Wining and Biking

Apologies. No pictures of us in Mendoza! The cover picture is not even mine. It is pretty though!

After an incredible 56 hours on a bus, we arrived in Mendoza from El Calafate. Despite desperately needing sleep and a shower, Omar and I went exploring around the city. Mendoza is a very cool city. It is on the Chilean border and is famous for the wine district. 70% of Argentina’s wine is produced in this region. We decided to go for a bicycle tour around the vineyards. It was a great laugh. It is really a must do when in this region. We cycled through the vineyards sampling different wine. I do not have a breeze about what we were drinking. It was wine, I know that. Everyone else on our tour had studied wine. Yeah, total party crew. 

The hostel we stayed in was awesome. It was called Mendoza International. An original and well thought out name. It was big enough for you to have your own space but small enough for it to be easy to socialise. We met some cool people there. An American kid, Patrick was a highlight. Patrick looked about 15 and straight out of Avenged Sevenfold. He had lived in Ireland for a summer and travelled the country more than I have. I must really travel the homeland. It is pretty shocking that I have been to most cities in Argentina than Ireland. Well, I have been to loads of cities in Ireland to play gigs but do not know anything in them. I know where we played and where we slept….or do I even remember that? Patrick was nice but he certainly enjoyed to talk. When talking about places he has been in Ireland, he would put on the local dialect. For example, when we said “Donegal” he would say it in a Donegal accent. “Cork” in a Cark accent, boi. It was really difficult to keep a straight face at times. We also met two South Africans who really warmed my cold heart. It was so lovely to chat to them. South Africans seem to rarely travel (so they said anyway) and they were so proud of themselves to travel around the world. Not in the smug way but in the way that they were so happy that they did it. They knew exactly how many cities they have been to and exactly how long they have been away. They were so eager to talk to us and exchange stories. They were great. It was so nice to hear them talk about their travels as they spoke about it with such enthusiasm and excitement. We also met, Todd who was a nice fella but I couldn’t shake the feeling he was a murderous psychopath. If he did not hear you properly, he wouldn’t say, “What?”, “Sorry?” or “Pardon?”. He would say, “Whats up?” but really really quickly. It is difficult to explain but it was mental. He was lovely though, gave us his contact details if we were ever in the states and made a big deal saying goodbye to us. What a gent. During a conversation with him, I just found the “Whats up?” thing so funny so I was roaring laughing and had to pretend I was laughing at me playing pool. He must have thought I was so retarded laughing as I am potting balls. The retard and the serial killer. I smell a sitcom!

The main thing to do in Mendoza is the vineyards. It was organised through our hostel and away we went. The first glass of wine was at around 11am. It is an odd feeling letting your breakfast digest with a glass of wine. The others in our group seemed really nice. As I explained earlier, most of them had taken classes in wine and stuff. It was a bit odd. We went to three vineyards, cycling to each. It was fun to cycle around (especially after a few glasses of wine). A lot of people that I met have complain about the poor scenery throughout the bike rides but I thought it was really nice. The Andes to the left and going by different vineyards. Was not too shabby. Slightly more scenic than my cycle through Blanchardstown. I would have preferred the tour to be slightly later in the day as I spent the majority of the day trying to sobre up and fighting the urge to go out and party. Not much of a party scene at 3.30pm. We spent the night having a few drinks with some people we met there. That is easily the best part of travelling, seeing the different places are amazing but it is all about the people you meet. We sat up till the early hours just having a good laugh and exchanging stories and tips. Mendoza is a lovely place and I would highly recommend it. It is very pleasant. It is apparently amazing during the summer. It gets to 40 degrees and there is a great party vibe. Mendoza felt a bit rushed because we spent time recovering from a 56 hour bus journey and organising ourselves for working in Cordoba. I say “preparing” but it involved sending an email or two and worrying about our lack of Spanish. There was not a whole lot for us to do in Mendoza on our budget (very tight after the glory of Patagonia). We did not have the money to go to the Andes but we did the wine tour and spent one day just walking around for hours. Mendoza was not really rushed. That was a silly point.