Hey, Chris here for another exciting update (plus a little travel advice for anyone else reading this who is thinking of travelling).
So, we pick up the adventure where Sarah left off. Off to Mendoza, the fabled wine region of Argentina. To get there we decided to fly, mainly because Justyna had limited time left and partly because we didn’t want to spend 20 hours on a bus (yet). However, the curse of the British passports struck again as we were given row 9 for the second consecutive flight on the leg from El Calafate to Buenos Aires (via Ushuaia) which was 4 and a half hours and the only route available! We shake our fists at you row 9 with your non reclining seats!!
Happily we were able to move to row 10 after the stopover in Ushuaia, a marvellous row that not only has reclining seats, but extra leg room thanks to it being the route to the emergency exit and the fact that row 9 ‘s seats don’t recline.
So we made it to Mendoza airport at the scheduled 11.30pm and staggered out of the airport into the first taxi that we were offered. The crazy driving was even more scary than usual thanks to our slightly vulnerable, dazed, post flight state but thankfully we made it to our hostel alive. We did almost die however when we were shown to our dorm. It was a particularly small and dingy room with the worst mattresses so far slept on. This meant that our initial impression of the hostel was unfavourable, but it wasn’t too bad in the light of the Mendoza sunshine the next day and the hurriedly discussed plan of moving hostels was abandoned.
Our first day in Mendoza was sunny and pleasant. We took a walk around the central area before heading to the park for a picnic in the sun (or shade depending on your skin).
In the evening we went to Sunday night wine club, organised by Mendoza Wine Connections. In a word – amazing! We went along to the address and was shown up to a first floor apartment that was beautiful throughout and we were sat in a lounge room that was laid out with all of the necessary wine glasses and cheese and bread. The host was wonderful and talked about the wines before leaving us with the wines to get to know our two new friends, Ashley and Scott, an American couple who were brilliant fun and took great pride in defying the American Stereotype. All of the wines on offer were amazing, however six bottles between five people did mean that I have problems with my memory of the evening the next day. Thankfully Sarah was able to fill me in. I suspect that she didn’t drink as much of the wine as I did!
For some reason we had booked a wine tasting tour for the next day and while I wasn’t massively hungover, I wasn’t in top form. The first winery was amazing, but sadly the wines weren’t and on the way to the second vineyard I did find myself frantically thinking of the words for stop in Spanish, just in case!! Happily things settled down from there and the wines got better and better and the tour was finished with a huge lunch that was absolutely delicious!
That night we had arranged to meet up with Ashley and Scott again (as well as Greg who was a chap from Singapore that we met in the restaurant after wine club the night before) and the family was expanded when Greg brought along Ron (a wealthy Texan) and Max (Ron’s driver/guide). Ron was extremely generous and bought champagne for everyone, as well as paying for all the drinks that evening. Needless to say that we had a good time!
That concluded our Argentinian adventure and it was time to move on to pastures new – Santiago de Chile where I am currently writing this post. Details of our adventures here will have to be left for another time because I have another musing to mention here now (Sorry Sarah).
This next bit is aimed primarily at any males readers who are considering travelling, but might be amusing to other readers too. Before leaving, Sarah and I looked at the blogs of other people for help and inspiration not only of where to go, but also what to pack. Now, one thing that wasn’t really mentioned was pyjama’s. I know that for blokes this is a debated topic, but I was raised wearing pyjamas and find sleeping in boxer-shorts uncomfortable, so before I came away I went and bought a nice new pair. During the buying process I held in my head an image of South America being a hot, mosquito infected place and so decided that a pair of long sleeve cotton PJ’s would be best. At home I prefer a pair of Jersey bottoms and an old t-shirt, but somehow this didn’t seem appropriate for South America. Sadly I didn’t think at all about the fact that I would have to walk through hostels wearing my PJ’s to get to the bathroom which I am now finding rather embarrassing in my old man, checkered PJ’s! Any guys out there planning a trip, don’t fall into the same trap!!
That’s all for now. Love to y’all!