From San Martin, we took a bus on a six hour journey to Neuquen – a seemingly dead-end city in central Argentina that looked like something out of central US. From there I made my way to Mendoza and split up with the others who were making their way back to Buenos Aires.
Arrived in Mendoza on the quietest Sunday and checked into an excellent hostel – Damajuana. Excellent staff there, including possibly the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen – Julieta. Mendoza is a great city. It’s located in the middle of a desert at the foot of the Andes, but somehow through some genius engineering they’re turned it into an oasis. It’s greener than most cities I’ve been to and every street is lined by large, canal-irrigated trees.
On Monday it was time for some activity and feeling that I hadn’t done enough outdoors so far it was time for some action. We went on an excellent trip to three wine estates. The first was small and exclusive and very interesting, the second was big and the wine was terrible, and the third was really impressive. We met with the owner of the estate and he guided us through an explanantion of what was needed to produce a good wine, also what one should look for from a good bottle. Afterwards we had a great spread of snacks with some excellent cheese!
Tuesday was time for rafting! The river was not very exciting, only level 3 rapids, but apparently that’s all we can expect from this time of year before all the snow has melted. Though, being my first time rafting it was still quite worthwhile. Might try the Orange river next.
Then on Wedenesday it as off to ride some horses in the Andes. That was really impressive, but I think my horse gave me the flu! Equestrian flu – I’m sure I’ve heard of it! 🙂 It was amazing, 3000m up and riding along sheer cliffs putting my life in the hands of Tuyo (Yours), my trusty steed. He was the biggest of the lot, and was pretty clever, but he had an appettite bigger than mine, and I had a pretty tough time stopping him eating all the time. Afterwards we had a barbecue among the cows, goats, horses and soaring condors! Really good!
The rest of the time was spent relaxing and eating, again going to a Tenedor Libre (all you can eat) on Dad’s advice, called Las Tinajas. A really impressive restaurant with food as far as the eye could see! Met some really good people too in the hostel and we might meet up soon again, possible on the Salt flats of Bolivia!