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Published: December 31st 2008
Day 630 (19.12.08)
A long but comfy bus journey saw us deposited in Mendoza 20 hours after leaving Salta. After some dodgy advice from the tourist office it took us forever to find our planned hostel and when we arrived it was full. After too many hours we eventually found some beds for the night at the Hostel Damajuana, a very plush place far more snazzy and pricy than we'd normally opt for but we were just glad to have a place to kip after our journey.
Mark found out about a free concert happening in the town's main plaza and once we were settled we headed out down the city's wide avenues, past lots of posh bars and restaurants and through a couple of pretty tree filled plazas to go and check it out. We joined a couple of thousand other people to watch an excellent classical concert with full orchestra, choir and opera singers highlighted by coloured lights shining on the ornamental pool beneath the stage. Superb.
To the final strains of Nessun Dorma we made our way back to the hostel for another typical Argentine meal, steak at 11.30pm!
Day 631 (20.12.08)
well as being a nice city to wander, Mendoza is a big wine area and a note in our guidebook from a couple we'd met in NZ read "Vineyards and bicycles = tipsy fun" that sounded good to us so we caught the bus out to Maipu, just south of the city, where we hired some bikes from Mr Hugo and teamed up with Shannon and Marnie, a couple of Aussie girls, for a tour of the areas bodegas.
Over the next few hours we visited several wineries, a chocolate and liqueur makers and an olive oil factory and tasted as many of their wares as they would allow! It was great fun as we pedalled through the countryside past vine-filled fields and roasted in the hot sun.
We stayed until the last of the wineries closed and kicked us out and then got the bus back to town where we joined the girls at their hostel to finish the last bottle of wine we'd bought. We left it rather late to get back to our hostel and after a mad dash to shower and grab a taxi to the bus station were glad to arrive safely in
time to settle into our night bus before it pulled out of town.
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