Sunday, January 3, 2010

Trip to San Rafael to see Malargue and Las Leñas

Jim and I took a few days after the Christmas festivities to travel to the southern most part of the mission. We went to Malargue which is about 5 hours from Mendoza. Along the highway is a turn to go to the famous Las Leñas ski resort. We decided this might be the only time we might see it and so we took the detour and went to see what a ski resort would look like in Argentina. There were many obstacles (pot holes) and animals along the way to slow us down.
Goat crossing!
Las Leñas is the largest ski resort for hundreds of miles. It has some lovely scenery and the slopes looked very nice (without snow).
Very hard to see, but going up the mountain are three different lifts. The runs look wide and not too challenging. There is an area to the left which goes up a steep canyon that looks like it travels quite deep into the mountain. That may be where the black diamond skiing is.
The rock formation in this canyon were the most different I have seen.

The clock tower in Malargue. I have never traveled this far south and so I wanted to document that I was there. Malargue is a very small town and is the southern most tip of our mission.
We took a few days and stayed in a lovely golf resort called Algodon. It is a large vineyard and orchard area owned by a group from New York. It was absolutely beautiful. There are two lodges, each with their own porches to relax and golf cart to use at your leisure. There were hundreds of acres to go and explore.
One of the golf tee boxes on the right.
The grapes in the vineyard are protected by netting to keep the grapes safe from hail and birds. San Rafael is known for their hail storms. They even have awnings and trees along the highway to drive under in case of a storm.
President relaxing for the first time in a year and a half. He went out and played a few holes and enjoyed every moment of it.
This is the lodge we stayed in. Our room is the door on the right.
This is our patio where I would come out and read in the morning. We parked the gold cart right there by the door.
Way out in the fields are these very old areas where they use to dry fruit. The fruit drying tables are all deteriorating, but it reminded me of the chicken wire drying trays my dad would make to dry our walnuts when I was young. The orchards are in bad repair, but the owner is trying to save what he can. He has plans for polo fields and home sites.

These have to be the largest wine barrels I have ever seen, just lying out in the fields.
On our way home we passed these sun flower fields. They went on for miles. The flowers had turned their heads to the sun. Good lesson for our missionaries.

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