Where are we?

Argentina is BIG!!!

We are now into our 5th month of travel already!! More than half way through our winter holiday. And so far we’ve put on 15,500km!  And can say without any real problems! We definitely are enjoying Argentina. Highways are great, don’t have lots of speed bumps!! Cities are nice and clean.  Feels so nice walking in the cities 😍

As I ended the last blog Dwayne got a ticket for driving with flip flops. Dumb but what can we do?? So we drove into the next town Tunuyan to pay the ticket at the bank. But the bank was already closed. Since we weren’t sure if we had to pay this ticket in the province of Mendoza and we weren’t sure if we would be in the province that long, we decided to find a spot nearby and pay the ticket in the morning. Want to get our 40% discount by paying within 3 days!  Lesson learnt - but now Dwayne has to drive with shoes :( Maybe we’ll have to look for some sandals for him to wear, they would be allowed since they are strapped on :)

A real printed ticket from the police handheld printer!
So we drive out to a spot near some vineyards, seems like a good spot under some huge weeping willows. Nice view of the mountains and vineyards of purple grapes. There was a fair amount of traffic on the gravel road next to our spot. Thinking workers going home from the vineyards for the day. It is staying light a little longer the further south we go - now it’s dark around 9pm.  But doesn’t get light out until around 7am - which is ok with us :) Traffic stopped around 10 and then of course some guys walking by around 12:30 had to make lots of noise to make sure to wake us up!! And then again when they were walking back about an hour later. Oh well that’s what you sometimes have to put up with when boondocking in South America!  At least the policia never came and woke us up and told us to move :)
Enjoying a nice view of the willows above my chair 

Vineyards and mountains

Nice spot for the night - or so we thought :)
Found this in the grocery store - roll of toilet paper with......
a small roll inside to remove and keep in your backpack - no cardboard roll - just toilet paper - great idea!!
In the morning we head to the bank and Dwayne is in and out within a few minutes to pay the fine. Then we go to the Claro store to add more data to my phone. So added another 3GBs. We had free wifi at Tom’s place but it wasn’t fast enough to load my pics to the last blog, so guess that took quite a bit of data because I had 4.5GBs on Monday and this morning down to 1.5GBs. Price here is reasonable $6.80 for 3 GBs.

Now it was time to get back on the road since yesterday we only got about 85kms!  We’re driving the new Ruta 40 south. But after awhile we can see it’s going to be a bit boring! Nothing to see for miles on each side of the highway! That lasted about 3 hours and then we got back into more towns along the side of the highway along with lots of trees again.  No longer in the vineyards here. Now we are more into farmland.  Looks like potatoes, and corn along with cattle ranches. Also see lots of swedish columnar populars bordering the fields for windbreaks. Gets pretty windy thru this area.

Finally a river with some water :)

We end up going thru a hailstorm and since the hail is pretty big and smashing on our windshield we decide to quickly park under a big tree to wait it out and save the windshield!  The storm didn’t last to long and we were on our way again, just stopping in town for gas and water. On the way out stopped at a veggie store to buy fixings for veg soup since the last jar I canned was a little to full I guess and when we decented into Mendoza the seal broke and leaked liquid in the cupboard. Thought the soup might still be good, but once I tried it it was not! Guess it was open for a few days. Time to make some more.

hailstones on Vanna's wiper

Big ones on the ground to
We are seeing way more overlanders driving in Argentina. But they are usually going the opposite way. I’m sure once we get into Pategonia we will run into more when we stop for the night.

Our spot for the night was just in a gravel pit off the highway  Unfortunately ruta 40 pavement ended 65 kms back! They are rebuilding the highway and nothing now but rough gravel road!  Hard on old Vanna! We found a spot that gave us some protection from the high winds that were blowing across the flat land, and also to keep us hidden from the highway, even though very little traffic is on the road right now. Also no towns near by so will be a quiet night :)  Once the sun set we saw it was a full moon and it really lite up the area like a huge street light! I could see over by the mountains there were clouds and could see lightning flashing in the sky - so cool to watch!  We didn’t get any rain during the night.

Next morning we go to take a shower and see that most of our water in our tank has leaked out 😫 So Dwayne spent some time again under the van and scrapped off the old material and applied new. Hoping something works soon, we just filled the tank yesterday. Then it was back onto the gravel road and continue on. After a while we come to a river crossing with the Rio Grande has carved thru the volcanic rock. Looks pretty cool. There is lava all over this area from the many volcanoes that are miles away in the background!

Couple of hairy goats hiding in the rocks

Highway was great for quite awhile 

Then changed to this for about 120Kms!!

This bird is a Rheas - related to the ostrich. He was quite aways from the road and they blend in very well!

Rio Grande cutting thru the lava rock

Lots of lava in this area

The volcanos are miles away

A small finca along the river

Yup this has been the scenery for 2 days, think we still have 1 more day before it starts to charge in the lake district

We get to a small town and see the river flowing thru and people on the beach swimming - this should be a great spot - for awhile anyways. Since it's Friday night it will be busy.  As it turns out there is a stage set up about 1/2km away and the music is so loud it's like it right behind the van!  We bought steaks for dinner so will bbq them on the beach here and then later we'll go up to the gas station and park near it. Should be quieter.  Now it's time to get into the river and cool off!!

River site for awhile 

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