Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mendoza: Bike riding and wine tasting.

I'm going to play travel blog catch up. The end of November, I went to Mendoza, Argentina with Grace. Yes, I have been the Mendoza twice before but just to the bus station. It's a complicated story. But this time, I was there to enjoy Argentina's wine country to the fullest. And that's exactly what we did.

After arriving in Mendoza at about 5 in the morning, the nightlife in full swing still, we napped and prepared for our one goal: biking around the vineyards and wineries. After we found the correct bus that drives out to Maipu, we realized that we were in desperate need of coins to board the bus.

Crucial Information we were not told: Argentina has a serious lack of change. Serious lack of change. After gathering bits of data from locals, we purchased a card (similar to a Bip! card of Chile) that we could put money on to pay for the bus. My suggestion: find four people and take a shared colectivo. Faster and probably about the same price when split four ways. 

We stumbled off the bus at the center of Maipu. Biking companies lined the streets. So as Grace and I did what we usually do with traveling decisions, we closed our eyes, spun around, and chose the company that our fingers landed on. Well, not exactly in that manner, but most of our decisions are based purely on guesswork. To our advantage, we walked in to Mr. Hugo's. Mr. Hugo, presumably, immediately handed us a plastic cup of some watered down Malbec and we were shown the route to all the wineries. DO NOT BE DECEIVED by the unassuming map. The distance between wineries is much greater than how it appears on the map. After biking for what seemed like hours we finally ran into some others and joined their band of bikes. I felt very classy taking my lunch in the middle of a vineyard while sipping a glass of champagne. Don't worry, I quickly found a way to "undignify" myself after a series of ridiculous posing in the rows of grapes.

Overall, the weekend was lovely. I had heard good and bad reviews of Mendoza. It might not be the most happening of towns in Argentina, but it's beautiful. It's a nice escape from the monotony of Santiago. I have to admit that the wine was not as good as that in Chile, but the food easily made up for anything not up to standard. Price-wise, you get more bang for you buck in Argentina. The bike rental was about $7US and to try the wine at each winery was between $5 and $8.

NOT a short distance. for me that is.


Tabla Argentina!

Baby Grapes!

View of the vineyard at lunch.

As always. Classy.

Back to Chile. 4 hour wait at the border due to snow. Depressing, no?


Ceri said...

Wow! Look at that snow! :O

I'm so jealous though, hun. I've always wanted to visit a winery. Way too awesome.

Ceri said...

Ooh, btw, are you on Twitter at all?