Mendoza (3 nights)
I wasn’t too bothered about coming here before we went. The main reason gringos go to Mendoza is because it is the wine capital of Argentina. Sara enjoys a tipple now and then so she was excited to visit. For me, after being there it turned out to be one of my highlights. I’m now an alcoholic.
We started from Santiago in Chile on a mega scenic bus journey. You’re surrounded by huge mountains and snaking up the pass to the border is an eye opening activity in itself.
The border really was a piece of cake compared to the Chilean border. There was a freaking owl in the rafters too. I told the bus driver in Spanish about it but he couldn’t care less. Or I said something offencive by accident.
We stayed in a reasonably priced, quality place called Hostel Alamo in a fairly big but dated room. The guys who worked there helped us out fitting in what we wanted to do in a short space of time, plus we had a BBQ with them one night (the first of many Argentinian BBQs.. and I thought Brits knew how to BBQ!)
We spent a day touring vineyards with some other gringos on bikes (the unmotorised variety). We tasted so much wine and sadly I don’t remember anything about the day now..
But thankfully we took a load of photos, it looks like we had a nice time. It’s exciting that there is no problem with getting sloshed and cycling on the side of a fairly busy road as a group. Silly, I mean silly not exciting!
Sara was well up for a sunset horse ride which meant I was to face one of my single greatest fears.. horses. Horses. HORSES.
Horses have a freaking mind of their own, if Hernandez the horse wanted to chuck me off at any point he could. Hernandez has a mind of his own and that’s what terrifies me. Anyway once I faced my fear I had a great time taking in the mountain scenery whilst putting in zero effort with only mild chafing. Of course we had a BBQ at the ranch after the riding.
TOP TIP – Blood sausage. It’s not that nice. It’s a soft, mushy sausage made from animal bumholes. They’re like Bounty and Milky Way in a box of Celebrations, they’re always the last thing left at the end of the BBQ.
The headline act for me – Argentinian Steak. They say not to meet your heroes (Meat your heroes?) but I would disagree. The steak was everything I imagined and more. It was love at first sight. It was a holiday romance that I’m gutted had to come to an end. I will remember the first kiss, the very first time I placed my lips upon (around?!) thee. You were a.. rare find. Quite the dish. I’m certain you had no feelings for me, but still I let you inside. And when you had nothing left to give, I just paid and left!
Love story aside, you could get a delicious steak dinner for 2 with a bottle of Mendoza Malbec at a relatively fancy place for $30. I know, heaven is cheap.
Overall In Conclusion Mansell Experience Quick To-The-Point Travel Rating Points Score – 10/10
Perhaps slightly enhanced by my holiday romance with a steak dinner, I thought Mendoza was a proper south american highlight, plus there was a load of fun, active stuff we didn’t do! Take me back!!