20 January 2007

12 days, 11 nights

I'm back! Wow! It seemed like ages and I didn't want to return, but here I am, back from Mendoza.

I won't attempt to condense the whole experience in one blog post, or any number for that matter; it's impossible. There were highlights and a few dark spots — I promise I'll try to mark the highlights and underscore the dark spots. The latter were few, among them (1) the late night amateur recital in the hostel's bar that kept me awake in my room in Mendoza City, (2) the formerly unheard-of humid heat in said city, and (3) the time and money wasted in that horrible outdoors disco outside San Rafael where our hyperactive host lured us (most probably for a commission). Not bad for a 12-day trip amidst a maze of tourist traps!

As for the highlights... Again walking the wide, tree-lined avenues of Mendoza City, hearing the murmur of the irrigation channels in the shade... Eating the best asado on Earth at Bar Loa, a.k.a. La Casa de Papito (on San Martín Ave. north of the city, just entering Las Heras)... The scorching sun in Potrerillos as you climb the tiniest hill, feeling you're a bit closer to climbing the mighty mountains. The initiate's thrill upon encountering the novice-level rafting course on the Atuel River... The peaceful lake of Valle Grande and the four hydroelectrical power plants on the Atuel Canyon... The cold emerald-colored waters and the wind under the sun on Los Reyunos... The lonely desert, only sand and spiny bushes and basalt rock running past as the Andes get closer and climb higher... An oasis of wood and canes and mud in the arid countryside of Malargüe, tended by no less than three beautiful young women (blonde, blue-eyed, two Swedish and one Austrian) and by a Dutch guy who would make the tiny hostel's cabin grow every day... Baby goat cooked in a mud oven and served with assorted roasted vegetables, with as much wine as you wanted... The walks after dinner under the clearest Milky Way, no moon, no street lights, only the faint snowy peaks in the West... The mystery inside the Witches' Cave, the suddenly deafening rush of your blood in your ears when you turn off your lights and stay silent... The pink flamingos gathering at sunset over Llancanelo Lagoon, along the horizon... The tastiest vegetable soup, the best homemade bread, the long conversations about nothing in the night, as the wind becomes strong and chilly...

Well, I set off on the exact kind of summary that I promised I wouldn't do! I'm still in disbelief, sitting before a computer after (seemingly) a very long time, my hair and beard a complete mess, and my luggage still half unpacked. What am I going to do on Monday, when I have to go to work?

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear you have returned! Although the unpleasantries associated with such a return, I am sure (i.e., going back to work, haha), will present quite a challenge :)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.