Monday, 2 April 2007

Belgrano Incident

Arrived in Mendoza Argentina yesterday afternoon after crossing the Andes in beautiful blue, chrystal clear skies. What a wonderful location for a border crossing, 3200 metres up, adjacent to Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of the Himalaya range. Beautiful up there, will be heading back there soon for trekking and exploring.

Last night was wandering down Avenida Belgrano, not sure if I was heading towards the exclusion zone or away from it, all I know is I was sunk later. I was torpedoed by a wonderful bottle of locally produced wine and the biggest, juiciest steak you can imagine. I was finished off by a few pisco colas, having got chatting to a Dutch chap. The bars are pretty busy here at 3am.

Today I´m going to rent a bike a visit some of the major wineries here. I may get a bit wobbly on the bike later, hopefully. Call it hair of the dog!

Today is a holiday here in Argentina to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Falklands conflict. Today I am going to be Australian (which many folks in Chile initially thought I was! Fair dinkums mate!)

Mendoza is a small city, which in many ways reminds me of the south of France. All streets are lined with sycamore trees to give shade from the strong sunshine. It has a very relaxed feel to it. The difference between Chile and Argentina is quite noticeable. It is much cheaper here. The wine and steak in a restaurant cost 5.00 UKP. The cars here are old (remember Ford Escorts and Sierras), and there are no street dogs (the police remove them and shoot them apparently :-( )

Time to get on my bike.

Change of plan. To get to the wineries you need to get a bus. To use the bus you need a magnetic card. Because of the holiday all the places issuing cards are closed.

Will do the wines and mountains round here again next week or over the weekend, as tomorrow I head south to Malargue for volcanic cones!