I arrived in Mendoza early in the morning on July 21 after a long bus ride. In the afternoon, I went for a walk around and I must say it’s not a pretty city. The main plaza is nice, though, with its two fountains. When I got back to the hostel, I decided to book two excursions for the following two days.
On Saturday morning, I left for a bike and wine tour. The sun was shining and it was warm enough to be in t-shirt, which was great for me as I was coming back from the southern cold. The bus drove us to the first winery and we tasted three different wines after the guided visit of the domain. After that we cycled to the second winery, named Vistandes. Mendoza is very flat so it’s easy to ride from place to place. When we arrived, our lady tour guide presented us with three more wines to taste. From there, we climbed back on our bikes to go to a beer garden where we had snacks and were able to drink a pint of locally brewed beer which was very good. After this stop I started to feel a little tipsy and I was glad to know that we wouldn’t be cycling to the last winery: the bus drove us there. The last winery was my favourite and the name of it was Domiciano. It distinguishes itself from the others for the quality of the wine which is excellent. When the last visit was over, the bus drove us back to our hostels but we decided to meet up for dinner later as the atmosphere in the group was really cool.
Before I left to join the wine group, I got a surprise call from my best friend, France, who asked me to be one of her bridesmaid at her wedding along with my two other best friends, Maxime and Marine! Of course I said yes, I’m so happy for her and her future husband, Dani. This news really put a big smile on my face and I can’t wait to see them both in a couple of weeks to celebrate !
Around 8 pm I met the group at the main plaza and we then went for dinner in a restaurant recommended by our guide. As there were ten of us, we had to wait outside for a while as we didn’t have a reservation. I had a really good time with these lovely people and the dinner was very tasty.
On Sunday, I went for a horseback riding trip in the pampa of Mendoza at sunset. Some people from the previous day were also there which was very nice. When I was younger, I did a few years of horseback riding so it wasn’t new to me and it was one of the things I really wanted to do while I was in Argentina. To be fair, I wasn’t comfortable at first but after a while the confidence grew between me and the horse. After an hour and a half, we got back to the estancia (ranch) where we had a parrilla and vino tinto. Again it was a really great activity and the atmosphere in the group was chilled.
On Monday night, I met Layal, a Russian girl and we decided to do a wine tour the next day but this time by bus as the weather wasn’t supposed to be grood. Two other people from the hostel joined us, Rachel and Austin an Australian couple.
Our guide, Mike came to get us at 10 am the next morning with a minibus. It was cool as it was only the four of us. Our program of the day was going to be pretty full : 4 wineries, lunch in one of them and then a liquor factory at the end of the day. The first winery we went too was Domiciano that I’d already visited on the last tour. The second winery was the bodega Lopes, one of the 5 biggest in Mendoza. The winery is vast. I have never seen anything like it. They use massive wooden casks that can hold 30’000 litres of wine and the biggest is 37’500 litres. We tried two wines, one red and one sweet white and both were good. The third winery belonged to Carmelo Patti. We were welcomed by Carmelo himself and what a character! He made us try three reds which were excellent. These wines would go perfectly with a good piece of meat as they’re matured in wooden casks for a couple of years. We then went to our last winery of the day and this is where we had lunch. Of course, we drank a good Malbec and a fizzy white, then we visited the domain. Last but not least, the liquor factory where we tasted absinth and other tasty liquors of different colours, like a rainbow.
On the way back to the hostel, we decided to do our own barbecue and we asked Mike, our guide, what we needed to buy and he kindly offered to help us. We stopped at the butchers and the supermarket to buy all the ingredients. When we got back to the hostel, the girls starting preparing the vegetables while the guys lit the fire and cooked the meet. As we had enough to eat, Tinka – a South African woman – joined us for diner. We drank some more wine and ate a lot of meat which was amazingly tasty. Another group of people joined us and we all had a great time together talking about travel and life. The evening was probably one of the best I’ve had so far on my trip, even though I woke up with a big headache the next day.
On Wednesday morning, I went to buy my bus ticket to Santiago de Chile with Kate who is from Australia. Then we went for a walk in Saint Martin Park. On Thursday we both left for Santiago. The supposedly seven-hour journey turned out to be a 12-hour journey, but the scenery was incredible and totally worth it. The Andes Road is a must. Crossing over to the Chiliean side, there is a fantastic view of the winding road that leads down the valley.
Thanks for reading, everyone. Please leave a comment if you have any questions or something to share.