A desert (puna) vignette – life out here

A vignette from the past few days:

Coffee by a thorn tree

The hot oven-dry wind plasters my shirt to my shoulders as I sit in the sparse freckled shade of a lone thorn tree watching the mercury-silver shimmer of the road twenty meters away.  On the other side of the gravel is a cinderblock hut, roof of plastic sheeting held by logs and rocks, a small wooden door, more propped than hung, in the doorway. Behind the hut is the white-bleached sky the sand wash of a desiccated riverbed, and corral of twisted sticks. Continue reading “A desert (puna) vignette – life out here”

Mendoza and around (part 3)

Given my inability to keep track of what day it is, I miscalculated and set off for Mendoza a day early. Happily that gave us the luxury of (even more) time. As we were hungry, and as it was: nearly our last day for a while, nearly valentines and nearly three months on the road, I suggested spontaneous lunch at a vineyard. Happily the next one we passed was the award winning Septima Continue reading “Mendoza and around (part 3)”

Mendoza and around (part 2)

A handful of notes to bring us up to speed (now I have wifi)

The sign, after careful translation read:

In the event of seeing a puma:

  • Gather your children together
  • Shout and wave your arms
  • Do not run
  • Tell a ranger as soon as possible

It is with these wise words forefront of mind that I set off for a run to the observatory and back, at dusk. Continue reading “Mendoza and around (part 2)”

Mendoza and around (part 1)

View of Aconcagua from the bottom of the trail to base camp

We arrived in Mendoza on Sunday afternoon. The sky was grey, filled with heavy clouds and the Andes were nowhere to be seen.

Getting into cities is always a stress, more so now. Where do we park? Is there a hostel with secure parking where we can possibly stay in Gellan but use their facilities? A thorough review of iOverlander and a look through the guide book – the answer is no. We do manage to find a parking lot in Plaza Independencia which has a small (and filthy) bathroom and which will let us stay for the night for the “bargain” price of 300ARG. We are being robbed but there’s no alternative.

Continue reading “Mendoza and around (part 1)”

“This is bonkers” and “FFS” 

We left pristine and tidy San Martin to head to Mendoza a couple of days ago. The total drive is 1400km on so once again we arm ourselves with fresh music and podcasts and we set off. On a whim we decided not to take Routa 40, the national highway that runs parallel to the Argentine – Chilean border, but rather take Routa 23 and explore the Mapuche villages on the foots of the Andes…

Continue reading ““This is bonkers” and “FFS” “