Argentinian beef is SOOOO good!
Trip Start Nov 20, 2009
25Trip End Feb 27, 2010
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This trip we learned that we need to leave LOTS of extra time to get to bus stations. We almost missed our bus to Mendoza. However, the driver saw us as he was just about to leave the curb and after getting a little lecture, we were aboard. I think it was a good thing that we couldn´t understand much spanish!
We hadn´t planned to travel to Argentina, but after what we heard on the ship and at the hostel in Valparaiso, decided that it was a must see. Mendoza and Buenos Aires were highlights that were stated to ¨not be missed¨, so we´re heading that way.
We crossed the majestic Andes and there was still snow on the top of some extremely large peaks. They were all colours of black, gray and brown and red. We climbed for what seemed a very long time, and at one point did 28 consequtive close hairpin turns. It was quite the ride!
The border to Argentina was at the top of the climb and the bus took 2 and a half hours to clear. It was quite the process! That made our US-Canada crossing a piece of cake!
Then began the descent! In all it was a 7 and a half hour trip and it was in a very comfortable 2 decker bus. That was nice, but thrilling to look out one side and see a mountain wall, and the other is a very steep canyon!! Whew!
We´ve lucked into another great hostel, with lovely people and more BBQ. The grapevine-covered patio is a great place to sit and chat over a glass of wine late in the afternoon and all evening, sometimes in a chair, others in a hanging chair. Everyone gets back from their day trip and shares current and past adventures. It´s a great learning experience and a fun way to spend an evening.
Mendoza is famous for the many Malbec vineyards and, believe us, the wine is very good and incredibly cheap. We´re paying 3-5 US dollars per bottle! Beer here is less than a dollar for a liter and tastes a lot like our beer in Canada.
We´re really enjoying the beef here. It´s rather difficult to determine what cut we´re buying, since they butcher it differently, but that hasn´t mattered yet!
This country is much cheaper than Chile. The people are un-hurried and very pleasant. The sidewalks are rather unique in that they are all different types of tiles, done in many different patterns. There are ¨gutters¨on the street, which contain the snow melt runoff from the mountains. It´s really a rather unique-looking thing.
There are a LOT of city buses here.We haven´t used one yet, since we´ve done a lot of walking instead. We´re enjoying that type of sightseeing and it´s not at all humid, so it´s been very pleasant. Besides, it´s a lot easier to ¨peak¨into all of the many little shops when you walk.
We stopped at a corner take out shop and had a ¨Grand Hamburger¨which was: a hamburger, slice of ham, piece of cheese, a fried egg and several different flavoured mayos. One cut in 2 was more than enough for the 2 of us and boy, was it tasty!
Mendoza has a huge park, full of huge sycamore trees, rose and honeysuckle arbors, and a lake. What a great way to spend an afternoon!
We´re here until the 17th when we´re taking a 14 hour bus ride to Buenos Aires (BA). The buses here are excellent. First class has fully reclining ¨bed¨seats, full meals and wine and are only $20 more than regular class. That´s the way to spend a long trip! We leave at night, so most of the travel is during sleep.Hopefully the ride won´t seem that long.
We´ll share again after we get to BA.