We leave Mendoza this evening on another overnight bus journey of 18 hours, but before then we have a day in the city.
Our initial impressions of Mendoza is that is a fairly standard city and whilst we find some elements of note, I think that our final view is not too dissimilar. It is a fairly low rise city and the best viewpoint is atop a local government building about 10 blocks away from our hotel, so we head there late morning.
It really is a local government office block and we wander into one of the offices on the way to the roof terrace. This does provide a great view point and you can walk all the way round to get a full 360 degree view, I also pay 100 pesos (10p) to use some large binoculars that are too hot to allow them to touch your skin so not that useful really!
A slightly weird ‘attraction’ on the top floor of the office block is a wall of photographs of what we think are ‘Miss Mendoza’ winners over the last 50 years. You can see that the trends of what is considering attractive have changed over the years, with the 1980s and 1990s seemingly focused on a more western look.
Within the city are a collection of lovely tree filled plazas that form the shape of the 5 on the side of a dice which were pleasant to walk around and we had lunch on the side of one. Good value food though Nik’s lasagne does highlight a strange food phenomena – the ham and cheese fixation.
I have mentioned in a previous blog that cheese is a common ingredient, but it is often accompanied by ham. One example akin to the old Monty Python SPAM sketch was a lunch stop in Valparaiso that had 15 varieties of sandwich that each had queso y jambon as core ingredients. But lasagne should surely be a safe option? This lasagne was slices of pancake/pasta with slices of ham, slices of cheese sandwiched between them and all covered with a bolognese sauce. Odd but tasty.
Later in the trip we have planned to visit the Bolivian salt flats and the Ecuadorian amazon. As a result we haven’t quite got all the kit we need to we spend the afternoon shopping for supplies – made slightly difficult by the long siesta break that almost all the shops take between 14:30 and 17:30. But we find enough open to get most things and pick the last few up after they re-open before heading to the bus station to board our 20:00 bus to Salta and another epic road trip.