Mendoza Take 2
Trip Start Jan 16, 2010
18Trip End Feb 28, 2010
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We took the overnight bus from
Santiago, Chile to Mendoza, Argentina Sunday night. We arrived
around 6 am. With a day to kill before the next overnight bus to
Buenos Aires, we decided to figure out the biking and wine trail and
give it a go. After all we were here and wanted to enjoy what is supposed to be a must do here in wine country . . .
We did. It was miserably hot. I don't care if it is
a dry heat 100 degrees is just too hot. I'd compare it to biking in
Temecula in August. The wine tastings almost always included a tour,
which took up way too much time
wineries before, and lots of them. The tour/tastings ranged from $4 to $6 US..
The scenery was nice and the snow capped Andes were spectacular.
Here are my suggestions if you ever want
to do this:
- do NOT go in the summer – fall
is probably lovely
- get the bike rental place to take
you to the top of the trail and then you can ride downhill to the
different wineries. We did this! The incline isn't steep but it will save you some time and effort and is only a couple dollars more.
- Make sure your bike is in good
working order before you take off (or they leave you)
back rim was bent and the tires needed air. She wobbled all the way
and it wasn't from drinking.
- Be prepared for cars, trucks and
tankers to go whizzing by you at 50 mph – there are no bike lanes
- Go with a group of 4 people and
buy a bottle at each winery. It will be much cheaper and you can
drink it there and enjoy the atmosphere of the winery. (bottles
cost between 15 – 50 pesos - $4 to $13 approx.) The wine tastings
are between 15 and 25 pesos per person and you usually taste only 3.
Finally, we get back to Mendoza's
station and board the bus for Buenos Aires – we paid for first
class this time! We're going to be in luxury . . . An hour into the trip, a guy came from the upstairs seating area, shirtless, yelling about something. The next thing we know
(we are in the very special – 6 seat only – bottom part), the bus
is pulling over into a service area and everybody from the top is
getting off the bus
. No. So there we sat. Finally, we deduced that the AC was not
working properly upstairs (it could be the sweat dripping off the
people and the massive fanning of themselves as they got off the bus that
gave it away). An hour goes by and I finally get off to see the
sunset and ask what's happening. They were waiting for a mechanic
who showed up right at that time. Fixes it in 5 min. flat and we're
off again. Another hour goes by and we have yet to be offered
anything to drink – so much for first class. Our stewerd, was
sleeping in one of the empty 1st class seats. Another
hour goes by and the bus pulls over at a toll booth with a mini
market. Our stewerd gets off the bus with a cooler goes to the mini
market and comes back with a load of “dinners”. Finally! Dinner
is a plate of cold meat and a plate of hot meat, spam cookies, and a
few potatos thrown in. We did get wine (which we got before not in
first class) BUT THEN . . . we were offered 1 glass of champagne and
therein laid the difference. Our stewerd then promptly went back to
sleep. If Debbie wants the 180 degree lay down seats again, she's on
here own. I'll go upstairs (recline to 160) and save the $20. BTW - that was Andesmar bus lines for future reference.