As I said in my last blog as everything was Spanish everything was a challenge and hard work, so the fact we made the night bus with no hitches or glitches was a proud moment for both Earl and me. I'd used my new found metro skills to navigate us to the bus station and then we managed to get on the right bus. The night buses were far more luxurious than the ones we were used to the last time we travelled together in Asia, they even had a fancy footrest and free food.
We made it to Mendoza 16 hours later at 12pm. The first thing that immediately grabbed my attention was the amount of Peugeot 206 cars about, which got me reminiscing about Peg! I hope the Russian mafia are looking after you well. We booked our bus ticket back and made our way to the hostel, everything was going to perfect. But then at the hostel we had realised Earl had booked the wrong dates and he had a month in advance luckily we were able to sort this. We checked in got a shower and then explored town. I headed out in just shorts and t-shirt, a massive mistake it was freezing. All the locals in there massive coats and scarfs were giving me dodgy looks and must have been wondering who this crazy person was. I defo didn't expect Argentina to be that cold. However whilst we were in Mendoza we were to experience the maximum temperature of ten degrees and minimum of 1 degree. I was not use to this at all, it was not what I signed up for and my backpack full of shorts and t-shirts was pretty much useless. I toughed it out though and we found a place which did a quadruple burger for around £2.50, we decided to have a bit of that and then went to Mendoza Backpackers as Johnny thought he might have left his camera there, unfortunately we had no success in finding it for him. We went back to the hostel for a little siesta and book our wineries trip for the next day. Suitably rested we went out to check on the Mendoza night life, we went in a place where earl had the steak and I had a very salty sandwich then went an Irish bar (the thing I've found the most constant while travelling the world is that there is an Irish bar in every town / city you go too) and then a pub called Johnny B good.
The next morning we woke up for the free breakfast which had a much more variety to it than our previous one at the Lime house. There was toast, a variety of spreads juices and a selection of cereal including coco pops. We had some hours before our wineries tour started so I wrote up my Buenos Aires blog got a shower and then we dodged a bird attack in our hostel and grabbed some lunch. It was then time for the wineries tour, neither Earl or myself would say we were big wine fans or connoisseurs but when there is a town famous for something you have to try it especially as Mendoza is responsible for 70% of Argentina's red wine. The wineries tour was average at best and nothing like what I expected. I had it in my head there would be a few of us sat around an old wooden table while they kept bringing different wines for us to try. Instead we toured two wine distilleries, the first a big chain that produced thousands of bottles. The tour here was chaotic, about twenty groups turned up at once, our tour was meant to be just English but had to be a duel tour because of lack of staff and the whole thing just became a sham, we did however get to taste some very nice Malbec wine at the end. The second distillery was a local and family run, the tour was much better, and we got to try four wines instead of the two we did previously. We learnt how to look at for the tears of the wine, apparently it's really good and full of body if it cries and also learnt about different smells and what colour wines should be. I still wouldn't say I'm an expert on beer though and would much rather a nice pint! Also on the tour we visited an Olive Oil factory which was surprisingly very good and really interesting, the smells coming from the factory were also delightful and I pretty much ate them out of all the tasters, my favourites probably being the ones with garlic or the one with sun dried tomato. The final thing we did on our tour was a liquor and chocolate shop where we got to try a strawberry based liquor and a lot of chocolate which the girls on the tour loved, we also got to try the Argentinian biscuit Alfajores which was very nice. All in all the wine tour was ok as we got to experience the taste of some very nice local wines, but personally I think there are better tours on the market than the one we did, the biking one sounded really good, and we wanted to do that but language barrier meant there was crossed wires about what we wanted to do and we ended up on the bus tour. Our civilised and sophisticated afternoon tasting wines and olive oils was then thrown out of the window as we went to a BBQ party which offered all you can eat BBQ, the meat from the BBQ was exceptional and I could see why Mendoza was famed for its steak. Earl and I also discovered raw tomatoes are actually quite tasty. The party also offered free tequila for half an hour. After tequila being poured down our throats several times the night was always going to be one of drunken antics, I sent most of my night chatting with an American fella called Brooks about South America and having good banter, while Earl had an interesting night with a Swiss girl called Anja. I'll let him fill you in what happened there.
Checking out hungover was becoming quite the habit, and we both feeling as rough as a badger arse, we had breakfast and chilled out for a bit, we still had a few hours before our night bus back to Buenos Aires. We chilled out for a while and finalised the rest of the Brazil trip, had a cheeky game of table tennis where Earl destroyed me 5-1, went out for lunch where I sampled another of Mendoza's finest steaks. In fact it was probably the best steak I have ever had in my life! It was from a place called La Carmela and I had what was known as a Tarragon. It was a 5cm thick, 1 pound piece of Mendoza finest beef, served with creamy potatoes. It was the first time I have ever read a menu and it had my mouth watering and the food didn't disappoint it either. In the risk of sounding a bit camp, it was simply divine. We then we went a pub near the bus terminal to watch the champions league final. All in all Mendoza was fun and we did what we set out to do there- drink wine and eat Steak but now it was time to head back to Buenos Aires.
So until next time stay safe and take care.