The poser that is Mendoza

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hostel empedrado

Flag of Argentina  ,
Thursday, November 18, 2010

We woke up hot and sticky, the room was stifling and we were both knackered clearly the result of jet lag and overindulging last night. It was about 9.30 am so we got up to get a drink from the breakfast table.  This hostel provides a great breakfast, rolls, ham, cheese, pancakes, omelettes, fruit, cereal, pastries but neither of us had it in us to eat anything (we still couldn't fit anything else in) so we went back to bed for a while.  The intention for the day had been to catch the bus to Maipu, hire a couple of bikes and visit a few wineries and bodegas to sample some more of the Malbec that this region is so famous for.  It was apparent though that that plan was to be put on the back burner as we could barely keep our eyes open.  After booking a bus to Puerto Madryn for the next day and getting another couple of hours sleep we decided that this was ridiculous, we couldn’t bear to waste a day so we went out for another walk around town to get some fresh air.  On the way we stopped off at the huge supermarket and bought a large carton of pure orange juice – I find vitamin C often does wonders in these situations.

We explored more of the town and found that it had numerous lovely parks amongst the strikingly beautiful old buildings and fountained plazas.  It really is a vibrant, showy, cosmopolitan place with a thriving cafe culture and a proliferation of small expensive boutiques.  As we were practically fit for nothing we sat in the park with the sun shining watching the world go by and for the first time in ages got to read a book that wasn’t a Lonely Planet or Rough Guide, it was bliss.  After a few hours we eventually started to feel a little bit hungry so we went to the Mercado Central a food market selling meats, vegetables, spices, olives, cheese and snacks (and quite frankly it was cheap as chips).  We were quite taken with the whole carcasses hanging up and pigs heads on display but we couldn’t work out what one of the animals was – the size of a small pig but it looked to have a bird shaped head – what the hell is going on here in Argentina?  We ended up sharing some meat and ham and cheese empanandas which we have become quite partial to already which is a worry as they must be calorific being encased in thick pastry.

We decided that that was breakfast, lunch and dinner knocked on the head so made our way back to the hostel for an early night walking past countless ice cream shops that were packed with locals- the bus journey in the morning was to be our longest yet at a staggering 22-23 hours to get over to Puerto Madryn the breeding ground for Southern Right Whales and a whole host of other aquatic mammals on the Atlantic coast of Argentina, now that was going to be interesting.  Being the eighth largest country though behind India it is hardly surprising I’m sure that we are in for a few more of these mammoth journeys over the next few months.  Everyone seems to travel by bus here as air-tickets in comparison can be exorbitant and from our experience so far, albeit for a much shorter time, they have been good, relatively cheap and reliable – even the onboard toilet didn’t stink for the first few hours - what more do you want?
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