Argentina > Mendoza
Another suite bus booked we happily traveled 18hrs to Mendoza; the capital of wine. The hostel where we stayed kicked all of the other hostels butts with its warm welcome, great rooms, log fire, 2 beautiful dogs and 2 lovely owners: "Hostel Lao". The best hostel we have stayed in, by a long shot.
Map in hand and a lazy afternoon at our disposal, we wondered around the area. Most of the streets are lined with trees and the sun's rays added to the peaceful town. Compared to Rosario and Buenos Aires, Mendoza has no high rises and is extremely spaced out, the buildings carefully placed around the vineyards. The people are just as friendly as they were in Rosario and fashions matching that of Buenos Aires; as if they have carefully selected the best parts of their surroundings and combined them.
Feeling peckish we stopped at a restaurant for dinner - the menu stated a BBQ for 2 but it could had easily fed 6. It drew so much attention; even American tourists were asking to take photos! Knowing we would never defeat the meal we decided to go for a taste of each meat sat on the coal BBQ still burning on the table; cow: steak, liver, intestines, throat.... I don't think there was a part of Daisy we didn't have! Along with that we also had goat/gizzard and pork also! We merely made a dent but with happy stomachs we thought best to take a slow stroll to digest it all. Mendoza holds a park which size matches that of the city containing a University, a zoo and 2 football pitches amongst many other things.... What would another destination be without a hint of football? Mendoza v Buenos Aires, Indepente - a very big game for Mendoza. We rocked up with 30mins to go and the stewards must have been in a good mood as they let us slip past for free. We ended up joining the away team which meant hiding our happiness (we felt we should support the smaller guys, especially as it's our new home for a few nights!). They gave it their all and scored 2 goals against Buenos Aires - 2 goals that magically happened in the last 30mins, Nick was delighted.
The next day we set out to do what we had come here for: Bike and Wine Tour. Mr. Hugo is infamous amongst tourists so we followed his fan base and took an hour bus journey to go and meet the man himself. Greeted and sorted by both Mr. and Mrs. Hugo, we peddled in the direction of the vineyard where we got a pretty cheap but tasty lunch washed down with their very delicious wine. At the same place we ate we had a wine tour and actually learnt quite a bit (we know nada about wine!).
Dessert was next on the route, the chocolate and liquor factory. Peddling with all our might with the hope of trying to fit as much in as possible, our peddling was obviously too much for the little bike. Nick's left peddle snapped clean off sending him and the rest of the bike flying (and we thought being chased by 3 mad mongrels was the bad luck of the day!). No major injuries and with a huge help from a passing "community police officer", My Hugo was soon pulling up, grin plastered on his face, ready to trade bikes.
The mechanics of the chocolate factory was a carefully pieced together lady working solo in a small kitchen. Once this had been established we were able to sample both the chocolate and the chocolate liquors of our choice. Tempted by Absynth, we opted for plain and vanilla Irish whisky which certainly warmed us up - we were both pretty cold as the sun disappeared for the day.
Returning our bikes was pleasant as we exchanged them for free wine and a chill out session in Hugo's garden.
The sun had completely done a runner by day 3 and so came the rain - perfect day for chores. Not wanting to waste a full day we booked up a Tango Show. The show itself was absolutely fantastic and we chose to enjoy the dinner alongside which turned out to be the best steak we've ever had.
With Chile a mere 7hrs away we chose to head over the next morning...
Lots of love XXX