In Mendoza we are doing alot of planning...looks like we may head to Santiago, Chile now.
Ckd into Hotel El Nevado (right across from bus terminal & a short walk to city center) where MariaElena and Monica, desk clerks, decided it was ok to give us a reduced price at 200p for the 4 bed room w/ bath since we are staying 2 nites (from 240p) thus saving us $10 US! I am trying not to mention money as much but it is really frustrating when our budgets are being totally blown due to the high prices (mainly due to the poor exchg rates w/ the dollar soooo looow!). The folks are nice enuf and even the Argentinians we've talked w/ agree prices are high even for them.
We walked around the city center, as Mari says, it's no different than LA or SanDiego or wherever in the US...altho Bon looks at things a bit differently and sees a bit more of the nuances (not as many people w/ shopping bags, more like family outings just looking, and the stuff in the stores is, at least here, a bit more upscale for most of us...no kidding, these folks like to dress up!)
Took city bus to winery an hour away...cost less than 75cents US each, now that was a bargain. Then we asked how to get to the only other one open on Sundays and the guy showed us on the map where to go and that it was only about 3 km (less than 2 miles). We headed out fat, dump and happy. Well, I got way ahead (it was blazing hot in the sun and I saw a bit of shade to rest)...this was after walking about 45 min in the sun.
While I sat there a police car pulled up and asked me if I was alright...turns out they have 'tourist police' here to
help us poor, dumb Americans who lose our way, ha! Anyway, they drove us the rest of the way to the other
winery, and the total distance was more like 7-8Km! Great tour...they were much more informative than the
others (we have now been to 5 different wineries in Argentina). Turns out one of the gals (Agustina Ronchi
from Mendoza)who works at Carinae Winery (owned by a French couple who settled here in º1997) is the gal
friend of the son of my Mom's dentist, John Snively, in Missoula! Amazing! She met Danny (who was also in
Scouts with Todd at Paxson School) at some exchange deal in CA some time back. Anyway, this was quite a
fun day. See pics.
Bus station(across street) by 8:30 but due to a zonda event/weather system (strong winds from Chile when hot in Argentina and cold from mtns sweeps in) all buses going over pass/border were cancelled!! Snow in pass, police stopped all traffic...we wait til same time tomor. Yesterday high was in mid90s, today in low50s and overcast. Lots of branches even trees down thruout area.
Tomor we head to Santiago, Chile and perhaps Easter Island w/in a week!?