Walden World

The wacky and wonderful tales of Beth's and Catherine's global adventures. And all things Walden too.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Have we landed in heaven?

Mendoza, on the far west side of Argentina is a desert town of hot sun, cooling winds and forests of giant shade trees surrounding beautiful, clean plazas. Around Mendoza are the foothills of the Andes rising larger than the Alps into the clear blue sky.

Mendoza has only recently realized that with Andean melt water, it can irrigate the desert region and create absolutely excellent wines.

And man, is there alot of wine.

In fact, there is not much to do here except go to the Andes and sit and try wine.

Today we met a group of Chileans who had come to Mendoza to eat gobs of parilla or the famous Argentinian beef barbeques and sip wines and beers. They were happy I spent time taking photos of them on their cameras toasting and clinking glasses along side Fred Flintstone sized slabs of ribs and beef.

When they asked me in Spanish how I liked Mendoza I raved back in my mere Spanish about my love of Argentina, unaware they were Chilean.

Then came out the traditional country versus country machismo wherein the Chileans' dissed the Argentinians and insisted on knowing when we were going to Chile and for how long.

I just made stuff up.

When we came back to the hotel, I told the front desk clerks about the Chileans' comments. They replied: "Well here in Argentina, we have no earthquakes and their border is shut down, because they had yet another earthquake!"

I wonder what it's like when the countries play off against each other in Futbol? I'd imagine they bring knives.

Good graces also smiled on us on the flight here from BA. C of course hates toilets and bathrooms, I mean who doesn't? But for her this is the stuff of nightmares and our assigned seats were right beside the only bathroom on the plane. She tried by stealth to claim other seats only to be thwarted when another mob of passengers arrived by bus.

Luckily the guy who sat next to us had a really strong, and actually quite nice, cologne which drowned out the creeping toilet puck smell.

Not only did he help teach me Spanish, but when on the descent the plane rocked crazily in turbulence, he revealed he was a pilot for Aerolinas Argentinas and happily explained why we were rocking in clear blue skies and the myriad safety features of the aircraft.

Gotta love sitting next to a guy who's a former airforce pilot flying F12 military jets, then later on, Hercules aircraft and Twin Otters in Antarctica for a year, followed by a long career as a pilot for Continental.

I want him with us on every flight. And not just in case we are seated again by the bathroom.


Blogger Natasha said...

Thanks for the link Beth. You have fascinated me, as usual.

9:24 am  

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