Red, red wine

Trip Start Oct 05, 2005
Trip End Apr 06, 2006

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Thursday, November 10, 2005

After a not-to-gruelling night bus, I arrived in Mendoza, yet again dazed and confused (seem to be developing a theme here). The weather was scorching and the hostel had a pool, so I spent most of the day sunning myself and generally living it up poolside.

Sussed out a vegetarian restaurant on the same road and vowed to go there tonight with Tiphaine when she arrived, but she was much later than I expected and I was practically eating my hands by 10pm, so ventured there alone. The owner had, as promised, scrubbed up for the occasion with a suit and bow-tie. It had obviously proved a vexing outfit to put together, or maybe it was the responsibilty of rustling up something vaguely interesting out of queso and spinach, but he was howling drunk by the time I got there. He swayed from one table to the next, trying hard to keep his balance while holding a tray. When he went out the back to heat up my food, I though he had collapsed, there was such a racket emanating from the kitchen. He was like Basil Fawlty on acid.

Mendoza is famous for its wines, so I visited a few bodegas with Tiphaine, a Swiss girl and an Irish guy. The first one we got to in a cab, as it wasn't far from town, and had a scrummy lunch outside in the garden restaurant, followed by a little tour of the winery and a tasting. The next day we booked a 'tour' of the bodegas, not as good, but it did take us to an olive oil factory as well.

I managed to finally get in touch with Maria, Grace's niece, who lives nearby, so Tiphaine and I went round one evening, and took her some of Los Potreros's finest Malbec that I'd been carrying around for an eternity. She had a huge St Bernard dog called Platón, who scared the living daylights out of me by charging at me from the back door and pinning me up against the wall. So glad I brought the wine to take the edge of my nerves, and I proceeded to drink rapidly while Platon eyed me from his rug.

The hostel seemed to think we wanted to hear blaring music all the time, so I didn't actually sleep much in Mendoza. This wasn't helped by the Chileans we were sharing a room with, who would come in drunk in the middle of the night and put the light on and talk. GRRRR! Need sleep like never before. Have started avoiding holding a knife...
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