Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mendoza, Argentina - Feb 23rd-25th, 2011

Traveling: I took a bus, it took about 16 hours and cost about 380 Argentinian pesos, slightly under $100 USD.  It was comfortable and I slept a good portion of the time.  I also typed up a bunch of stuff on my laptop and read the other part of the time in Spanish to learn a little more since there was nothing else to keep myself occupied.  I ended up meeting Rick getting off the bus here, and traveled a few more places with him.  He's a chill dude that travels a ton, and when he doesn't have money to travel anymore, he sets up shop to make money to fund future travels, my kind of person.

Culture/Stuff about there: This area is not known as a large tourist attraction, it is simply the wine area of Argentina where most of their wines are produced.  Argentina as a country are very well known for their steaks and wines.  I was heading over to Chile, so why not make a stop at my first winery in an area well known for it on the way.  Other than that, it is your normal smaller city with not too much going on. 

Language: Spanish, besides Brazil and some of the French owned countries up North, everywhere in South America speaks Spanish. It does change from location to location, just like how people speak differently in California than New York. It was nice to be able to try and recall some Spanish from high school, and attempt to start learning again. I did a little Rosetta Stone here, but knowing the key verbs is crucial to get points across, even if they are not used correctly.  People are nice and will help if you try.

Safety: I felt rather safe here, it is a small city area with not much going on except for the wineries that are plentiful to visit.  However, a lot of streets out of the main area seemed poorly lit, as well as lots of random ditches to funnel the rain.  Walk cautiously on the sidewalks to not become a victim to them.

Transportation: It is best to just walk the city area as everything is close here, and take charters to any events you want to do such as visiting wineries or going rafting.

Watch out though, apparently the roads flood easily

Population: 111,000 - it's a small city to see while passing through

Currency: Argentinian Peso, it is approximately 4 pesos to 1 USD

Place Stayed at: I believe I stayed at hostel Internacional, it was fine, nothing special.  It also had some more of its own hostels through out the city to party with which was nice.  However, I think some of the others were nicer and I'd recommend them over this one.

shot from outside w/ the graffiti 

Ooooops, looks like we could reach down and grab some alcohol to take shots of.

Food: The way to go in Argentina is just steaks, steaks, and more steaks, with tons of wine.  We had about 5 good bottles of wine, and amazing steak dinners each for about $120 total or so.

They were happy I was getting a shot in front of their place


Entertainment: The rafting was fun, white water rapids.  I think we did a level 4/5 or something like that.  It was my first time and supposed to be challenging, however I thought we did not go through enough challenging stuff, still fun to do for a first time.  And the view through the Andes mountains was something surreal.

Let's do it up

Little man stepping up to the plate, there is probably an age requirement in the USA, but not here

Not sure if he was having fun with me, or pissed that I snapped a shot of him

Some Randoms of us:

The toughest part by far

Notice who has no paddle, we were joking about how it was not tough enough to potentially fall out, and then we stood up and hit a rock, which tossed 3 of us over, and my paddle down stream

Myself and the Andes Mountains


Team shot afterwards

So insanely peaceful, would love to sit somewhere like this all the time

Same thing

The water was freezing, it was not worth it to stand in the water for this shot

Next was the wineries, which Mendoza is very famous for in South America, I am not sure how they compare with the rest of the world.  I will just post a bunch of the pics from the wine tours.

    Sure, I'll take some grapes to kick it off

Where a bunch of the wine is stored

All dem barrels

And me with them

My lovely tour guide pouring for the whole group

My crew

Wine fields where the grapes are grown

Not sure, I like it though

The fields again

Rick going to town

That's quite a bunch of bottles

The wine cellar for tasting

I had no idea there was an English explanation, I sat at the Spanish table for half of the explaining

Take it to the house

We also went to learn about oils and some food sampling as well

Internet: It was not great at the hostel, but sufficient

Sites to see/Things to do: This is a great area to do the rapids and wine tasting, nothing else special though

Recommendation: No nightlife or anything, skip this city if you are pressed for time.  If passing through with free time, stay for a few days and enjoy the activities I did

Other Pics:

Graffiti #1

Graffiti #2

There was a beauty pageant which I idiotically missed

A decent shot of the Andes in the distance


She took orders on the laptop and processed them remotely, odd for a McDonald's

The center of the town had a big event going on

The busy street at night time

A shot on the way back from the rapids, I wish I had a better camera to capture the way this place truly looked

Rating: 6/10



  1. Regarding "Safety": It's shocking you feel safe anywhere in the world with regards to your feminine frame .

    -Jim D

  2. haha thanks Jimmy, I'm guessing w/ my frame they feel that perhaps I'm too easy of a target so they move on to tougher to attack people.