01.04.2013 - 04.04.2013
Day 29- Monday 1.4.13
It rained most of the night. Heavy thunder storms.
Arrive in Mendoza at 7.30 am, have a coffee at the station. Head to our first true hostel! Chilling out in the breakfast room until our room is ready. The longer we wait the more tired we are getting! I need a bed!
Our room is ready within a couple of hours which is good. We go for a snooze. 4 hours later we wake up. Must have got no sleep on that bus at all.
Head out for dinner and wander round town. It feels very busy in comparison to where we have come from, almost too touristy. Nice local market in main square. Has started to feel cold- autumn is in the air!
Day 30- Tuesday 2.4.13
A chilly day in Mendoza. We were going to do bike tour but it is pretty overcast and rainy today so put it off til Thursday.
Put in another load of washing for collection tomorrow- could get used to this!
Head to museums in town, but as it is national holiday today a lot of things are shut! Have done lunch and a siesta. Now heading back to museum, nice small museum with local artist Maria Fraxedas.
Dinner and bed.
We feel like we have walked round and round Mendoza city! Looking forward to getting out in the mountains tomorrow.
Day 31- Wednesday 3.4.13
Heading out of town to see the mountains today.
Got picked up early and a long drive to first stop, a small town outside Mendoza, Uspallata, for a tea stop. Then head further into the mountains. Past an artificial lake with a dam that controls Mendoza's water supply and on to Pellchata river (clear water) which has an ancient bridge over the river.
We see the entrance of Parque Provencial Aconcagua and the top of Alta Montana- highest peak in the Andes. On to Puente del Inca- a natural phenomenon- a bridge created from mineral deposits in a petrification process. Never seen anything like it.
Then on to see the statue of Christ the Redeemer of the Andes. A monument on the border of Agentina and Chile up in the Andes. We drive up this very steep hill and the bus we were in stalled at one point. Weren't sure we were going to make it too the top or back to Mendoza. Lovely scenery of the Andes great weather again. Long drive back to Mendoza, great to see the scenery outside the city.
Back to the hostel and go to the Mercardo Central where there are lots of good quality value for money food. It has been shut the last few nights for holidays. Laurence had his first Chori Pan- sausage in a bun!!! We have been trying to get one for the last week. Apparently it was worth the wait! Back to the hostel to chill with a beer.
Day 32- Thursday 4.4.13
Bike and wine tour!
Got picked up and taken to Maipu, just outside Mendoza. Bikes and Wine waiting for our arrival with a map. We head off into the vineyards on a blazing hot day.
First vineyard was shut, then headed to a lovely one for lunch. Mavi, beautiful setting, lunch and wine tasting.
Then to the next one up the road where there was a self tour, again lovely setting. Then head back to where the bikes were hired for a few vineyards nearer there before we had to hand the bike back in.
The wine museum we decided to go to didn't have a tour and the people where quite rude there not serving us at all, headed to the one next door which was shut! Then went to a brandy/ grappa distiller and had some great tasting brandy- usually I do not like it at all, but very nice.
Head back to hand in the bikes as running late to discover we missed the bus! Waited around for 10 mins and then saw a couple of guys who where on our bus in the morning - they had missed the bus too. Then realised that all the people on our bus were still around and everyone had missed the bus! Had to wait another 15 mins before one turned up. Got back ok. Some of the people on the wine tour were in a rather bad state getting back on the bus, Laurence and I felt pretty good.
Headed to local market for dinner again and back to pack for Santiago tomorrow!
We have loved our time in Argentina and sad to say goodbye to our first country. We have met some amazing people and had great experiences, and will hopefully be back in the north on our way back round to Brazil later on in our travels.