Quick stop for a wine tour
04.09.2007 - 06.09.2007 22 °C
Woke up on the bus to find we were nearly in Mendoza already. Even though we had slept OK, we were still dazed and tired - travelling just takes it out of you. A girl and her father approached us about their hostel, and as they were cheaper than anyone we had found online, we went with them. They wanted 15 pesos per dorm bed, or 20 per person in a double room, so we went with the double. We checked in, then walked around town for several hours, just taking it in. Mendoza has 130.000 inhabitants, and the centre is very charming - like Salta it is full of colonial buildings and open squares. We had some cheap food in the market - empanadas and choripan. Then we shopped around for some warm clothes, and found ourselves a couple of nice fleeces. The climate here in Mendoza is extremely comfortable, with sunny days of around 22 degrees - perfect really. But our next destinations are all in the far South, in Patagonia, and we are going to need something warm to wear.
That night, the family that runs the hostel organised an Argentinian barbecue, which was great fun. Lots of wine, and lots and lots of steak.
On September 5th, we spent the morning walking around town again. Then in the afternoon we went on a winetour. A minibus picked us up at the hotel, and then took us to two wineries and an olive oil factory. The first winery was big, and though there were some interesting sights, the tour was disappointing. They gave us one little taste of a crappy wine, with no accompanying explanations or descriptions. In the olive oil factory, the tour was more interesting, and we got to taste their oil, as well as the raisins and dried tomatoes they produce, and also sampled an olive oil moisturiser they produce. In the last winery, the tour was also great - very informative - and they let us taste a couple of wines, a malbec, which the area is famous for, and a cabernet. The guide was very good at explaning how to taste and what to taste for - good for me, who knows nada about wine. Alan bought a bottle of the cabernet.
As a last stop on the tour, we visited a church, where they have a virgin statue which is considered miraculous. She is known as the virgin of the grapes. The most interesting thing about the church, at least in my opinion, was a hugely tall pine tree growing in the courtyard. It is apparantly 150 years old, and was there before the church.
After this, we returned to Medoza, and cooked ourselves some great steaks from the supermarket. They were tender as butter, and we got a huge steak each for $3 all together.
The 6th of September, we hung around Mendoza. Had an ice cream on the square and enjoyed the sunshine. Then we waited in the hostel till our bus left at 8pm, heading for Bariloche. On the bus, we watched a movie and went to sleep.