Mendoza

This last weekend I visited Mendoza, Argentina. It’s located in West Argentina in the foothills of the Andes, also known as the wine country of Argentina.

Thursday: After a surprisingly enjoyable 12 hour bus ride my friend Adam and I reached the city of Mendoza. Got to the hotel, took a stroll through San Martin Park, had lunch, and took a long siesta. That night we went out for some drinks and pizza, nothing too crazy.

Friday: Picked up at 8:30am for our wine tour in Uco Valley. Besides our amazing guide and driver, it was only me, Adam, and a retired psychology professor from Perth, Australia named Warren. We toured three bodegas, or wineries, each with equally incredible views of the Andes, incredible wines, and food pairings. That night we made plans for the rest of our weekend and went out for a beer at a local Irish pub.

Saturday: Picked up at 8:30am to go trekking in the mountains. Besides another amazing guide Juan, it was me, Adam, two Brazilians, and a fire fighter from San Francisco. A veryyy fun group! We started our day visiting the dam Potrerillos, used to irrigate the wineries and city of Mendoza. Next was the gravesite of mountaineers who died in their attempt to climb Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas. There were gravesites for climbers all over the world, mostly unsuccessful due to weather conditions, hypothermia, or blindness. After this we visted Puenta del Inca, a naturally formed bridge used by the Incans to cross from Chile to Argentina. As we steadily climbed higher into the mountains, we stopped for lunch and to take pictures of Aconcagua, and then made our way up to Cerro de Cristo, the border in the Andes between Chile and Argentina. At this point, I felt like we were standing on top of the world. Despite the freezing temperatures and intense wind, it was a glorious moment for me! Of course this day was going wayyyyy too smoothly for it to be real life, so we got a flat tire on the way down from Cerro de Cristo. Spent about an hour pulled over on a switchback trying to figure out how to change the tire. On the downside, we broke our jack. On the plus side, this was by far the most beautiful place anyone could have a flat tire. After this, we made our way to Aconcagua park to walk a loop around Lagunas de Horcones, and then headed back. Adam and I were picked up by our Belgian hostel owner, Lucas, and taken to his cabin to spend the night in the mountains with him, his wife Virginia, his daugher Diega, and his dog Candy. After a hot shower we made a bonfire, grilled out and indulged in a couple bottles of red wine.

Sunday: Juan picked us up with two other travelers, one from Holland, the other from France, and we headed back into the mountains to spend the day with a Gaucho family riding horses. I was a little apprehensive, seeing as I’ve been tricked into quite a few horseback riding excursions that were tacky and painful, but this day turned out to be quite the contrary. I were invited into his home for some Maté and bread, and headed out into the mountains for the day. After a couple hours we stopped by a stream and had lunch, and then rode back to his house. These were some of the greatest views I saw all weekend. That night we got back on our bus and arrived in Buenos Aires 12 hours later.

By far one of the best weekends I’ve had since I left for vacation to study abroad.