Argentina - Posted On
Faco and Cristo welcome me in their parents home, superb house with swimming pool into a condominium - golf, incredible luxury next to what I have passed through so far.
However, next to one week, the Cerro Arco and it paragliding spot, one of the most famous in Argentina, attracts me very strongly. Paco, local pilot, hosts me in it Paragliding School just at the basement, so that I can plainly enjoy the spot. Just one little thing quite amusing: the neighbourhood is well-known to be one of the most dangerous around Mendoza. And knowing that Mendoza is not the quietest city in Argentina, I sometimes fear coming back at night by feet from the city. Well, that’s part of the adventure anyway and I never encounter any trouble.
Flying everyday, curing the gear, running up to the take-off under the astonished stares from the other pilots who barely can imagine any other way of going up than using the 4WD, is my day-to-day life. Well I must admit that after a few time, I also enjoy the quicker way to go up to enjoy the thermals of the area, facing the mythic Andes, soon covered by snow. Yes, winter is coming I must remember it, and I have a pass of about 3900m high to pass before the date the road would be blocked.
Flying from Cerro Arco is quite tricky: Wind is often Northern East and the take off is behind the top, so that the wind we have is often turbulent, and also especially at the bottom landing. A few heavy accidents happen in the last few years, I keep myself quite careful. By two times I was wondering if I could ever go back to the landing by flying, because I was really really low just above the small vegetation and hard rocks of the mount.
But flying above the antenna giving me the vision of the all region was so wonderful, especially thinking the numbers of days without flying before. Viva Andes !
Mendoza nightlife gives me another vision of Argentine I have seen so far. My French friend Benoit, who work in a golden mine at 5000m high close to here, comes down for a few crazy party days, killing every pints we can. It’s such a big joy thing to see a friend far away from home.
Big time also meeting the brother of Natalia, a friend I met during my Florida life, some 8 years ago. Past can get you back really anywhere and anytime in life.
A good bunch of frenchy engineering students occupy a house in which we consciously empty huge quantity of absinthe and diversity of alcohol, seriously studying how to make properly a good Argentinean “asado” with sufficient quantity of meat to make a vegetarian flee the country in the hour and sufficient also to satisfy me (and it’s not that easy, believe me !).
I am now on my way to face the terrible Andes, at Charlie’s place, a cyclist and pilot, enjoying a delicious fat pig drinking sumptuous Mendoza’s wines. The pass of the Cristo Redemptor at 3900m high is the next obstacle. People gave me 3 extra jumpers, which should do!