Thursday (Jueves) 6st May, 2010
Day 419

Mendoza, Argentina
Mendoza, Argentina
Miles: 42,342
S 32.85498°
W 68.89638°

It was a cold night, but as soon as we woke we could see that today was going to be better weather than yesterday - the sky was clear and bright sun was touching the tops of the mountains. Once we got out of the vehicle we saw that there was a dusting of fresh snow on the mountains as little as 500' above us. Guess that explains why we felt the night was cold.

We had some wonderful views and great lighting as we dropped down from the mountains into the Mendoza area. The fall colors are in full swing and even the grape vines have changed color.

The day was still young so there was time for some sightseeing. Our first stop was to an olive farm, Olivicola Laur. We got a short tour in English, a tasting and then bought some of their products. The farm is over 100 years old, has 1500 mature olive trees of that age. The harvest was about to begin, it will take one person a day to hand pick the olives from one of the trees, and one tree will produce 8 crates of olives. We could not help think of our Australian friends Mary and Peter, sometime olive farmers, when we saw the 100 year old olive trees.

Then on to a vineyard. Founded in 1869, owned and run by the Di Tomasso family this is a boutique winery producing 1,000,000 liters of mainly red wine per year. We got a quick tour of the old store room and old vats (now used as a bottle store), an informative tasting and lunch. We also bought a few bottles of wine, some for now and one for home.

Before groceries and the campground we called into Maipu, a township on the outskirts of Mendoza, and booked ourselves into a Spa for tomorrow.

At the campground we met and chatted to a Scots couple in a big green but old Mercedes truck. It was a cold war relic - used as a radio truck by the allies at the Berlin Wall - Dave and Rose have converted it to a traveling home. See