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Published: December 20th 2007
Vineyards in the foreground, The Andes behind, warm sunshine, mucho vino....a good way to spend a Monday
Since the football game last Saturday, i have had another week in Buenos Aires. As well as continuing my Spanish lessons (To perfect in a very dodgy style my Spanish before heading into the real world), I've been to see a Tango show, went down to look around La Boca area of Buenos Aires and had fairly big Friday and Saturday nights out in Buenos Aires. This coincided with Helen arriving in to the city on Friday (but surely only coincidental!) We had a weekend together around Buenos Aires, before heading on to Mendoza in the West of Argentina on Sunday together for 3 days.
Mendoza sits at the base of the Andes and is the centre of the wine growing industry in Argentina. Around the city are hundreds of vineyards and bodegas, with vines stretching as far as can be seen up to the foothills of the snow capped Andes.
It really is a stunning place and completely different to the previous 2 weeks spent in the hustle and bustle of the city. Rather than stay in Mendoza city itself, we stayed (All credit to Helen for organising), in a beautiful vineyard in the Valle de Uco, to
Helen Wine Tasting
To prove she was actually here....and she even let me taste some too.
the South of Mendoza, near Tunuyan.
Despite the very hot days and huge evening meals we got at the posada, we resisted the temptation to stay around the pool all day and managed to get out and about. On Monday, we took bikes out and decided to do a cycle tour around the local vineyards. This was a great idea initially, cycling along lovely roads, the snowcapped Andes to our left and the vineyards all around us. Sampling wines sure is a great way to beat the Monday morning blues!
However, after being on the bikes for around 3 hours, burning badly in the strong sun and cycling to 3 different vineyards, all of which were closed, our enthusiasm was wilting (Can't even organise a p*ss up in a vineyard!). Eventually, just as i though Helen was about to slap me, resorting to pushing the bikes up a gravel road to another vineyard, we made it to the lovely, and open, AndeLuna vineyard. We were shown all around the whole wine making process, from grape through to bottle, and of course savouring the final products.
The remaining 2 days we had in the Mendoza area
Where the magic happens
Maturation in the French Oak barrels in the cellars of Salentein Vineyard
we drank plenty more wine, ate some fantastic food, managed another wine tour and tasting, went on a horse ride and generally just took it easy, nursing our sunburn after the day on the bikes!
Overall the Mendoza area is a really stunning setting with the snowcapped Andes always in the background, and vineyards taking up all the space in the fertile valleys below. The people around are also incredibly friendly which made our stay all the more enjoyable, and we were both quite sad to be leaving the area after only 3 days there.
I´m now en route to Iguazu Falls, while Helen has moved on to Santiago de Chile. For me now the backpacking proper starts with my first overnight bus journey to come, and moving on to stay in hostels while for Helen unfortunately the work now starts with her first trip that she is leading leaving in a few days.
Despite all of the numerous requests from my aparently many pervy friends, i have resisted sticking a camera lens in the faces of the many latino stunners to snap them up for you all. I AM NOT YOUR PIMP FELLAS. Getting deported is
Helen ordered us a small vat to take home
Does this count as excess luggage? It holds 7,500 litres of wine
not how i hope to spend these 4 months. I´m sure I´ll see the number of hits to the blog now drop dramatically so sorry to disappoint. Still, its good to see where everyone's priorities lie!
I hope the Christmas preparations at home are all going well for everyone.
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