18 02-03-2019 Sat Mendoza

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Fortunately the bed was comfortable so we slept reasonably well.

The drive back south from Uspallata was again in blazing sunshine and clear skies. Before heading south though, we thought we’d kill some time by exploring northward on RN 149. It was a beautiful road devoid of traffic, but then the dream came to an abrupt end when the road turned to dirt. Sadly we turned around, just short of a possible coffee stop.

Continuing, we were in no hurry, so just poked along, letting other cars by.

Part way we encountered an on-coming column of three to four hundred motor bikes. Being Saturday, it was their weekend outing, one assumes.

a shrine – no idea what the bottles are for
on the banks of Rio Mendoza

The road roughly followed the course of the Rio Mendoza until it empties into a lake at Potrerillos. We stopped there to admire the beautiful colour of the water and the scenery – what a great place. Driving in this direction, most downhill, we were more aware of how high we were to start. Uspallata was at 2,039 m.

Along the way we also passed masses of vineyards and quite a few wineries. We weren’t tempted.

As we approached Mendoza, our usual panic set it – where do we get off the motorway to get to the car hire place? We eventually entered the city but the problem still remained. We had a reasonable city map and a phone image of the rental location. Trying to reconcile one with the other proved to be a challenge. Later the problem was dealing with an absence of street signs. A few detours later we were lucky to find the place. We were lucky again, as we were early and the sole staffer was about to disappear. This was 15:30 and we had booked to return at 17:00, when another chap was to have have shown up. Good result all around. The chap told us that the weather was unseasonally humid – perhaps 25%, and he was sweating – we were perfectly dry. He said normal this time of year was about 10%!

Our booking had thought it would be good idea to stay at a different hotel, the Ritz, because it was cheaper than the hotel we stayed in before. This and the Paris version are on different planets. Basic but adequate, although we had a scare with the toilet, which appeared not to flush, but was just extremely slow to refill after consecutive uses. You are not spared any of the nitty gritty on the Kesselhut blog.

It’s been a wonder two days here in the Andes precinct. The scenery is just magnificent. Never mind a slot for me in the ashes wall of the Anglican Church in Watson’s Bay, just spread them from the top of Mt Aconcagua. Driving has been easy – no problems encountered. Drivers are considerate.

It’s good to be back in Mendoza – it is just such a lovely place with all the tree-lined streets. I’m waxing lyrical, fuelled slightly by a 500ml Quilmes beer. We’ll try again later tonight to dine at the Eat St was visited two days ago.

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