A Travellerspoint blog

February 2019

Mendoza

sunny 90 °F
View Austral (Southern) Adventure on judgelarry's travel map.

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.P2010379.JPGP2010384.JPGP2010385.JPG

After a relaxing morning visiting all the pools and also coating ourselves in muddeb87600-2c99-11e9-bc65-cf0c8b95cca3.JPG we had a buffet lunch in our rented bathrobes.P2010400.JPGP2010403.JPG In the afternoon we swam in the warm waters of the enormous swimming pool.20190201_164340_resized.jpg

The next day was a bit overcast and cooler but we enjoyed visiting 3 different wineries in Maipu, south of Mendoza. Carinae 20190202_111453_resized.jpg Florio 20190202_112335_resized.jpg and Mevi 20190202_132620_resized.jpg.

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. 20190203_115016_resized.jpg



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. 20190204_113916_resized.jpg

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.20190204_114601_resized.jpg 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. 20190204_120506_resized.jpg There were quite a few monkeys in the trees surrounding the summit. 20190204_121045_resized.jpg20190204_120930_resized.jpg
We finished our tour with a visit to the Chocoleeza Chocolate factory. 20190204_132657_resized.jpg20190204_131201_resized.jpg

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. 20190205_104550_resized.jpg there was a lovely, triangular park just off our street corner.20190205_105555_resized.jpg

we enjoyed lunch and an adult beverage at the Mendoza airport before our flight to Salta on Tuesday, 5 February. 20190205_130054_resized.jpg

Posted by judgelarry 10:02 Archived in Argentina Comments (1)

Road trip across the Andes

sunny 93 °F
View Austral (Southern) Adventure on judgelarry's travel map.

On January 30, we took an Andesmar double-decker bus from Vina del Mar, Chile to Mendoza, Argentina. we had a front row seat 20190130_131014_resized.jpgon the top level, but the window had an embedded mesh to help cut down on glare that also made forward photography rotten Still it was an exciting and scenic ride. After a long climb up a road with many broad curves.we reached the last 20 km of Chile and began a steep climb with 30 switchbacks, 20190130_114907_resized.jpg followed by a somewhat gentler, but constant climb on broad curves until we reached the top of the pass and drove under a sign indicating we were leaving Chile.20190130_115331_resized.jpg A few more kilometers up the road, we went through the two mile long Cristo Redentor Tunnel20190130_115845_resized.jpg before making a stop for border control and customs. The process took about an hour and we were fortunate becuase 3 more buses arrived after us. The ride down the Argentine side featured mostly gentler slopes and few switchbacks.20190130_121123_resized.jpg Despite the high altitude (10,400 feet) the temperature was more than 90 F.

Posted by judgelarry 11:30 Archived in Chile Comments (2)

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