Monthly Archives July 2013

Mendoza, Oh How I Wanted to Taste Your Fruits

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The signs just after the turnoff from the freeway pointed us to some of our favorite vineyards in Argentina!

Wine Tasting

The next stop on our overland adventure from Argentina to Montana was the larger and better-known city to the north – Mendoza. With the rise in popularity of Argentine wines over the past decade, I was excited to see the origins of the Malbec and visit a few vineyards. Unfortunately, the wine god (that would be Dionysus) was not smiling upon us. We ended up being really busy taking care of errands and preparing to cross into Chile that we didn’t make it to any vineyards...

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San Rafael and Canyon Atuel

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View of the foothills of the Andes driving on Ruta 173 south of San Rafael

We were anticipating getting to Mendoza and seeing the Andes for the first time, and the small city of San Rafael (3 hours or so south of Mendoza city) offered our first elusive glimpse of the tallest mountain range in the Americas, but we were only able to see their jagged outline through the cloud layer before they disappeared. Darn! Nonetheless we were charmed by the beautiful tree-lined streets and vineyards as we entered the town, which I imagine would be extra beautiful in any season other than the dead of winter! The GPS sent us off the main road (as usual) and we were a bit shocked be driving through the slums or “villas,” just like what you would see in Buenos Aires...

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Sleepy San Luis province, wi-fi capital of Argentina

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Crossing the Rio Gomez with the camper, San Francisco del Monte de Oro

The next leg of our trip after leaving the beautiful sierras of Cordoba was to cross over to the province of San Luis via a scenic route through the mountains (Ruta Provincial 28) on the way to a town called Miña Clavero. It would be our first real test to see if we can cross the Andes with our old Ranger pulling the weight of the camper and all our worldly possessions. It was a bit tough on the truck, but we made the climb going like 10 mph and spewing black smoke! Not sure if that’s good, but things seem to be fine now (I hope?). It was apparent that lightening our load was a priority though if we wanted to be able to cross over to Chile!

Tomas and the kids inside an old adobe building in San Francisco del Mont...

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