- Molly Keen
A Mural at The Gottardinis Finca en Tupungato, Mendoza Region
The Weeping Willow Mural, Tupungato, Argentina.
Welcome to the Gottardini’s, the farm of love and care!
What: A large mural of a “arbol saucey” which means willow tree in English. Inspired by the energy the actual tree they had on their property it was reminded me of my childhood on vashon island because we had a willow tree with a swing on it. I loved that tree.
Nestled at the base of Volcano Tupungato in the Midsts of the Andes Mountain range, flowing tinkering rivers, hot sweaty heat, delicious fresh food and good company! This mural stands out to me and came at a perfect time for my last weeks in South America.
The Gottardinis, an Argentian family full of enthusiasm and love. They welcomed me and my friend Jimmy with open arms and love.
Here is Orlando the owner and one of the wisest loving men I have ever met. Enthusiastic about everything he taught me important lessons including how to stay true to yourself, love family and enjoy life.
The ride to Tupungato was incredible you cross from Chile through the Andes and into Argentin. Literally when we got off the bus at the bus station we were greeted with family, dogs, a stop for coffee and milk and then before you know it we met uncles and aunts and nieces and nephews and father in laws and friends.
We made homemade pear jam that we picked from the trees and ate meals together. What a lovely treat!
Here is the shower, you fill it up with water (the bucket) with a hose and then it gets connected to a plug to be heated. Amazingly funcational and sustainable. I want one whenever or if I get a house!
We got a little carried away with paint one night but life on the farm was simple. We went swimming in a little lake by day and cooked together by night. Beautiful life!
We also attempted to sun dry tomatoes. Here is Orlando above with the tractor. He said that he would rather just work with one process of the wine process as its important to keep things simple and be passionate and really good at one thing. I respect him for that.
It is a quaint town, super friendly people. We arrived in great timing as summer season is harvest season in Mendoza Region. The first two weeks of march are called Videmia which celebrates the “cosecha” or harvest. It’s the largest and most important celebration in the region and thy even had a beauty pageant declaring queen of the videmia! All the orchards were busy with workers picking “uvas” or grapes.
Orlando was kind enough to take us on a tour of the area, including a look at some of the harvesting, wine tasting and a visit to the river. He collected bugs by hand and then tried to fish for trout. This guy is great!
At the farm there were Walnut trees, olives, cherries, watermelon, corn, apples etc. and we were welcomed to pick and eat or cook with whatever we desired. I was in heaven.
We camped the whole week, fell asleep to crickets and moonlight and would have tranquil days enjoying the sunshine on bike rides, drinking beers in town, and hanging out with the family durin asados!
Here is Teresa, such a joy to have connected with her. This is her first painting that she made with courage! It was done with oils on the outside of the house. She is from Italy and we spoke only spanish. Just 19 years old can you belive it, pretty incredible lady!
Where: Tupungato, Argentina. It’s located about 2 hours from famous wine capital Mendoza. Tupungato is Known for its quality wines and friendly people.
Accommodation: Fresh veggies and fruits and nuts and beer and we had our own little house and kitchen. I camped at night but by choice it was such a beautiful place underneath walnut trees in an orchard.
What I learned: Family is important. The way this family would spend time together, have asados (BBQs) was inspiring. I learned that walnuts have two shells, that the Andes are a beautiful mountain range and that you can do anything you set your mind to.
Here are some murals I found in Santiago that I loved! Just a side note!
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