On crossing the Andes

Trip Start Mar 07, 2007
Trip End Oct 04, 2007

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Saturday, May 19, 2007

Next stop, wine country.

Border crossing - painful, 3 hours, 1 hour in line, another hour to get the passport stamped, another hour to go through every bag on the bus looking for fruit which Iīm sure one well trained dog could do much faster. My back was spot checked for a thorough going through which was so unthorough I really do wonder why they bother.

The Andces however were amazing, huge, grandiose. Bigger than any mountains I have ever been enveloped by before, the ski fields in there were amazing, and iīve recently learnt they are the most exclusive after Aspen. I found them way scary after my only skiing experience in Sweden on kid slopes, thes were serious fields, very long and steep.

Agentinians are SO NICE and so helpful.We met some at lunch the other day and Simon was having a lovely conversation with them, and they had this grill on their table full of exciting meats, and we didnīt know what to order, so they were like, try some... Simon assumed he was getting a taste of the wicked looking fillet... but no, they wanted him to try some tubular, curly intestinal looking stuff! And were so excited and expectant for him to eat it (HAHAHAHA) i was crying laughing at him cut a little piece of anf bring it to his mouth maybe 7 times, with them watching expectantly! He eventually turned it down, to their amusement, luckily!

Activities in Mendoza.
One day we went to their botanical  gardens, which I have realised are one of my favourite things to see in cities, they are often the only quiet pretty places. And on Mendoza, on a Sunday they are the place to be. We climber to the highest point in Mendoza, which was closed so we couldnīt take in the Andes views, but still the scenery on the way up was grand and desertlike. 

We also braved the zoo, which was cool, more international than La Paz zoo, but still a whole lotta feeding going on, and people banging on cages etc. There was a handsome Mandril, they are massive Congo apes(?) with long blue stripes down their noses and pink in the middle. He stared intently at a blonde girl for 4 minutes, before running over to her, wanking furiously for 12 seconds, coming in his hand and eating it!!! She was serioulsy grossed out! It was hilarious.

Yesterday we went wine tasting in Maipu, you can go on an overpriced tour or self guide. Of course we self guided. You have to catch the bus out there, we of course caught the wrong one - 171 not 71, and got drōpped off outside the prison in the middle of nowhere, so we self-guided a taxi out there after that, got bikes, and started. The wineries are kind of in an industrial area, with massive trucks going both ways down the road that you are teetering down on your bike, not quite the quiant roads we were imagining!! But it got better as we moved along, the wine was really nice, although you had to pay as much for tastings as you can buy a bottle for in town. The chocolate shop was great, they brew spirits, creams etc.  Simon got a bit tipsy on their whiskey and on the bus on the way home he went flying off his seat across the bus and landed on the floor when it turned a corner, which had us both in stitches! Silly boy.

Buenos Aires tonight, another overnight bus, sigh. 13 degrees there, so rugging up.
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