Published: January 8th 2012January 5th 2012
Is there a better way to live life. At the foothills of the Andes, the mountain range makes an impressive backdrop to the beautiful little city of Mendoza. I stayed in a great hostel called Hostel Independencie. It was right next to the main square in the city called Plaza Independencie.
Built on a desert, water is a precious commodity here and irrigation ditches run throughout the city. I call them tourist traps; you fall in one of these and you are definitely breaking something. However, because rain is a rarity (it only rains for about 5 times per year) they are needed to water the thousand of beautiful trees that line the streets. As it is their summer, it has been very hot here, 30+ degrees.
Wondering through the city for the last six days has been pretty laidback. I was only going to spend a few days here, but the laidback life and wine is figuratively and literally intoxicating :) I love the plazas and tree lined streets. It all adds to the easy lifestyle. A major part of that lifestyle is siesta is from 1 - 5 each day; so you need to be mindful or
you might as well siesta yourself if you are looking to buy something during the afternoon. Which, I have to say, you quickly start to naturally do only after staying here for a few days. That is in part to the very late suppers (11-12am) and great nightlife on Aristides Villanueva Street.
Besides the ditches and trees you will also notice the many stray dogs that wonder the streets. I saw no cats just dogs, and they are the friendliest and happiest dogs you will see. That may because they do see to get fed handsomely at the restaurants. We had a very well mannered dog come visit our table while we were eating steak. After a while he was rewarded with my final piece of steak.
Mendoza is ground zero for Argentinian wine, especially Malbec, and is one of the eight wine capitals of the world. I went on a great winery tour with some friends to Valle de Uco. We went with an excellent tour company called Trout and Wine. Lots of great wine and a 4 course meal for lunch. The backdrop was the Andes mountain. Life was great and we were feeling "the best"!
It has been hard to concentrate on what I should do next, so I ended up staying extra days in Mendoza to plan the next part of the adventure. It has been sort of a "feed"back loop that I cannot seem to escape from. I may have lost 20lbs climbing Aconcagua, however I think I have done a great job at regaining them with all the steak that I am eating. As I write this I am at an already favorite little afternoon spot across from Plaza Independencie eating (steak), drinking (wine) and inhaling the easy laidback life of Mendoza. There could be worse places and worse things to be doing. :)
There are more photos below