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Published: June 12th 2010
So this blog will have to suffice to my two different adventures to Mendoza, since I was unable to write last trip because of earthquake madness. So, anyways, needless to say I have no see two different sides of Mendoza: The Flashpacker Version and the Upscale Traveler Version. So maybe a quick summary of flashpacker version to start:
Rita and I went to Mendoza back in February at the tail end of our month long circle around Chile and Argentina. We were limited to just one full day in the city which was depressing since we discovered after arriving that there really was so much to do. We went ahead to the tourist offices and found some private tour companies but decided that we would just do the bike tour the next day in Maipu. There are two major areas of wineries in the Mendoza area, Lujan and Maipu. Maipu is mostly older, smaller vineyards and Lujan will be the more recognized vineyards by foreigners as they export the most. That night we found a cheap snack on the pedestrian mall near the main plaza and walked around for a while and then went over to the SushiClub restaurant to
Our first vineyard
eat sushi. Apparently you need reservations for that one (even though half the tables were empty) but they managed to squeeze us in. The sushi was fantastic, we needed some good sushi, and then we went to bed happy campers.
It took us a little while to get going the next day, we had decided to try Lujan but were unable to find a bus to the area, so we followed the advice of some random (seemingly) locals at the bus stop area. They helped us get our tickets and find the right bus without ever pushing a service on us, so we asked them who they were with and they said Bikes and Wines tours. So we said ok, we'll go with your tour since you were so helpful and not pushy. We got started a little late in the day, around noon, so we were behind schedule. We got our bikes (no helmets) and headed out using the little map the company gave us. We stopped first at the Wine History Museum. That was interesting and includes a tasting, then we dropped next door to a new place called A La Antigua to do a tour of
their olive oil making process and taste their absolutely delicious chocolates, liquors, olive oil, and jams. Unbelievable stuff. Then it was off to our first winery, we decided to go to one of the further ones and make our way back. We made it down to Tomasso and decided to eat a lunch at the cute tables outside before heading inside. It is one of the oldest wineries in the area and the tour was awesome. Also their wines were fantastic and VERY cheap compared to other vineyards. We headed back up the highway, which is not the safest thing in the world but your only option and we made it to one more vineyard, Tempus Alba, where we enjoyed a full tasting of wine with a beautiful view before heading back to the bikes place. Back there we enjoyed another glass of wine and drinks with the people who run the tours before all running back to catch the last bus in town. We walked up the street north of the main square and found an excellent restaurant and then crashed back at our hostel after a long day.
THE UPSCALE TRAVEL VERSION:
So after major hiking with
the fam in Peru and two days on planes we were ready to have some days of rest and relaxation. We flew over the Andes from Santiago to Mendoza which was a fabulous and short trip with gorgeous views. We took a taxi to the Park Hyatt in the center of Mendoza which is in my opinion the best hotel in the city. When we went to check in they asked if we would like adjoining rooms and we said that would be lovely, they responded by giving us a suite...yes a suite. Our suite was unbelievable, full kitchen, dining room table, living room, huge bathrooms and comfy rooms. really amazing. After the shock wore off, we decided to venture out for a snack and then a late dinner. Over back on the pedestrian street we found a place to get a bottle of wine and then we headed back north of the park and found a local steakhouse to get an amazing dinner at an amazing price. Mom and I may or may not have visited the Casino and she may or may not have won an awesome amount of money on the slots, but that is to be
The next day we hired a car from the hotel and set out on a day of vineyard adventures through Lujan, having an amazing lunch at Bodega Lagarde which was apparently complimentary (5 course meal with wine) and then we finished with a small vineyard in Maipu before heading back to the hotel. We opted for a light sushi dinner since we had such and indulgent day and then decided to get some rest. The next day we set up another day of vineyard tours (surprise) with a driver and a car, less expensive than you would think. We visited some of my favorites in Maipu - starting with Tomasso, a visit to Trapiche and then lunch at Familia Zuccardi (a recommendation from a friend from Mendoza). The lunch was amazing, an asado or grill with tons of meat, veggies, salad, dessert and amazing wines. We finished the day at A La Antigua and tasted all the goodies there again and bought some liquors and olives.
That evening we met a friend from Austin who is living in Mendoza for dinner and went to another recommendation, Restaurant 1884. The restaurant is a bit out of town so
you need to take a taxi, but it is unbelievable. You pull into these gates, which seems strange at first, but soon discover a beautiful building behind tucked away. The meal was incredible, they have meats, seafood and anything you would really want. I had a king crab fettuccine which was amazing. Parks and I ended the night out on the bar street near most of the hostels enjoying a drink with our friend from home before crashing.
The rest of our family trip was really nice, we went on bus through the Andes back to Santiago where we enjoyed a few days there. I spent much of the time meeting with my manager and writers for Tripeezy which was so fun. We had a big get together with all the writers and they are really excited about what is to come. We had some wonderful meals at Liguria Bar and La Mar and enjoyed our stay at the Hotel Orly very much. Its a nice boutique hotel in the middle of Providencia.
So now I am in Lima, about to start my journey North tonight starting with a visit to Trujillo. I am meeting lots of travelers
and its like market research every day just talking with different people. I can't wait to meet up with Emily and Laura in Quito, but in the meantime, I will enjoy some peace and quiet and random travelers in the hostels. Hope all is well at home, I am ready to head north to the sun and beach, its getting a little cold for my taste down here. Cheers!
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I loved your photos and post of Lima, Mendoza, etc. I love those cities so much, and your photos reminded me of my time there. I forgot the full name of the bodega in Mendoza, but it was something "Historia," and it was one of our favorites. My blog is looking for travel reviews, photos, etc, to share. If you have the time, check it out at dirty-hippies.blogspot.com, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Continued fun on your travels! Heather :)