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and were off to the north...and hopefully some warmer weather!

Written on: Wednesday June 17th, 2009

A journal entry from: Argentina 2009

We left Bariloche for a very long trip to Mendoza, but it was definitely worth it as the city of Mendoza is gorgeous. The leafs have all turned colours, are falling from the trees and it wasnīt too cold. The city itself is well planned with a central square and four others creating four corners around the main square.

We spent one day visiting two vineyeards. The grape picking season is from Feb. to early May, but it leafs on the vines had all turned colours so it was just gorgeous. The first vineyard had a museum which explained some of the history and had a lot of antiques. The second vineyard produces organic wines and was just as lovely - as was the wine! After that we headed to a small olive oil factory. It was very interesting learning all about its production. On our way back to the city we stopped at a famous church that San Martin visited while liberating Argentina. People often make promises and walk on their knees to the church from wherever they live - certainly hope they keep their promises! On the way back we also visited the largest park in the city - well at the edge of the city - which occupies 20 hectars of land and is very popular with the locals.

The following day we went to Alta Montaņa where we stopped at an important dam, a fort used when San Martin crossed the Andes to liberate Chile, Puente del Inca, the viewpoint of Mt. Aconcagua (the highest mountain in the Americas) and the border crossing to Chile. It was very interesting as the guide knew a lot about the local history and geography. Turns out the Andes are still getting higher! It was also neat to go back to Puente del Inca which is where some thermal hotsprings are located. Back in the early 1900s, there was a hotel located there and a tunnel connected the hotel to the hotsprings. However, a few decades later the hotel was destroyed by an avalanche, but the hotsprings remained. When I was there in 2004, you could still walk around the hotsprings and dip your feet in the warm water, but in 2005 it was closed as it was deemed īdangerousī- looking at it from a distance, it did seem a little dangerous!

We then headed to the city of Cordoba. It is considered to be a university city (with a population of over 1 million). It has many universities including the first in Argentina and the 4th oldest in the Americas. I think that if I were to come to Argentina to learn Spanish and wanted to go to a city that I would go to Cordoba over Buenos Aires. There is definitely a lot of history and beautiful buildings.

We are currently in the bus terminal waiting for an overnight bus to Salta where we are going to spend a week. The temperature change from Mendoza to Cordoba was incredible and hopefully it will continue to get warmer as we head further north.

Thatīs all for now.

Lots of Love,

Johanna

 

From Ken and Carol on Jun 28th, 2009

Enjoting your stories, great photos. Looking forward to the next.