photos below are what we saw.
photo is a duplicate of one from the previous page, but I was so
happy about being able to catch a bolt in progress that I
decided to show it again. This photo had a shutter speed
of 0.5 seconds and was hand held!
mentioned in the previous page that the main drag in Potrero de
las Funes was a race track, so here is a photo to prove
it. The locals treat it as such and travel at high speed
around the city.
well into the afternoon when we arrived in Mendoza and we were
hungry. And, we had not yet chosen a place to stay for the
night. Kathleen found a bistro using her phone and we were
lucky enough to discover that there was a pay parking lot right
next to the restaurant. Parking spots in Mendoza are as
scarce as hen's teeth. We went into the bistro and were
pleasantly surprised with both the ambiance and the food.
Above, Kathleen recovers from the drive. As we entered the
bistro, I noted that there was a bed and breakfast right next
door. After eating, we went next door and discovered that
they had one remaining room and for only one night.
Sold. It was a really nice place and the owner was anxious
to talk to us.
completed our paperwork and dumped our stuff in the room, we hit
the bricks to check out the town. The owner of the
B&B, Mercedes, told us that Mendoza has a special irrigation
system for the trees that line the city streets. The
original design was copied from the natives by the invading
Spanish and the system remains in use to this day. Indeed,
the streets are lined by huge, old trees that are fed by the
ditches that line both sides of the streets downtown.
the street from the B&B is one of the many parks in downtown
Mendoza. There was a nice fountain in the center of the
park. The tall building across the park is a hotel.
the fountain was a monument that had been repeatedly
tagged. Sad, as it was a nice monument.
walked several blocks to the trolley lines. Mercedes told
us that a previous president of Argentina did some shady, back-room
deal with the trucker's union and decommissioned the nation's
entire railroad system to benefit the truckers. I assume,
this being Latin America, that el presidente benefited handsomely
from the deal. In Mendoza's case, the state Governor
decided that a municipal transit line would benefit the city so
the old tracks were repurposed.
areas of town were pristine and others less so. This
building is next to a dirt lot that is in preparation for
construction of a large building. Hopefully, this
structure will get a facelift as part of the project as it looks
semaphores for the old train system were left in place when the
system was taken off line.
mentioned that when we were in Cordoba we saw plenty of
buildings with ad-hoc wiring. It seems that this is the
status quo in this area. Note the plethora of wires in the
walked along the trolley line until we came upon the old
railroad yard. Above, Kathleen stands on the old turntable
used to reverse the directions of the locomotives.
was a bunch of old locos in the yard. This one had the
diesel motor removed.
couplings are totally old school, similar to the types used in
older European trains.
into the yard were a bunch of old locos that have been taken out
a recommendation from Mercedes, we managed to get a seating at a
very nice restaurant called Azafran. The good news was
that the food and wine was outstanding. The bad news was
that we could only get a seating at 1900. That, in and of
itself, was a non-issue but we finished a big lunch at 1500 so
there was little room left. We ordered light: trout
fillets and everything was fine. The next morning we broke
camp and headed west toward the Andes. Just south of
Mendoza, we got our fist view of the snow-capped peaks of the
got closer to the base of the range we could see a layer of
clouds hugging the valley floor.
took us past a large reservoir on the Rio Mendoza.
reservoir, the road started to climb in earnest. Road cuts
revealed colorful strata inside the mountains.
trans-Andean railroad (decommissioned) followed the Rio
Mendoza. Above are the remnants of a tunnel at the base of
some huge cliffs. The portals are for ventilation. I
can only imagine what the tunnels would have been like in the
steam age: smoky, hot, and stifling with engine exhaust and
up the canyon we passed colorful outcrops of highly mineralized
sweeping curve in the highway provided us with a view of the Rio
Mendoza. Note the milky color of the water. This is
due to "rock flour" which is pulverized stone that has been
carried by the current.
colors in the cliff walls were stunning. Note the thick
layer of alluvium next to the river's course. This
alluvium has been washed down from the peaks of the Andes over
is desert and there were only small portions that had any
vegetation at all. The sparse ground cover stands in
contrast to the towering cliffs in the distance.
up the canyon we came upon light colored outcroppings.
Note the alluvial shelf along the river bank.
canyon walls were very steep and weathering produced large fans
of material at the base of the water courses.
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2018, all rights
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.