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Published: October 13th 2010
After a not so great nightbus from Cordoba it felt like we walked 10 mile to the hostel but was probably more like 3. When we got to the hostel there was a lovely Kiwi woman who showed us round explained the trips and give us the key for our own 6 bed dorm. We had decided to stay at Emperando Hostel in Mendoza it wasnt on the lively street but it was cheap, had great ratings (and deserved them), you got a free glass of wine every night and then the staff were really friendly. As we were both shattered from lack of sleep we slept most of the day, went to the supermarket then just chilled around the hostel.
It was the first time in South America we had cooked for ourselves and not enjoyed it, we had pasta with Broccoli but the pasta was cheap and you could tell. After pasta we took advantage of the cheap booze, 6 pesos a litre of beer, 10 pesos a litre of red wine both were 1 pound and 1.50 respectively we then played poker with corks not quite satisfying my hunger for a game. As Hollie was shattered she was
drunk after half a bottle of wine and I was pretty tipsy off 3 litres so we headed to bed.
30th Aug (Day 1)
It had read on hostelworld that our hostel had the best breakfast in Mendoza and it was damn good, it was self service but you could have as many eggs as you wanted and any which way you desired, croissants, bread rolls, pancakes with apples, cereal, juice, tea and coffee. Me and Hollie took full advantage of the quality breakfast especially after a disappointing tea the night before. Once we had stuffed ourselves we asked hundreds of questions to the staff before booking a Bodegas tour (Vineyard tour) for the afternoon. We used the morning to have a brief look round Mendoza, I say brief because they have a siesta time from 1 till 5 so every shop except the supermarket closes at 1.
We got the Bodegas tour at half 1 and were picked from our hostel and firstly taken to an Olive oil factory. They showed us all the different processes of making olive oil then give us a tasting session in the shop with an option to buy, I wasnt impressed
with the tasting session I mean who eats olive oil soaked bread?
After the olive oil factory we were taken to a massive winery called Vistandes where we were showed round by a woman who knew everything about wine and the processes that took place, we learnt alot. We were then taken to a bar where we were showed how to properly drink and indulge wine. I actually found a wine that I like it was called Vistandes Torrontes 2008 and wasnt even that expensive 30 pesos (a fiver). After trying 3 wines at Vistandes we headed to a small winery called Carmine Granata which looked like a collection of old sheds. We were surprised to find out that there wine was alot more expensive, about 50 pesos a bottle, with the premium wine being 200 pesos a bottle, too expensive for even the tour guide to have ever tasted. The wine was getting old now so I was glad to move onto the liqueur factory where they didnt tell you anything about how they made the spirits just stood you round a barrel and give you various shots of grapa, pisco and sweet wine liqueur.
Now fairly tipsy we
bought a bottle of champagne for new years eve in Sydney then got back on the bus to our hostel. The wine tour finished at half 7 and we couldnt be bothered cooking so we grabbed 2 ristorante pizzas, shot them in the oven and ate them while watching PS I Love You (bullied into watching it by Hollie and 2 girls from the hostel).
Over the next few days we didnt do much really we sampled the street nuts dipped in hot sugar and the submarinos (hot milk and a small piece of dark chocolate) which were delicious and drank on a night but apart from that our Mendoza time was our downtime. Although the last day in Mendoza was fairly embarassing it started off by being followed all the way aroung Mendoza by a stray dog only getting rid of it by going in a shop with 2 exits and sneaking away. After that a guy at the tourist office told us it was easy to get to a mall nearby so we got the bus. We spent too long on the bus and the locals on the bus started shouting in spanish at us that we
were going the wrong way until a 15 year old girl showed us the way to the bus stop. She then explained to the driver when to tell us to get off at the mall, although he forgot to tell us and an elderley man at the back of the bus shouted for the bus to stop so we could get off. When we got to the mall we went round a fairground inside the mall very similar to Metroland and again made an embarassment of ourselves buying a ticket after a long explanation in Spanglish that only bought us enough to play 1 game. We decided it would waste abit of time if we went to the cinema and remove any possibility of us embarassing ourselves anymoreso we went to see Origin/Inception.
I really the film, I love films where you come out of the cinema and talk about the film for the next half hour, the plot was brilliant, it was clever and reminded me of the first time I saw the Matrix.
After the cinema we got the bus back to Mendoza, grabbed our bags said goodbye to a couple we had met and headed to
the bus station for our last night bus! GET IN!
I didnt know what to expect from Buenos Aires as the only attraction in Lonely Planet was Evits grave so I cant say I was looking forward to it, althoug I was looking forward to The Millhouse Hostel.
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