Mendoza and Surrounds

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December 5th 2019
Published: December 8th 2019
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After our Estancia experience we are back in the hotel Internacional, Mendoza for a couple of nights, and although very central, the room is small.  You cant swing a cat, small. So, it's  time to find something different and also to pick up a car and allow us to  really explore the area. But before leaving Mendoza, we book a river rafting trip near Lake Potrerillos, about 70 km away from the city. With pickup, a very cheap 24 USD and that includes zip lining which actually turns out to be a little dissapointing. But, the rafting is fun, even though Malcolm cannot partake because of a leg issue, he does spend his day sitting by the side of the river, soaking up Quilmes (beer) and chatting to a bunch of likely lads from Liverpool. In addition, we meet a guy who we later have dinner with  along with his Dad and Uncle and it turns out, that our Malc played rugby against the father, so he's in his element for the evening.

And for those of you who will not look at a map, Mendoza, is a city in Argentina that is closer to Santiago, Chile than Buenos Aires. It sits in the dessert at the foot of the magnificent Andes and is slightly north and  a 1000km west of Buenos Aires.

Anyway, now we have a car and find a wonderful Apartment, Pescara 60, in a Mendoza suberb, Maipu.  This place ticks all the boxes, it's big 65 sq meters, furnished nicely, covered parking and most of all, its central to a bunch of wineries. Oh, how we love that malbec!

For the next week, we visit wineries, on foot and on pedal bikes,  take road trips into the Andes to view the highest peak in the Americas and an overnight excursion to Atuel Canyon, which I keep referring to as  being "just like Arizona".

Then, our lives change drastically, but what a bunch of fun! The Budd sisters (Carla and Kelly), friends from Fiji, who have been traveling in South America for the past five months (since June) arrived in Mendoza. Their travel plans were thrown into disorder due to social unrest in both Chile and Bolivia. The sisters had to return to Peru after traveling to Copacabana, Bolivia and finding the roads to LA Paz blocked because of the ousting of Evo Morales. The only politically stable country in the region turned out to be Argentina and the cheapest flight into Argentina, was into Mendoza. So, we book an additional apartment in Pescara 60 for 4 nights for the girls.

From then on, it's all go, thermal pools, winery tours, malbec, cribbage, 3am nights, dancing, and  road trips. One evening of note was joining locals in a restaurant club, all very staid and doing the tango. Within half an hour we had turned the place upside down and everyone on their feet and dancing. At 2.30 myself and Malcolm retired to our apartment and left "the girls" to continue to wreak havoc. I think we fit more in 6 days than we have done in the previous 8. Finally we book two apartments back in Mendoza city and have an additional day's rafting (again,  fantastic and even more fun than the first time) before a final farewell meal at Azafran ( an amazing meal and a 2.5 hour experience) The girls are heading North on  a three week road trip by car and  myself and Malcolm are going back to Buenos Aries by overnight bus and an airline flight to the most Southern city in the world, Ushuaia.............

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8th December 2019

Good read
Mendoza sounds like a load of fun! Enjoyed the blog.
8th December 2019

Mess in South America.
Is it such a mess in South America? I knew they burnt the subway in Santiago. But in France there is no subway to burn. All lines are closed because of an unlimited strike.
8th December 2019

Mate, you guys! I bet you’re getting up at 6 and having cold showers every day, too! You don’t mention the weather - comfortable? Don’t they get lots of rain there? Anyway, enjoy, if you do. We’re still dry, here and temps are getting up to the high 30’s with summer upon us. Keep it up! D.
18th December 2019

Bula Kev! Finally got to reading your blog and enjoyed tremendously. Had to look up "staid" which my dictionary said meant sedate and unadventurous. But the bars with the girls sounded a bit different. assume you were being sarcastic. hehe Anyways, all is good here with my new family. We're half way through school break of 2 months. Don't have any plans to travel unfortunately as no permit to go to USA where my Mom would pay the tickets and no money to go elsewhere ourselves. It's been beautiful weather. Today first time I turned on air con. Guess summer is here with rain a bit last 3 nights but sunny days. Have Christmas decorations up for first time ever at Sigasiga. Cut pine tree off side of road in Labasa. My last email to you bounced back. Take care brah! Best regards to Malcolm.

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