May 18, 2008 - Mendoza, Argentina

Ok getting around to a bit of blogging again - its been a while i know

After Bariloche we headed north to the city of Mendoza in central argentina - it lies near the andes at about the same latitude as santiago chile. It also is in the centre of the main wine producing region of argentina and is a beautiful city with wide tree lined streets and alot of plaza's (or parks) One of the reasons for this was that mendoza nearly got completely destroyed in an earthquake in 1861 - so when they rebuilt it they planned for if an earthquake happened again, so the parks would form evacuation points and the wider streets would make it easier to clear rubble from fallen buildings and it makes for a quite a nice city I have to say. It also helps that the climate of the area (which is suited for wine growing) is quite like the mediteranean. It was there equivalent to november in the winter for us and I was able to walk around in shorts and t-shirt during the day although it got a bit cooler in the evening.

Anyways thats enough trivia on the place I think during my stay there myself and the lads got in a bit of white water rafting - on the rio mendoza (river) about an hour and half outside the city up the mountains and it was good craic - i really enjoyed it wasn't peak season for it there as in there summer the snow melts and it rains more so that the river is a metre higher or more - which means that the section of river we descended would be class III to IV difficulty then but it was only class II difficulty when we did it (don't ask me the difference btw). Anyways we had a three hour descent with some tough sections I nearly got flipped out of the dingy twice but some how managed to stay in - on another occasion when we came down over a big rock everyone except myself and shane got thrown into the river (including the instructor!) so i had to help alot of them back in whilst going through a white water and rocks was hectic half a minute or so - it was a good taster for white water rafting but was a bit tame in parts to be honest but no doubt I'll get a chance to do it again somewhere along the way (at the end i was kinda wishing i had of got thrown into the river for the craic - wouldn't have minded a dip!).

Another one of the days we spent there we decided to do a tour of some vineyards sideways style (ps sideways is a film in case you missed the reference) - and the cheapest way to do it was wines and bikes tour where you rent a bike (from a company called bikesandwines) and cycle between vineyards wine tasting (shameless encouragement of drink cycling) It was good day and seen how wine is made and tasted some good wine the best of which was this small vineyards wine called Carinae prestige (which was a matured red wine wit a mixture of malbec, cabernet sauvignon, syrah grapes) this vineyard was run by a french couple (so had bit of french expertise I suppose) but is not very big and don't think they export to europe yet anyways. An interesting point of note is that the Malbec grape is or malbec wine (which is quite nice) is only mainly grown in this region of argentina as the climate and soil conditions necessary to grow it only exist there I think.

Other than that we just did sampled some more fine argentinian steak headed out for a nite then left and headed across the andes for santiago chile.

(ps other good mendoza wines are trapiche and santa julia if your interested)

1 Comment

May 27, 2008
But do they have an Argentinian version of buckfast?

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