Mendoza! The big city! The last big city on our journey, in fact. Once we leave here, we’ll head into the hinterlands of Argentina as we slowly make our way southward to the end of the world. IF we leave here, that is.
Upon arrival into Mendoza, we were met by the police and reporters who escorted us into the city. It was such an honor to be received so warmly, but that was just a hint of what was to come.
Sean, from the Mendoza Sun, has been nothing short of phenomenal. He has gone above and beyond to ensure that our visit to Mendoza was special – and special it has been. Sean has found a whole series of hotels to host us, so we’ve been hanging out in luxury. He’s arranged for us to go on wine tours, ziplines, rafting trips, horseback riding, and relax with a spa treatment. We were guests of honor at a lovely asado with plenty of expats and locals. Needless to say, we’ve been enjoying our stay here. I’m not sure it is humanly possible to cram more into 11 days than we have.
Once we leave Mendoza, we’ll head south on Ruta 40 toward Bariloche. It’ll be a long, lonely road, but we are excited about drawing closer to our goal. At this point we are actually seeing the possibility of there being a faint glimmer of hope that we might someday arrive in Ushuaia. It’s strange to be checking things like plane tickets home and such.
At this point, our journey has become somewhat of a mental battle – we are so close, and yet so far away. I look at the map and think, “We’re almost there!”, but then I look at the mileages and see that we still have 3500 km to go – that’s most definitely not almost there. It’ll be a battle to fight winds every day, knowing we still have many days of them to come.
But we’re all determined and we’ll forge ahead. It’ll be a long, slow grind, but we’re hopeful that some day in the next three or four months we’ll be able to write and say, “We did it!!” I keep telling myself it’ll happen… it’ll happen…
Our stay here in Mendoza has been spectacular, but we’re itching to get back on the bikes. The road is calling. We’ll pack up Saturday morning and head out – just as a nasty storm from the south moves in. Gah!
It looks like we will be on the road for the holidays, so I’ll take this opportunity now to wish you all the merriest of Christmases and the best New Year ever! I hope your dreams come true.
Nancy, John, Davy, Daryl