Tango y Vino

Trip Start Sep 15, 2010
Trip End Jul 23, 2011

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Wednesday, May 11, 2011

After an 18 hour bus ride, I arrived in Buenos Aires run down and tired.  I could easily blame my situation on cheap food, irregular sleep and change of climate, but I am also learning the hard way that I need to take full responsibility for my own health and well-being.  Either way, I've been under the weather and surprisingly homesick.  It's hard to know which comes first, the chicken or the egg. 

Nonetheless, I tried to make the most of my time in the city.  This beautiful capital is the birthplace of tango and known as the Paris of South America.  For the most part I laid low, spent hours meandering the streets and watched free tango shows in the park.

What I was really looking forward to was visiting the vineyards of Mendoza and lazing in a hammock for a few days.  However to my surprise, Mendoza is not the sleepy little town I had orignally imagined.  It has a population of one million!  Nonetheless it is a pleasant city with many tree lined streets and sidewalk cafes.  In general, I have found Argentina (like Brazil) to have a much more European flavor than expected.

Once in better spirits, I met a nice Canadian couple in my hostel who also wanted to do the "bikes and wines" tour.  We started our day on a quiet scenic road, but our map soon led us down a long two-lane country highway.  For three miles we had little to no room to navigate as cars and trucks whizzed by us.  Earlier I had giggled while two girls passed in bike helmets, but regardless of my vain fears of helmet hair, we definitely should have been wearing them too.

The following day we took a bus into the foothills of the Andes Mountains.  We soaked in the nearby hot springs and had a chance to chat with some of the locals.  More than anything, I loved being outside of the city.  It's funny, but the more I travel the more I believe there nothing is more beautiful than nature.
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