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The view from my "office"

Denali

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JohnM

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I’m currently in NW Argentina in the Sierra del Aconquija, a mountain range that rises to a peak of around 4500m just E of the Andes. It’s geographically very interesting in being a dramatic transition zone barely 70 km E-W.

On the plain to the E, it is sub-tropical (they grow sugarcane). As one climbs up the E slopes, it quickly becomes rainforest/cloudforest (the southernmost extension of the sub-Andean rainforest. Trees covered in Spanish Moss, lichens - that sort of thing). Moving up and over the peak, one drops into a dry elevated (1500-2000m) valley with a flat floor 20-30km wide, until the Andes foothills.

This morning I poked around in the cloudforest hills outside of Tafi del Valle, where I’m currently staying. Around the 2000-3000m altitude range.

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OZDUCK

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Another Perfect day in Perth yesterday - but we went to Mandurah and had a Marvelous day.

As a kid in the 1960's my family used to spend the summer holidays/weekends at a caravan park in Mandurah. On a Saturday evening the adults would go to the beer garden at the Esplanade Hotel while all the kids would run mad. This old Moreton Bay Fig is about all that is left from my childhood memories. We used to do bombies off the the jetty - this is just a modern imitation of the much more attractive one that used to be there.

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The old caravan park has now been turned into this. Like all these type of developments there only ever seem to be about 40% of the units sold.

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And on a more sombre but appropriate note for today, the beautifully maintained final resting place of my 19yr old great-uncle. The "London Cemetery and Extension, Longueval" on the Somme. He was Missing in Action for about 20 years before his remains were found.

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OZDUCK

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ozduck, my great uncle, also 19, is resting just 4 kM down the road from yours at the beautiful CWGC Bernafay Wood.
Very close. The way these cemeteries and memorials are maintained are a real credit to the CWGC. My daughters partner came on this trip with us, 2011, and his great great uncle was buried just a few km's's away as well. It shows how many Australian families have such connections to this area. And it is such a lovely area in general.
 

kookaburra75

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We’ve moved on to Galle. The view from our hotel - Le Grand

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Galle Fort streets

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Galle lighthouse

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Galle Fort Mosque with a message of support for the victims of the bombings

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It’s hot

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We were there just two months' ago, and it's and interesting place to exp!ore. And yes, Lion Lager is a good drop.
If you have time, drop over to the Prince of Galle hotel for a drink and listen to the music.
 

VPS

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Dawn service where my family were originally from in the mallee of South Australia. Population of around 5 now but had about 120 people there this morning.

Not sure I'd want to be farming around here

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Glad they washed my car when I got it serviced yesterday
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I needed to see a bit of green on the way home
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Milboo

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@pjm99au - if you’re minded to buy Ceylon sapphires, just near that church (corner by lighthouse) is a jeweller called Lihyana Gems and I can recommend them.
 

JohnM

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About a 600-click drive further N in Argentina today. Now getting to the very far NW.

I first went E through the cloudforest park to the humid flat agricultural land before turning N. At the suggestion of my B&B host, I took a detour into another cloudforest park on the way, before swinging NW and climbing into the Andes foothills to stay at a quite touristy place, and notable base for the region, called Tilcara for the next three nights before I wrap this trip up and head home on Monday.

A very small section of a massive blueberry plantation just as I hit the eastern flats.

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Then the detour up into the next cloudforest and a good workout on the camino sinuoso...

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And coming into Tlicara.

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