Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday January 12

The most unique thing about Mendoza is the trees. They are everywhere!  I learned several interesting things about the area on our country agro-tour today;.
#1 The reason for miles and miles of tree lined streets even outside the city, is to shade the wine grapes that were brought to the wineries from the countryside. It used to take 3 or 4 hours to bring in a load of grapes pulled by donkey carts. Fortunately, the trees are all still standing tall. Now they shade all the tourists and residents from the direct sun. How civilized!
#2 While on our afternoon  wine tour, Dale was asked to uncork the bottle. So, how did he do with 20 pairs of eyes watching? The American gentlemen passed the test!
#3 An olive tree can live and produce a crop for 400 years.And did you know that each and every olive is picked by hand? (I told Dale that we had to stop with the ¨food¨´ pictures. Yet, here I am again in a photo sampling the olives).
We visited the church with the Virgin Santisima de La Carrodilla. She is the protector of the grapes. There is a storm blowing in and all the farmers fear hail that can wipe out a crop overnight. Prayers will be said tonight I am sure!
I couldn´t help but bond today with a Brazilian mother and her little one. This sweet family made me so miss all my Wenatchee grandchildren! Sofar, we have been touring with people from England, Israel, Brazil, Chile and tourists on holiday from other parts of Argentina and encountered only one American girl traveling alone from Texas.

Fortunately, we have had several English speaking guides. That said, it wasn´t all that easy today making our travel arrangements at LAN CHILE AIRLINES. I was grateful for my well traveled, Spanish speaking husband who was able to make rather complicated travel arrangements in Spanish to Neuquen via Buenos Aires by air. I just wasn´t up for a 20 hour bus ride. The people here are so friendly. People watching continues to pass the time as we hang out in the lovely plazas and parks of Mendoza. Gail

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