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Sunday 18 Apr 2010
Mendoza, Argentina

Would señor like meat sauce with his meat?

Arrived to Mendoza yesterday afternoon around 4pm after taking the day-bus from Santiago through the Andes.

A week ago, prior to heading to Easter Island, as soon as I arrived in Santiago I reserved the front seat in the top floor of the ANDESMAR bus based on recommendations I read on Lonely Planet's Thorntree website. To say the least, this was an excellent decision as not only was the front seat uber-spacious (allowing me to stretch my legs out and lie back almost horizontally when the seat was down, plus it was very wide so no elbow-touching here!) but also had a huge window that looked out onto the beautiful scenery that was about to come....

At first it was the usual Andes scenery: dry/dusty areas with dry grass and little of interest (a lot of the general scenery in Argentina/Chile is like this, from Salta/San Pedro down to Ushaia/Punta Arenas ... which is quite surprising for me as I assumed it would have been a lot greener. Probably areas like Bariloche have the more "typical" Patagonian scenery which I imagine is like Canada's). Soon enough, though, this  changed to steep high-rise snow-covered mountains, surrounding us as we drove through glacier-carved valleys and tunnels carved in the mountainside. After crossing into Argentina, the ubiquitous vinyards started appearing...

And this, of course, is my main reason for visiting Mendoza: so I can get completely langered on cheap high-quality red wine.

I found a nice enough hostel in Mendoza called Savigliano Hostel that's giving me a private room with shower for a bargain 65 peso (13 euro) a night including brekkie. Nice to see some good deals after the Chile and Easter Island expense-fest (I think I went through around US$ 700 in total for the whole time I've been in Chile/Easter Island!)

The savings haven't ended there, and I've been noshing up on some more Argentinian beef for next to nothing. For lunch today I had a generous helping of succulent steak/chips/salad as well as glass of wine, ice-cream for desert and coffee all for only 5 euro! Yeah incredible! ... the obession with meat here seems endless. I haven't been hungry enough to go for a full-on parilla just yet, but there's no escaping the meat, even in the condiments: the accompanying sauces had meat chunks in them!

This being Sunday, most places are closed, including the vinyards, so it's (literally) a day of rest and time to update all my unwritten blogs. Mendoza, a typical Argentinian city (wide streets laid out in a grid, with large central plaza) doesn't really have much going for it, but I intend to get very much into the wine-touring tomorrow: take a bus to a small winery village called Maipu and rent a bike for the day, then traverse the 40km circuit of vinyards getting progressively more and more wasted...

I should probably get a helmet.

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South America Twenty Ten

Travel blog by peterforan

Moiagasm!

Moiagasm!


After previously dipping my toes in Latin America via trips to Cuba and Central America, it's time to go for the big splash! 3 1/2 months to take in as much as I can, armed with little more than my camera, laptop and a few dodgy Spanish phrases.

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Photo Album

  • Trans Andes...

    Mendoza

    Argentina

    Trans Andes Highway
  • Trans Andes...

    Mendoza

    Argentina

    Trans Andes Highway
  • Trans Andes...

    Mendoza

    Argentina

    Trans Andes Highway
  • Trans Andes...

    Mendoza

    Argentina

    Trans Andes Highway