely to arrive the day after we leave. This one is set to run. Virtually all J's clothes will probably follow us around the rest of Argentina - a day late everywhere, obviously.

Millions of great pictures of Mendoza - we really loved it here. And Hel and Jim, Pete and Andy- apparently the skiing here knocks Colorado into a cocked hat. Not only that but the vinyards are beautiful, the Malbec gorgeous and cheap. the only drawback for the veggies is that this is meat ago-go - meat, meat and more meat. It's fabulous but a hell of a lot of it. And not just that, the Argies have a ferociously sweet tooth. Dulce de leche - a kind of soft caramel/toffee stuff - everybody loves it - and if I say that I prefer it to jam for breakfast toast, you get the picture for how sweet the jam is.

We've marvellous pictures from Mendoza, the sun-kissed vinyards the Andes, Ruta 40, and Salta - way up north which is, if anything a more laid back Mendoza. Will post as and when, with a subtitle. I don't know. Something like: "while you are freezing".

Ana avert your eyes: J has now adopted Independiente as her team. I guess that's how much we loved Mendoza.

We hear shops are closing in the UK, M&S, and Woolies and more. People apparently are depressed and worried. J's old Mitsubishi mate, Neil, reckons it's directly attributable to our departure. "Just how much were you girls spending?", he asked us in a recent email.

thanks for the mail, Neil.

Lots of love to all

1 comment:

Orian said...

Wow! You really made me want to go to Mendoza even more!

Hope you are enjoying Salta - looking forward to more news and photos!

And what happened to Patagonia? Did the welsh swear you to secrecy?