Day 83: Biking Round Wineries in Mendoza


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South America » Argentina » Mendoza » Mendoza
June 28th 2013
Published: July 4th 2013
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We woke up this am ready for some biking! The sun was starting to shine, and the day looked better than yesterday. We decided (well I prompted) that we set the alarm for 9am cos there was no need to get up early as the sun rises so late here. Sweet, slight sleep in! We wandered down to meet our lovely hosts for breakfast and had a super yummy breakie of fresh croissants, toast, cereal, coffee and fresh juice! All filled up we decided even though Jorge had explained to us how to get the bus to Maipu last night, we would just get a taxi as it was easier. In order to get the bus we had to find a shop somewhere we we could top up a bus card and we are getting a bit fed up with our useless spanish and the lack of any english around Argentina, so taxi it was!

Once changed, Jorge called us a taxi after warning us to be careful on the bikes, and not drink too much, he came out and explained exactly where the taxi drover needed to take us and what route he needed to take. We were like yes dad! Ok dad, we wont be late! 😊 They are adorable! The taxi ride was fine till we got pulled over by the cops at a random check point and we couldnt work out what was going on but we knew 3 things...1) our taxi driver looked very shitty, 2) the man seemed to be writing him a ticket that later I peered at and it had circled 500 pesos ($100), 3) he did NOT stop our meter and we were stopped there for about 15 mins! We were not happy and neither was he! So there was slight tension for the last 5 mins of the taxi ride and he ended up charging us for the full amount and dropping us off maybe 800m from where we needed to go to hire bikes! Pfft! Ah well onwards and upwards! It cost us about $20 and I am sure the bus would have been way cheaper but no probs cos we made it!

We wandered up the road noticing that everything was shut including 'bikes and wines' which we were planning on booking with. So we moved down the road to Orange bikes where a massively overweight, sweaty, greasy but lovely guy met us and introduced himself and his wife who spoke pretty good english. It cost us $8 each for a bike for the day with small discounts for diff places and water before and after the ride. Good deal! So we check to see our bikes were all good and we were off. We had planned out a route with the lady and decided to bike the 10km to the opp end of the wine trail to a winery for lunch and tastings first so that the long bike was done at the start and we could just make our way back after that. For the first about 2km it was great cos there was a bike lane to the side that we could ride on, the sun was streaming and it was a stunning day! They had told us that there was tourist police scattered everywhere that help you out if you need it or escort the drunk tourists back when they arent biking safely! Ahhh that did not give me huge confidence but good they were there. After the first 2 km I started freaking out lil and was pretty scared cos there was absolutely not bike lane and very skinny lanes that we had to share with heavy trucks that were flying by. It was horrible! And my bike was rattling away as I was trying to be on the tiny slither of gravel and rocks next to the road instead. Ben was quite a way ahead of me at this point and I was just hoping we would stop not far ahead. Thankfully he did and I could take a deep breath and re-group. We swapped bikes and his was so much smoother and easier to ride than mine! Bless him 😊 So he got on the rattly bike convincing me that if I stayed on the edge cars would go around me! I wasnt so sure as cars were coming pretty fast in both directions but it got easier and having ben right infront of me helped. We both really expected the road that so many tourists come and bike on to diff wineries, to have proper safe bike lanes...ESP when they are drinking along the way. I just cant believe that they have tourist police but no safe lane for the cyclists!

Anyway, we made it to our first winery – La Familia de Tommaso. It was a small boutique winery and we had been told the lunch was expensive but yummy and that we got 20% off for going with orange bikes. The food wasnt expensive really - $10 each for a meal, which was good. However, the 20% off only applied for one meal – the vegetarian option!! Bit silly so we didnt order that and just paid full price. Both meals were quite nice anyway. We hung out for a bit and then started our tour through the winery. It was cool cos it was a really small winery and so old. 1886 it was founded I think (but dont quote me on that! Ben isnt here to ask!) We then had wine tastings of 4 diff wines including a spanish wine and a dessert wine. Ben and I both like the cab sav one best and looking back we wish we had bought a bottle of it!

We got on our bikes and headed to our next stop. Thankfully on this side of the road there was a bigger gravel area to bike on which was good. After about 6-7km we pulled up to Trapiche. The bike ride was so nice cos the sun was streaming and it had turned into a beautiful clear day. So much so that we had taken our jumpers off while riding! This winery was huge! Totally diff from the last one. We didnt want to do a tour here so just asked about tastings and he said they were usually part of the tour but we had just missed the last tour. So, for 1/3 of the price of the tour we got given 4 bottles of ¾ full wines and left to our own devices to drink it and walk around the winery. We had half a glass of each out on the balcony. It was so beautiful out there and was nice just to relax for an hour or so! But after hydrating ourselves it was time to hop on our bikes and head to our next stop – liqueur, olive and chocolate tasting! Yummm! My fav!

After about 2-3km we found El Olivo. It was def my fav place! We started by getting shown around the olive garden and shown how they make olive oil and then we got to taste bread with vinegar, balsamic vinegar and olive oil along with other tasty things. The balsamic vinegar was so so good we bought kate and us a bottle to take home! Then we moved onto jam tasting and then liqueur tastings. They had the yummiest liqueurs ever! Homemade flavours and Ben and I walked away with 2 bottles – irish cream and dulche de leche! Mm! After tasting and buying up a storm it was time to get the bikes back to orange bikes and thankfully we didnt have too much further to go! We dropped them off and had a chat to the owners about how to catch the bus! They gave us their bus card and it cos us about 60c each! Compared to $20 in the taxi! Ah well. To be fair we did get lost in the bus for a bit and just hopped off somewhere we didnt know where we were but naturally ben had the map out and figured it out!

We made our way back to Maria Antoinetta for dinner cos we knew it would be guaranteed goodness! And it was pretty damn good! Ben had pasta and I had pork. Mmm filled the gap and dint disappoint!

When we got home our Mendoza parents were waiting for us and wanted to hear all about our day! They are pretty cute! They then told us that the tunnel to Chile was shut and they didnt think our bus was going to go tomo! Uh oh! Jorge said no panic its ok! And arranged to meet us down there for breakie at 8am so he could call the company and figure things out! Bless him!


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