Argentina! What can I say… they all claim it is more like Europe here, and I never believed them! However, after another 8 hour night bus from the Bolivian border to Salta in Northern Argentina I awoke to a totally different scene! There were concrete roads, palm trees and green plazas! It definitely reminded me a lot of Spain! However, the long walk to the hostel still managed to put me in a bad mood! Next time I go traveling I will sincerely try to take less s*** with me!
Salta is a lovely town surrounded by cowboy countryside but after Mands discovered they had white whine on Plaza de Armas in Van Gogh we didn’t do much more than discovering the local night life! Apparently I had to be taken home after dancing the tango down the street! Amanda and Garth went back on out to enjoy the very late Argentinean club scene! Horse riding out in Gaucho (cowboy) land was also great! Our gauchos even played the flute whilst riding through the luscious green countryside! And by god, they drink wine like water, but the Irish lasses definitely managed to beat them when it came to getting drunk!
Some sun, cable car, BBQ, drinks and horse riding later we left towards Cafayate just to break up our journey towards Mendoza! Had my first Argentinean steak which was amazing! I ate the whole lot! Unfortunately when we left in the morning at 6 I realized half an hour later that I had left my credit card, passport and flight tickets at the hostel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oops, Ruben, I will never deny I am forgetful again! I ended up having to get a taxi back (Mands and Garth went on to Tucumon) and another bus some 12 hours later! I felt very depressed that day, especially after finding out I had forgotten Garths cushion in the taxi as well!! Mands has decided that stapling everything to me may help!
Tucumon was nothing to write home about, except I had had my first good nights sleep in a while and we drank lots of red wine before leaving at 2 in the morning for another 15 hour bus trip down Mendoza!
I love Mendoza! Lots of wine, steaks, shopping, beautiful tree lined streets and one very large park, Parque de General, where you could nurse horrible hangovers! One euro for a glass full of pure vodka is no good for the likes of me! I also broke my fear boundaries (as am scared of heights and flying) by going up in a Paraglide from the nearby mountains! It was amazing! Feels like you are flying like a bird as all you do is catch the wind funnels to go higher and higher and there is no engine involved! I really loved it! This was my test flight before going sky diving… one day! An unorganized day trip to do wine tasting in Mendozian wineries turned into one winery and lots of unorganized wine drinking at some BBQ restaurant where it was all you can drink vino tinto.. After panicked bus a ride back to the centre we managed to catch our 19 hour night-day bus to Bariloche!!
Basically my first experience of Argentina has been that it leaves fewer impressions on you when it comes to the whole traveling experience, but my goodness it is nice to have plentiful sun, warm water, wine, steak etc! I recommend it, but please don´t forget to get to the Mendozian night clubs before 2.30 am when they close the doors, otherwise you may find yourself, as we did, stuck in the middle of nowhere with no ride home!