We really loved Mendoza. For the second half of our time there we stayed at a cool hostel called Mendoza Inn but we had a wierd room mate who made us feel awkward about being a couple in a dorm - her problem not ours! While we were there we spent our time wandering round the city, visiting the craft market in the main square, walking around San Martin Park and we got the local bus (route 10) to the wine region of Maipu, about 45 mins outside of Mendoza, to visit some of the wineries including La Rural which also has a free wine museum displaying wine making tools from the different centuries. From here we bought a Rutini Wine Malbec. We also sampled chocolate, liquor and dulce de leche at Historias & Sabores. Just before we caught the bus we had a lovely meal, the best for a while, in a restaurant near to our hostel called La Carmela.
On Tuesday night we caught the 17hr bus (semi cama, a comfy seat with alot of leg room) to Bariloche in the Lake District, Southern Argentina. We went with a company called Andesmar and we had great food (dinner was a steak stew!) and good films.
The Lake District runs from Neuquen down through to Esquel and has beautiful scenery - glorious mountains, rivers, clear lakes and national parks.
We arrived in Bariloche at lunchtime the following day. Bariloche is the Argentine Lake Districts largest city, situated at the foothills of the Andes, sitting on the shores of the beautiful Nahuel Huapi Lake & surrounded by mountain peaks. The area is famous for skiing but due to the wet weather there hasn´t been much snow!
We found a lovely hostel, Achalay, then wrapped up warm & had a walk round. The heart of the town is centro civico, surrounded by buildings made of logs and stone, with a European style. Due to the very bad weather we decided to chill in a cosy pub called the Pilgrim and sample the local beer. Last night we had a amazing meal at El Boliche de Alberto (Parrilla/Grill). All the restaurant serves is meat & the guys cooked Jem´s steak to perfection. He also got his Chimichurri (Argentinian sauce to go with meat consisting of herbs, garlic and sometimes spices) so he was happy!
Today it snowed so we ventured out for a while and looked at the city´s Cathedral, met a couple of playful stray dogs who followed us around town and then chilled at the hostel. Tonight Jem cooked an amazing bife de lomo (bought from the local butcher for a couple of quid) which he marinaded in his own chimichurri bought from a local market & we took advantage of happy hour (2 for 1 local beers) at the nearby pub called Antares.
Tomorrow we´re getting the bus back up north to spend the day in Villa La Angostura & on Saturday we go to El Boson.
Take care, lots of love ab & jem xxxxx