Sunday, January 13, 2013

Malbecs and backpackers

We left the bottom of the world and flew to El Calafate, from there took a 4hr bus to El Chalten...a backpacker town of 600, just outside Mt. Fitz Roy, an icon of Argentina. This place felt even more like Colorado, probably because of all the American backpackers in full gear. For our one full day there, we hiked around the mountain...super cold and windy at the top, then toasty warm back in town. That night we headed back to El Calafate. Such great food in both of these towns...think local, some vegetarian, and microbreweries. This hostel had a great view of the mountains, it's a shame we couldn't stay longer. The next morning with a few hours to spare before our flight, we hired a driver and drove to the big glacier park. We saw huge pieces slide off the glacier walls and crash with sounds of thunder into the lake. Best part was that we had the park to ourselves since we arrived much earlier than the tour buses.

That afternoon we flew off to Mendoza, stopping first at Buenos Aires. The BA airport looked very familiar, and we soon realized that we had landed at the wrong airport! We rushed past baggage claim to talk to someone in the office, who told us there was a bus waiting to drive us to the correct airport in town. Then we realized we'd need to grab our checked bags. Thankfully the security is more lenient here and Jess got through without a proper flight ticket and got our bags. We loaded up the bus and away we went to AEP!

Pow! Thump thump thump...went our bus as I yelped a bit. We got a flat! Needless to say, our flight took off without us but we were able to take the next flight. The wine would be waiting! And this was really just the first hiccup of the trip.

Travel books say that you'll know you're in wine country as soon as you arrive in Mendoza, but I didn't feel it until we were a 45min bus ride away in Maipu, on rented old cruiser bikes. It was a scorching 100degrees and I wasn't sure how wines could grow in such a desert! But they do. Thankfully we sampled some chilled Savignon Blancs and Torrentes white wines besides just the typical Malbec.

We rode to 4 bodegas/wineries over about 5 miles, then our last stop was a beer garden where we met fellow Coloradans and English speaking new amigos. Then again, I'm not sure we heard/saw any Spanish speaking visitors at the wineries anyway.

We ate our first tacos of the trip that night. You'd think tacos would be more popular, but I guess that's a tex-mex thing. I've definitely had my share of pizza and ham and meats here! Enough for the year I think...good thing there's wine to counteract the cholesterol, and some fruit street vendors.

We left Mendoza via a 14 hour bus ride, nervously sitting behind a young couple with a baby. We dreaded the worst, but it was fine. Along the drive, the bus attendant had us play bingo. Hilarious!...thankfully Jess translates numbers well. What was even funnier apparently were the jokes the attendant told and we laughed at our cluelessness.

Back in BA, and now that Jess has extended his trip a few days, we've decided to take a bus trip south a few hours to Pinimar for a couple nights stay. We must have bad luck with buses because this one had a tire problem as well, delaying us 30min or so.

Funny how people here don't seem to mind, or realize that complaining wont get them anywhere like it does in the states. Not sure if either side is better, but I think we can learn from each other. Be patient yet stand firm for your rights.

So two more days on the beach, two more in BA then I'm back in denver for two days. Definitely looking forward to getting my fix of cool temps and snowboarding til I hit up round two of travels! Driving past all these lush fields is getting me excited for farming in denver this summer too!

No comments:

Post a Comment