The descent down to Mendoza reassuringly followed the norm – a brutal headwind, this time on a busy road with trucks that seemed intent on running us off the road at every possible opportunity! We took it in turns, however, to sit on the other’s wheel and soon arrived in the outskirts of Mendoza. The very generous Eduardo, whom I had met towards the end of the Lagunas route and who had invited me to stay with him and his family, also insisted on housing Scott who, by this point, also had some serious dental work required in addition to the mechanical ailments! They kindly put up with us for three nights in the run-up to Christmas, showing us round town and taking us for dinner. A kinder and more humble family you’d be hard-pushed to find.
Eduardo’s pool and ‘view’ out over the rather flat city of Mendoza
Elevated and on the outskirts, the house gets a considerable amount more breeze and is a lot cooler than the city centre
Eduardo and his lovely family
Eduardo, Scott and I after hitting some local mountain bike trails for the morning!
On the 24th, we headed into town to join eight other touring cyclists in the apartment that we had booked for Christmas. Neil & Vicky (Irish & English) rounded out the ‘judeo-anglo-saxon-celtic’ contingent, whilst Thomas, Tina, Mirko, Ina, Johannes and Sebastian are all German. We took it in turns to rustle up various meals from our homelands, although roast turkey for Christmas lunch was replaced by a massive 3kg cut of pork on the parilla (barbecue)! It was a lot of fun…
Gotta make sure it’s properly documented!
Mmm, first German lunch…
In cyclist-sized quantities!
Tina’s Christmas present from Neil and Vicky – bug earings!
Vicky and Tina struggle to contain their laughter!
The rather beautiful bugs!
My present – streamers/nipple tassles!
Scott gets melons!
And then has to borrow my tassles for some clearly experienced
Everyone has their favourite poison! Neil and Vicky gifted back to me the insect repellent that I had given to them in Cusco (in a weight-loss effort), having carried it several thousand kilometres!
Marinating the 3kg of pork
Sparkling wine on Christmas morning for the chefs
Firing up the parilla
Yep, hot enough for the sausages
With the early-afternoon sun blazing, it gets pretty scorching on the roof terrace!
Never cooked this big a chunk of meat on the BBQ before!
Success – all-round approval!
The moment Scott realises that Neil has played a trick on him and rubbed soot all over his face!
He takes it pretty well!