The infamous Mr Hugo

Trip Start Nov 15, 2012
Trip End Jul 10, 2013

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Flag of Argentina  , Mendoza Province,
Monday, March 4, 2013

We spent a couple of days, making up time, in Mendoza Argentina, before departing on our trip down south with Pachamama Bus (Pachamama meaning mother earth in ancient Mapuche). We endured a bus journey which was supposed to only be 7 hours but due to the road works in the Andes and the painful boarding crossing at 2:30am, which took about 3 hours in itself, the bus ended up taking us 11 hours! We have learnt already to add at least an extra 2-3 hours onto any bus trip we take, no matter what it's advertised as being. In fairness, the buses in Chile themselves give any other country in the world a run for their get food, the chairs just about go fully back so you can lie down and they have movies and waiters...probably better than a business class flight!

Eventually arriving in Mendoza around 8:30am we traipsed off to our hostel, checked in and crashed for the most part of the day, having not slept a wink on the bus. That evening we went on a mission to find a good bottle of Malbec (which the Mendoza region is famed for) and a delicious Argentina steak - which as I'm sure you all know Argentina is famed for. After an hour or so of walking through the town we arrived at a little restaurant that seemed to offer what we were looking for. It was fricking delicious...the steak and the Malbec, my mouth waters as I type this now - cant wait to go back to Argentina for some more.

Our other mission in Mendoza was the wine tour with the infamous Mr Hugo. Mr Hugo is well known around the globe by travellers as "the guy" to go to for a fun, cheap and somewhat crazy day out amongst the wine farms of Mendoza. We had met an Irish couple at our hostel and we decided to go together so off we went on the bus to find Mr Hugo. The whole concept, if you can call it that, is that you hire a bicycle and spend the day cycling around all the vineyards, tasting wine along the way.

Ok, here is the math: free wine + bicycle + main roads + beautiful beer garden + chocolate and absinthe tasting = do I even need to tell you! In fairness our chronologicalities (if that's even a word, it is now) kicked in and due to the roads being somewhat horrendous we were a little more tame than the stories we have heard. It was a great day out, our new Irish friends were fantastic company and Mr Hugo very kindly feeds you free wine if you return the bikes safe and soundly before 6:30pm.

Next day it was up early to catch our bus back to Santiago. The journey back,this time in the day, didn't take quite as long but OMG it was scary, but oh so incredibly beautiful. You literally climb the Andes, up to around 4000m, on the way from Chile to Argentina, and as we know, what comes up, must come down again...and down it comes, through the most spectacular sights but holy sh*t you feel like you are, at any minute, going to drop off the side of the mountain. It's not a journey for the faint hearted but we had been told by Marge (Chris mom), as well as numerous other people along the way, that the journey was a must...and I'd do it all again to take in more of the beauty it had to that's saying something as I am not partial to bus journeys, never mind ones of that nature.

Safe and sound back in Santiago, feeling a little worse for wear due to the whirlwind visit to Mendoza and 20 hours of bus rides, we hung out with our Casa Roja friends for a few bevies and then it was off to bed, early to rise for the start of our Pachamama Bus Tour down south...
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zandz on

sounds like such an amazing trip! glad you didn't fall down anything, on the bus or on the bikes :) xxxxxxxx

Paul on

Sounds like you will need some boxes of liver pills soon ! The buses sound wonderful, scary and exciting all at the same time !

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