South America - 2011 travel blog

The Hostal Patio and Hot Tub

The Museum museums itself

Mendoza Station

The Last Train has Departed

Independence Park


Seville Tiles

Municipal Building

Building Interior

Diorama of Execution

Old Camera on Exhibit

Remains of San Francisco Church

Ruins from 1961 Earthquake

Fountains in Plaza Indepencia


Fountain Detail

Los Heroes Monument

Los Heroes

Los Heroes

House near San Martin Park - Upscale District

Geezer with Bags

Early Fermentation Casks

Modern Aging Room

Mendoza's Most Famous Product

Olive Oil Processing

Ah, Argentina -

Where good wine is inexpensive and blood rare steaks droop down on either side of your platter.

Argentina is beef country. Mendoza is wine country. And for one meal at least I sample the taste of red meat and red wine. At the Central Mercardo there are rows of good Argentinian foods and restaurants to serve them. It becomes a haunt, though not to repeat that first meal. There is lighter fare available.

The hostal is full service with a pleasant patio, breakfast, wi-fi, laundry, and a glass of wine a day, all included. The town is flat and studded with parks, pedestrian streets with ourdoor cafes. A very pleasant spot.

I wander and find the abandoned railway station and tracks to Chile. Utah Phillip's "Daddy, What's a Train" plays in my mind. Followed closely by Norman Blake's "Last Train from Poor Valley". We Southerners are suckers for train songs.

Nearby is an old building that has been repurposed as a gallery. I like the old house much better than the art inside. An email from Charlie Scott must be on my mind since I think of the building in Heideggerian terms, as creating its own space and existence around what we thought we were doing. The building using the art rather than vice versa. Enough. This will be my final forray into philosophy, at least for the Time Being.

Other emails prompt other thoughts for me. Cordelia's remind me to always pay attention to my surroundings, John has written a memoir and I'm behind on my postings. Here various things remind me - the aroma from a bakery of the Goodmans, the tiles in a plaza of Seville and Cordoba, holes in the sidewalk of Albania. My mind is a very confused place at times.

{BTW: John's Memoir is really an enjoyable, nostalgic read - a wry, engaging account of growing up in 1940s - 1960s Nashville. It will remind you of things you had forgotten about your childhood. The book is available at Amazon in both print and Kindle versions. Look for Leave a Train by John R. Coles. Well done John!}

There are several good museums here. One chronicles the devestation of the 1861 earthquake. A nearby church is still propped up, waiting for restoration which I suspect will never come. I'm traveling in one of the most active fault areas on earth but so far so good. The most powerful earthquake in history occurred in Chile in 1960. Made the San Francisco quake seem like a mild tremor. A 9.5 vs a 7.9. And remember this is logarithmic.

The 2010 Haiti quake was only a 7.0 but much worse in terms of loss of life.

I spend a full day in the 500 hectare (Really big) San Martin Park. A rowing venue, rose garden, 50,000 trees planted in this desert climate, along with a Greek theatre seating 22,000. The Argentines are out and exercising. More joggers than I've seen in years. Must be trying to work off the beef and wine. I picnic on jamon crudo and the local swiss cheese and olives. Then I take a ride up to the Monument to the Heroes of the Andes War.

A really impressive bit of sculpture. I need to read more about the history of South America. It is ironic that the U.S. War for Independence inspired the wars for independence in South America. Then we follow up with installing and supporting dictators in the region.

Sometimes you gotta wonder.

My final day in Mendoza is a semi rest day but I do take one of the winery tours which also includes a stop at an olive oil processor who's been in business for almost a hundred years as have many of the wineries. After returning I share a pleasant meal with the eclectic mix of nationalities you find at a hostal.

Later that night a storm arises. Thunder and lightning are almost continuous all night.

Time to head back over the Andes to Santiago, Chile's capital, where I need to make some onward travel arrangements.


El Geezer

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