30.01.2019 - 05.02.2019 90 °F
We spent 5 days in and around Mendoza, enjoying long walks around the city and its many, remarkable parks and public squares.
On February 1, we spent a full day ar Termas Cachueta Hotel and spa about 38 km southwest of Mendoza. just a coupe of km further is the town of Cachueta which hosts a stare park featuring natural hot springs. With a low price for admission, and access by public bus line from Mendoza, It is a crowded and very dirty place. For around $40 USD pp we enjoyed a much nicer experience with air-conditioned coach pickup and return from Mendoza, at a luxurious hotel and spa. It had 6 pools of gradually declining temperatures from the highest (warmest) to the lowest and coolest. all were comfortable although there were warnings not to spend more than 20 minutest in the hottest pool.
After a relaxing morning visiting all the pools and also coating ourselves in mud we had a buffet lunch in our rented bathrobes. In the afternoon we swam in the warm waters of the enormous swimming pool.
The next day was a bit overcast and cooler but we enjoyed visiting 3 different wineries in Maipu, south of Mendoza. Carinae Florio and Mevi .
Sunday, Feb 3, was even more overcast and it got worse as we went north and west to a Preserve called Villavicencio, the site of an old luxury hotel along the old (and extremely curvy road coming down from the pass to Chile.
WE did a tour of the city on Monday, Feb 4, visiting the original city center and then the modern central square and four surrounding symmetrically arranged squares nearby We then went to the western side of the city and its extremely large (now, nearly 400 hectares....or more than 900 acres, or bigger than Central Park on Manhattan, but slightly smaller than Golden Gate Park in San Francisco) General San Martin Parque. It features a fountain of the four continents, Europe, Africa, Asia, and America, inspired by a similar fountain in the Luxembourg Gardens.
Other four continent fountains may also be found in Rome and Trieste, but seeing it here underscored a thought that had been nagging me for some weeks already on this trip: we are all Americans,...all the peoples of North and South America have every right to describe themselves as "American." Most had to fight wars of independence from European conquerors of indigenous people and all share a history of shame in the treatment of the original occupants of the "New World." I know it is going to be a difficult habit to break, but I feel bound to make an effort to shed the impulse to call myself "american" instead of a citizen of the United States.
The Parque also has an artificial lake about 1 km long and 100 meters wide; It is home to the local rowing club. But in my opinion, the grandest feature is the Cerro de la Gloria, a natural mirador that is accessible by cars and buses over narrow, switchback roads, ingeniously designed to be one way up and one way down. At the top of this mini mountain is a monument to the Army of the Andes whose combined forces secured the independence of both Argentina and
Chile. There were quite a few monkeys in the trees surrounding the summit.
We finished our tour with a visit to the Chocoleeza Chocolate factory.
We stayed in a nice, quiet neighborhood, called Godoy Cruz, just south of the city center, where we had a second floor apartment at Isabel la Catolica 162. there was a lovely, triangular park just off our street corner.
we enjoyed lunch and an adult beverage at the Mendoza airport before our flight to Salta on Tuesday, 5 February.