Sunday, January 9, 2011

Week 3

Way too many photos to choose from this week! More will probably pop up throughout the coming week although I did manage to edit down to eight for Project 365. But boy, that was hard work.

We enjoyed an asado last Sunday with the young men from Bible Institute who are helping this summer. Actually Oscar did most of the grilling. It was delicious!
Monday we traveled. And traveled and traveled. As I mentioned on Monday's post, we added a couple hours to our trip because of insufficient information and lack of road signage. But along the way we found time to stop and take some photos.
We seem to have followed the Dakar race. During our first walkabout downtown we came across this HUGE screen on the side of a building where they were showing clips from the portion of the race between Chile and Mendoza.
Wednesday we headed to Cerro de la Gloria where we could look out over the city. And take cheesy photos next to altitude signs.
Never managed to take any really good photos of the snow-capped Andes due to poor visibility. This is my best shot.
On one of our drives into the countryside we stopped at a place famous for its pork. We ate on the veranda beneath the beautiful grapevine canopy.
Mendoza is known for its fruit (there's a huge harvest festival in March) and for the vineyards. The restaurant where Tina works sells several wines from Argentina and this is one of the wineries. A breathtakingly beautiful setting with mountains in the background and row upon row of neatly tended grapevines.
Just down the road were hectares upon hectares of pear trees. I mentioned how strict the province is about not letting ANY fruit in that could possibly infect the crops...vehicles are not only searched and any fruit disposed of, but your car also has to go through a spraying station that apparently kills anything that might be on the exterior of the auto.

One of the people we talked to said the farms hire lots of additional pickers during harvest and it is traditional to pay the workers with coins. A coin for each container of fruit picked (not sure if it's a bushel or some other form of measurement). Since coins are VERY hard to come by in this country I'm wondering how they manage this. We often get candy instead of coins back in "change" or else the store owner knocks off the cents from the bill. But maybe it's BECAUSE of this tradition that coins are so difficult to find -- they're all here in Mendoza! Hmmmm, will have to study that further.

Argentina is most famous for its beef and with all that beef comes leather. Tina saved her pennies (and everything else she earned recently) in order to get some boots but she also managed to score a purse as well as this adorable jacket.
We found leather prices to be lower here than in Cordoba. No idea why, but Tina was just happy to be able to get everything for about what she would have paid just for boots in the U.S. My bargain-hunting girl is a happy camper!

I haven't been a lot of places in Argentina but so far Mendoza is my absolute favorite. The city is clean, streets are tree-lined, the food is great, there's a lot to see and do (we didn't even begin to scratch the surface) and people are friendly. We'll definitely be coming back!

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