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Day 6 – The holy vineyards of Tupungota, Christ watches over you, literally

It would be hard to top yesterdays efforts today.

I read about a winery which had amazing views of the Andes, I wanted the shot, punched in the coordinates in to my GPS and off it went, I must say having this GPS with Argentinian maps has been a savior, without it I have no idea what I would do.

I decided to take the less traveled route again 😉 just meant not using the highway hahahah, lets not go on to long, I couldn’t find the damn winery, my original plan a few weeks ago was to travel south about 250km and see Maipu and Laguna Diamante, from my research this was a Volcano and the images of it looked cool, however with my flight leaving at 6pm and me needing to be at the airport by 4, it meant time was a major constraint so I decided against it..

If you had just been dumped on this road you could swear you where in the Adelaide Hills driving on the wrong side of the road thats the only difference, high end winery entrances, beautifully manicured lawns, a road that was clearly paid for by the Vineyards (it was brand new and perfect). Lets go, at worst I will see something different with the Andes in the background, at best something amazing with the Andes in the background, win win I say.

As I drove this windy road up ahead in the distance I could see what looked like a cross, the closer I got the clearer it became, it wasnt a cross it was Christ? or an incarnation of him, it was huge and there was a dirt road that lead directly to it.

Its known as the ‘Cristo Rey del Valle’ and overlooks the Wine region city of Tupungato and the Andes (ohh the Andes 🙂 ). I am not a religious person however this monument fascinated me, I was up there for about an hour and a half waiting for the clouds to move from the Andes, in that time I would say 200-300 people turned up, even the local dogs came to say hello.

Setting up shop to try and get a shot of the Andes. Yeup, Go Pro on roof, laptop editing, ThinkTank bag which i was using as a weight for the 3LeggedThing Tripod and the little Clio as a desk.

The best shot I got of the Andes all day.

The wine region of Mendoza, Tupungato and all its flavours

Friendly dogs everywhere, so many strays its not funny, so many dogs I just want to help but you just have to walk away.

After spending probably to much time up there I drove in to Tupungato which is a pretty important area for the Wine making of the Mendoza Region.

The wine region of Mendoza, Tupungato and all its flavours

These statues or sculptures ran the entire length of this main street leading in to the CBD area.

The wine region of Mendoza, Tupungato and all its flavours

Poplar trees with cool Winery entrances, I did try to go in to a few, but they are all by ‘reserva’ only, ie reservation only, damn, some of these places were absolutely amazing, lawns in better condition than the best golfing greens I have seen, high-tech security at the entrances, crazy, I tried to take a photo but was shown the rifle hahah, no problemo.

Again not wanting to take the main street I took a right on to a dirt road, WOW, the bright yellows and greens is just amazing.

The vineyards were all bright yellow/orange in colour and full of life, I dont know my vineyards but they had either just been picked or about to be.

The wine region of Mendoza, Tupungato and all its flavours

As i drove through these amazing streets, I somehow managed to find myself on a road and on to a property I probably should have, seems I made my way on to a military base, and was quickly surrounded by Army Soldiers ready to fire, kidding, well they came up quickly getting me to turn around. I didn’t even see the sign on my way in, and there was no security to stop me, oops.

Is it me or does this look like a graffiti piece?

Ohh Yeah, speed humps are inverted here, so its a speed ditch, much more painful ;).

Even horses are on the side of the road, random.

The wine region of Mendoza, Tupungato and all its flavours

The wine region of Mendoza, Tupungato and all its flavours

As I came around the next corner I was greeted by this site, amazing colours, light falling perfect, I even had the local dogs yelling at me 😉

I made my way in to town for a bite to eat, Beef De Chorizo, – Rump Steak i believe, wasnt the best meal, their idea of medium was more rare to not cooked, however the strangest thing in this town was the police station and what surrounded it, abandoned cars, I would say close to 70 cars all damaged and not drivable just sitting there, they all looked like they had been involved in accidents and had been there for quite some time, surely you could just dump them somewhere else? Its Argentina after all.

The wine region of Mendoza, Tupungato and all its flavours

The wine region of Mendoza, Tupungato and all its flavours

As the day drew to an end I stopped at one of the may Gauchito Gil shrines that line the roads. The Gauchito Gil (literally “Little Gaucho Gil”) is a legendary character of Argentina’s popular culture. His full name was Antonio Mamerto Gil Núñez and he was allegedly born in the area of Pay Ubre in the 1840s, and died on 8 January 1878. He is regarded as the most prominent gaucho saint in Argentina.

The last part of my stay in Mendoza was again trying to get a clear shot of the Andes, the damn clouds never cleared but what an amazing couple of days, I will definitely be making a return to Mendoza in the future.