A really beautiful city

Trip Start Apr 17, 2006
Trip End Jun 14, 2006

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Monday, April 24, 2006

Villavicencio is where they bottle Argentinaīs big mineral water brand, but I have to confess to not having seen a great deal of springs... The road from there into Mendoza was straight, paved and fast and it didnīt take me long to roll the 50km into the provincial capital.

I spent Monday having a look round and it really is a very beautiful city. The climate is that of a desert, but the city is lush and green owing to irrigation channels leading from the hills that apparently pre-date the incas. There are all sorts of beautiful plazas and statues and interesting nick-nacks all around the city, including, much to my delight, C&A! And a blockbuster video, just in case you are in any doubt as to the stretch of globalisation.

On the West of the city is the massive Parque de General Libertador San Martin (who, by the way, is the geezer who liberated South America from the Spanish, and heīs a bit of a hit over here, with a great deal of streets, squares, parks and towns bearing homage to his name). This too was a very beautful place, encompassing (amongst other things) a lake, fountains, tree-lined avenues, a big hill with a monument on top, a stadium, and an amphitheatre (where, to my embarrassment, I acquired a nosebleed. The guard was rather taken aback to see this strange tourist with several pints of blood pouring forth from his nose, and had to calm his baying hound who had, rather alarmingly, sniffed the blood. Still, he helped me out with some "papel higenico" and a hose of water).

Argentians also know how to relax, taking a long siesta between the hours of half one and half four, and generally lying around on park benches doing not very much. I am trying not to become too comfortable here...

I have taken the opportunity while in Mendoza to sample Argentinaīs famous steaks, and though no great meat-eater, they really are good. I have also sampled some of the local wine, this being the wine region, which, though (again) I do not count myself as a conoisseur, went down very easily (I slept deeply last night...)

Having made short work or my first tub of Dulce de Leche, I bought another yesterday, promsing myself to save it for my sandwiches later in the week. However, it has already been half emptied by my greedy fingers. I am developing a worrying addiction. No amount of self-control seems to be able to stem this inevitable course of fate. How will I ever cope back home?


Temperature: 20C
Beard status: Why does my beard have flecks of blond in it? The last time I grew it was four years ago and it didnīt have any blond in it then. Whatīs going on?
Most useful Spanish word learned: hemorragia nasal
Slideshow Report as Spam


lizzieg on

Nutty Nosebleed-prone Nigel
Nigel I have suspected this for a long time but now I am convinced you are a nutter. Since it seems that you are not doing this to raise fund for limbless, impoverished Argentinian/Chilean orphans, but rather to make me nearly wee with laughter as a result of your eloquent blog, I can only commend the lengths you are willing to go to. Personally I would have thought the Mole Valley would have sufficed, but you always were more adventurous than me. I'm very impressed by the mileage (or kilometreage) and since I'm getting my brand new bike this weekend, I feel rather inspired!! Please be careful on those hairpin bends. I'm praying for you (!!). xXx ps. You could be the next (superior) Bill Bryson.

yvetteb on

Have just thoroughly enjoyed reading the blog, great fun. Gasped when I saw the photo of THE road...what an experience. Trying not to think about lorries, hairpin bends, nose bleeds and the email from Anita about the cold etc etc which she's sent to you too. Worried she may have given you ideas of going on up to Peru..... Never mind the beard, what colour is your nose? Hope you're having a lovely time!! Love Mum xxx

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