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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mendoza, vineyards and Cuesta de Miranda

We decided to spend an entire day in Mendoza. We began by having a picnic in the city park. The park has wide boulevards and huge, dramatic statutes representing freedom from colonial dominance.

We took a tour in the afternoon of two bodegas and an olive oil factory. The two bodegas were a contrast, the first was a modern industrial wine producer. They grew their own grapes to make the wine. The second bodega was built in 1932 and purchased the grapes to produce the wine. They used the original equipment and had limited production. In 2009 they were voted having the best Malbec in the world. One bottle cost $300 euro, which is over $600. Both bodegas produced wine only for export.

The next day we rode to Chilicito. It was a magnificent ride through the desert. I have never seen such a lonely space in my life. By the afternoon we were in the red mountains Cuesta de Miranda. The unpaved road was only one lane wide with over 250 curves. Drivers had to issue a warning honk each time they came to a bend in the road. Cacti grew on the rock, some were in bloom. Unfortunately Plata hit a rock hard, ending up with a front punctured tire. Victor was brilliant in fixing the puncture with a "plugger". We arrived in Chilicito as a hot wind called a monsoon, swirled into the city. This a hot, powerful gust of dusty wind which lasts about an hour. It was quite dramatic.
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