It was a bit of hellish journey from Puerto Madryn to Mendoza. To start with the bus was late and when it finally arrived we had to wait another hour for them to make some repairs and we were finally on our way. Only to stop again for another 2 hours while they made more repairs to top it off we had to swap buses in the middle of the night to one that didn't break down every two hours. This was supposed to be a 24 hour journey and took over 26 hours-on a pesky cama bed, no premium available (flat beds!). Thankfully our steward was the happiest guy and made it hard to get mad at the bus company. When we arrived in Mendoza a few hours later than anticipated we check into our hostel and went to the supermarket to get food for the evening.
For our first full day in Mendoza we went straight to Maipu and the main reason for coming here, the wineries. We got the bus for around 40 minutes and made our way to Mr Hugo's bikes where we met Emily, Dave, Matt and Jack who were also hiring bikes. We tagged along with them and got on with them straight away. We decided to get the long bike ride out of the way and headed as far south as we could to the olive oil factory. We had some delicious snacks and Matt was taught a lesson as he had previously thought olives came from bushes and not trees! It was soon time to try some wine so went to Mi Familia a very small winery where we had a tour, tasting and some lunch. Matt, who was hung over from the night before was still a bit delicate so whilst we ordered our wine to have with lunch he got a pitcher of lemonade! It was only a short ride to the next winery where we went for the premium wines and I was already feeling a bit tipsy. The third winery on our list was shut so the next closest was the beer garden. We were all a bit disappointed about Trapiche (the third winery) but the beer garden was really good. It was all homemade and must have been pretty strong because as the owner was closing up she offered to give us a lift to the bus station. She had rang Mr Hugo and we didn't need to worry about the bikes but because it had rained, a tiny bit, and we were all slightly intoxicated her sister in law dropped us off! On the bus back the other guys invited us to their hostel and we took them up on the offer, deciding that we just weren't drunk enough and surely there were some more wines we need to 'taste'. After almost stealing a puppy along the way we made it back to the hostel. There was a really good group and although neither of us remember any exact details of the night, we do remember it was a lot of fun! In fact we had such a good time and the group got on really well (minus one irritating Ozzie girl) that we were invited back the next night to partake in more debauchery. This was about the only thing we did manage to do the next day. I was so hung over that we only did two walks around the block and manage to sober up enough to head straight back to their hostel for a delicious BBQ and some more drinking! It was a highly entertaining evening with more arguments concerning the fittest women (Rachel McAdams-pah!) the boys jumping in a freezing cold pool and a kiwi girl drawing all over a Dutch guys Dad; who had incidentally passed out in the hammocks!
We planned to meet with Emily and Dave for their last day in Mendoza. We completed a very long walk around the giant and beautiful park that they have here. It was nice getting to know them both a bit more and to have some girly chat with Emily! We had moved hostels that night and made some steak and rice but it couldn't compete with the meat the night before.
Our final day in Mendoza we went back to Maipu to try out the wines in Trapiche, the winery that was closed before, and to visit the chocolate liqueur shop. The wine tour was brilliant, we felt bad that the other guys had missed out. The grounds and the building were really beautiful and peaceful and the wine was pretty tasty as well. We walked to the chocolate place and had some tasters and bought some homemade pasta con ajillo for our tea.
This was our last day in Mendoza and in Argentina. We have spent quite a lot of our time in Argentina and although it isn't as cheap as we had expected the landscape was much more beautiful and varied then we could've imagined. The people were way friendlier then we had anticipated, even when we told them we were English! The food has been very samey (meat, meat and more meat) but boy the meat is delicious. The wildlife we have seen was definitely unexpected and the whole Argentina experience has left us wanting more!