31 October 2009

Mendoza

Aconcagua - The tallest mountain in the southern hemisphere. It overlooks the main pass between Chile and Argentina.
Typical "avenida" in sultry Mendoza, Argentina


I will never forget Rapa Nui (Easter Island) - it was like a dream come true and there was so much more I might have seen. I talked to a fisherman called Tete and he told me of a volcanic vent he had found in one of the hills. He had crawled in with a torch and found evidence of ancient human habitation. If I had been staying longer, he would have taken me to see it but my air ticket said no. I had been greeted at the airport with a floral garland and left with a chain of seashells round my neck.
Today I travelled by "Andesmar" bus through the mighty Andes chain and into Argentina. It could have been five hours but it was seven because of the customary two hour hold up at the border - checking bags, papers - stamping this, stamping that. Much of the scenery was raw and enormous with snow on the peaks and condors circling. These were real, beefy, naked, soaring mountains that make the English Lake District hills look as though they were made by moles.
Mendoza seems affluent and self-confident. I arrived in sultry 32 degree heat and made my way through Saturday shoppers to the Hotel Cordon del Plata where because of overbooking they have had to put me in a suite! My jaw dropped. It is massive with a double sunken spa bath. I rarely have baths - I am a shower man but either tonight or tomorrow morning I will definitely be having a bath with jacuzzi bubbles and perhaps room service will send Mr Bond some champagne... Adios amigos!

13 comments:

  1. 'I rarely have baths' - glad you followed that up with the rest of the sentence, YP. ;)
    It all sounds wonderful and I am so envious. Keep writing!

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  2. Oooo the bath sounds like something out of a film. I'm so pleased you're having such a great time.

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  3. I'm glad you're having a great time in these wonderful locales.

    Remember to try the east next time.

    By the way, get used to the tin-pot beurocracy if you want to travel further off the beaten track.

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  4. Aconcagua is stunning, your descriptive writing ability is stunning, your hotel suite is undoubtedly stunning, but trying to picture a middle-aged Englishman climbing into a bubble bath in a suite in Argentina is the very definition of decadence. Pardon me while I turn my head and shield my eyes. Oops, too late. The image is seared into my brain.

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  5. JENNY You have met me. You know how spotlessly clean I look. I have even done some handwashing on this trip.
    VALERIE Do you want to be Pussy Galore - shaken not stirred?
    B.BOOTHIE Aren´t Rough Guides marvellous? I knew there´d be a big hold up at the border. Sometimes it can last for 4 or 5 hours. Two was acceptable.
    RHYMES WITH... In your imagination please don´t see yourself getting in that spa bath with me! Anglo-American relations would take a quick nosedive!

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  6. I'm curious if you were able to take a good look at the night time sky and what your impression was...

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  7. I'm curious if you were able to take a good look at the night time sky and what your impression was...

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  8. Ah Mendoza!! I will wait to hear more about this part of your travels. Most people suffer eye-glazing episodes when others talk about their travels. Not me and especially not in Argentina...
    Ms Soup

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  9. I've only just caught up with your travels YP. How totally wonderful they sound. Sorry to hear about how you came to miss Paraguay though. (That air hostess needs a smack!)

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  10. You misunderstood me. I was referring to your decadence.

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  11. YP you're a jammy bugger and no mistake.

    It sounds like you're enjoying the trip of a lifetime. Early retirement obviosly suits you.

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  12. Obviously I meant obviously!

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  13. Rapa Nui is on my list of places to see b4 l die. Have held a long wish to visit the islands of the Pacific.

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