Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tamil connection to the ski resort in Las Lenas, Argentina

While it is summer in India and in the northern hemisphere, it is skiing time in Argentina and Chile. I was in Las Lenas ski resort in the Mendoza province of Argentina 5-8 July. This is the biggest resort in south america with long slopes. The longest slope is seven kilometers and that too in both blue ( for intermediates like me) and red and black for advanced skiers. This is a favourite place for dare devils who want to try the off-beat extreme slopes.

Before starting the skiing on 6 july, I was invited to the Snow Festival in Malargue, a town seventy km from the resort. The governor of mendoza province and the mayor of the city were there. Ther cannot be a Fiesta in latin America without a queen ! They had a beauty contest and selected a Snow Queen. The fun and frolic went on till five in the morning.

Las lenas is located at an altitude of 2249 meters at the base and goes upto 3340 meters, above the tree line. The view from the top is spectacular. With this high altitude it receives more snow in comparison to the other esorts such as Bariloche and Chappelco.

While ninty percent of the skiers are Argentines, there are a lot of Brasilians too. They come in chartered flights from sao paulo direct to malargue.

The ski resort turns into a mountain resort in summer with adventure activities such as mountain biking and horse riding. The resort hotels here have a total of 4000 beds.

Let us now come to the Tamil connection... The owner of Las Lenas resort is Arumugam...not from tamilnadu..but from Malaysia. He owns 600,000 hectares of land in and around the resort and has sheep farms and a horse breeding farm. He also owns 12000 hectares of land near Buenos Aires where he grows soya and wheat. I taught a few tamil words to the managers there so that they can surprise mr arumugam with tamil greetings, next time when they meet him.

Congrats Mr Arumugam for taking Tamil to the peaks of Las Lenas !