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This is part 9 of the puzzle series that started at Living the traveller's dream. Each part is solvable on its own.


enter image description here

Dear Puzzling,

Nine destinations down, four to go. As you may have noticed, my travel plan is pretty varied because I wanted to experience all kinds of different things on this trip. You may have also spotted a common theme among the countries I choose (which is no big secret). I hope you are enjoying the ride so far!

Each puzzle has five "thematic" answers, which are geographical locations all in the same country. Each is notable enough to have its own article in the English Wikipedia, although not necessarily under the same name I use. Your task is to fill the grid, highlight the thematic entries, and guess which country I am currently visiting (which is not indicated in the grid). Some of the answers will be needed in the final part of the series. Except for the last part, all others are solvable on their own without knowledge of the previous puzzles.

This week I have ridden a train that takes you high up in the mountains and looked at caimans and howler monkeys from the safety of a boat. I have seen 400-year-old colonial architecture, watched meltwater trickle down from stunning glaciers, and talked to climbers preparing to summit one of the extreme points in the world. Can you guess where I am?

Wish you were here!
Love, Gladys.

Across
6. Individual starting to escape European peninsula, before being caught by magical instruments, let off to marshy area (5,8)
9. Rarer, like a steak cooked or boiled (8)
10. Face vendetta seeker alongside guru east of India (6)
11. Intense hatred blazes endlessly (3)
12. Piece of music in the genre of jazz and tango, "Fake", I've arranged (4,4)
14. Turn some maps around to find city (5)
15. North Africans giving up a drop of oil for the parents (7)
17. City cab door slammed (7)
20. They might contain papers for legal proceedings (5)
22. Old flame I supply with imaginary, twisted mental preoccupation (4,4)
24. Standard kind of music from the east (3)
25. Woman's gutless assistant in custody of Ottoman officer (6)
26. Neanderthal male standing (for short time) in Himalayan country, following us around? (8)
28. Maybe Mr Bond kidnapped Q's successor alongside Doctor No, like a body that's ice cold? (9,4)

Down
1. Spooner's almost completely overlooked Mr Neeson's desire (4)
2. Ask individual to go away (6)
3. Friendly female meeting a man by Kazan River (8)
4. Retired criminal taken to court 27 down (7)
5. Maybe Russians captured one of Estonian labourers (6)
7. St. Louis, initially in poverty, did settle (7)
8. Provide John Hancock with one pound carrier for railway equipment (6,3)
13. "Mountain of silver and gold" turned out to be led by a hoaxter, Charlie (9)
16. "Over one gram" – Cannabis enthusiast finally makes content label (7)
18. Candid person's work? Reconstruction of Hoboken hotel's scrapped (4,4)
19. Parish in chaos after welcoming Louisianian central figure's plane? (7)
21. Small piece that, sometimes, Queens Stadium's opening generates (6)
23. French girl obtained uniform that's very cheap (6)
27. Once again, Nixon's VP wants end for meeting (4)


Gladys will return in Traveller's fatigue.

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    $\begingroup$ Another great one...thank you for all the effort you're putting into this series. I cannot express how much I'm enjoying them...I would seriously pay for a book of your cryptics! Plus thanks to this puzzle, I now know that Rev. Spooner and Lysander Spooner were two different people. There's a clue in there somewhere... $\endgroup$ Jul 2 at 15:46
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Gladys is now in:

ARGENTINA! As part of her travels she visits the cities of Córdoba and Salta, plus Aconcagua, Argentino Lake and Iberá Wetlands.

The resolved grid:

Completed crossword

Clue explanations:

Across
6. Individual starting to escape European peninsula, before being caught by magical instruments, let off to marshy area (5,8) IBERÁ WETLANDS = IBER(-i)A + W(LET*)ANDS
9. Rarer, like a steak cooked or boiled (8) BLOODIER = ORBOILED*
10. Face vendetta seeker alongside guru east of India (6) VISAGE = V (Vendetta seeker) + I (India) + SAGE (guru)
11. Intense hatred blazes endlessly (3) IRE = (-f)IRE(-s)
12. Piece of music in the genre of jazz and tango, "Fake", I've arranged (4,4) TAKE FIVE = T + FAKEIVE*
14. Turn some maps around to find city (5) SALTA = ATLAS<
15. North Africans giving up a drop of oil for the parents (7) MOTHERS = MO(O→THE)RS
17. City cab door slammed (7) CÓRDOBA = CABDOOR*
20. They might contain papers for legal proceedings (5) CASES = ddef
22. Old flame I supply with imaginary, twisted mental preoccupation (4,4) IDÉE FIXE = (EX + I + FEED +I)<
24. Standard kind of music from the east (3) PAR = RAP<
25. Woman's gutless assistant in custody of Ottoman officer (6) AGATHA = AG(A(-ssistan)T)HA
26. Neanderthal male standing (for short time) in Himalayan country, following us around? (8) SUBHUMAN = US< + BHU(T→M)AN
28. Maybe Mr Bond kidnapped Q's successor alongside Doctor No, like a body that's ice cold? (9,4) ARGENTINO LAKE = A(R)GENT + NOLIKEA*

Down
1. Spooner's almost completely overlooked Mr Neeson's desire (4) WILL = WILL(-iam), since Rev. Spooner's first name was WILLIAM, and we need to remove 'IAM' since this is almost LIAM (Neeson)...
2. Ask individual to go away (6) BEGONE = BEG + ONE
3. Friendly female meeting a man by Kazan River (8) FAMILIAR = F (Female) + A + M (Man) + ILIA + R (River)
4. Retired criminal taken to court 27 down (7) RETRIED = RETIRED*
5. Maybe Russians captured one of Estonian labourers (6) SLAVES = SLAV(E)S
7. St. Louis, initially in poverty, did settle (7) NESTLED = NE(ST + L)ED
8. Provide John Hancock with one pound carrier for railway equipment (6,3) SIGNAL BOX = SIGN (‘Provide John Hancock’) + A (one) + L (pound) + BOX (carrier)
13. "Mountain of silver and gold" turned out to be led by a hoaxter, Charlie (9) ACONCAGUA = A CON C (‘a hoaxter, Charlie’) + AG (Silver) + AU< (Gold, turned out)
16. "Over one gram" – Cannabis enthusiast finally makes content label (7) HASHTAG = HASH (Cannabis) + (-enthusias)T + A (one) + G (gram)
18. Candid person's work? Reconstruction of Hoboken hotel's scrapped (4,4) OPEN BOOK = OP (work) + (-H)OBOKEN*
19. Parish in chaos after welcoming Louisianian central figure's plane? (7) AIRSHIP = PARISH* containing (-Louis)I(-anian)
21. Small piece that, sometimes, Queens Stadium's opening generates (6) SPAWNS = S + PAWN ('piece that, sometimes, Queens') + S(-tadium)
23. French girl obtained uniform that's very cheap (6) FRUGAL = FR (French) + U (uniform) + GAL (girl)
27. Once again, Nixon's VP wants end for meeting (4) ANEW = A(-g)NEW

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    $\begingroup$ rot13(Jbj, ybbxf yvxr V tbg Xnmna'f svefg anzr jebat. Fubhyq unir qbhoyr-purpxrq gung. Gung'f rzoneenffvat...) $\endgroup$
    – Jafe
    Jul 2 at 12:31
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    $\begingroup$ @Jafe I figured that was what you were going for - I put it down to a potential cross-language difference though and gave you the benefit of the doubt :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jul 2 at 12:32

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