Wine and Mountains

Mendoza Travel Blog

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Time for a second update from our hectic three days in Mendoza.  Cheated and flew here from Buenos Aires covering almost 1000km in just under 2 hours.  Much different to BA with dry heat and the ever present snow capped Andes.  Wandered around the centre of Mendoza to begin with to get use to the city with its plazas and leafy streets.  Took a long walk up to the biggest park in the Southern Hemisphere for some late afternoon sun - it was about 25C.

First full day and were going out of town to Maipu to do some wine tasting.  Had to change some travellers cheques first a simple process that should have taken mere moments ended up taking 2 hours in the world's slowest bank.  The amount of queuing and paperwork made local government seem fast.  With our pesos in hand bused it out to Maipu to hire some bikes and explore the roads and wineries of the area.  All seems fine apart from the cycling next to a busy road with trucks and buses speeding past after a few tastings.  Anyone who moans about being run over in England on a bike ain´t seen anything.  Went to three wineries, a chocloate & liquor place and some ´fine dining´.  The last place had the best wines ended up having 6 between us with a very friendly proprieter.  Once the bikes were returned we tried to get the bus back into Mendoza.  To get a local bus in Argentina you need all the coin change possible which we didn´t have and no shop would change our notes for precious coins.  So began a half hour purchase of pointless things in various shops to get the necessary amount of change.  After a while the shopkeepers got wise to our ploy and would hand over the coins.  Eventually got the right coins and hopped on the bus back into town.

The next day had activities booked in the Potellinos Valley - a bit of mountain biking and canopying.  Mountain biking was ace - just like being a teenager again riding my bike down steep slopes and falling off repeatedly.  Except I didn´t fall off, Becca did and ended up with schoolgirl grazes on her elbows.  Were rewarded with a stunning view of the Lago Potellinos and the snow capped Andes behind.  AFter lunch was canopying ' or zipwiring across valleys, gullys and rivers.  Each wire got longer until we were going 400-odd metres 30 metres up in the air across the river.  On the last on paying absolutely no attention to the guys operating the system I stopped way short of the end and had to pull myself across - with a little help!

Anyway, got a 10 hours bus ride to Cordoba tomorrow!

Iain & Becca

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photo by: montecarlostar