Mendoza, Argentina 9th Feb - 13th Feb

Trip Start Dec 13, 2012
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Trip End Apr 02, 2014


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Flag of Argentina  ,
Sunday, February 9, 2014

Introduction

Mendoza was about a 10 hour trip from Cordoba and its not really on the main tourist route as its a bit out of the way, although a lot of people fly there from Buenos Aires to visit the wine region there. 

The whole city is located right at the base of the Andes so the scenery was beautiful. We didn't go on any tours or walks in the mountains though as we have been following the Andes mountain range all the way from the North of South America....we had already seen so much of it!

So we just spent most of our time there walking around the parks and taking in the scenery of the city and the beautiful old buildings


Highlights

Wine Tour

Yes, another wine tour. Its got to be done while in Argentina. Mendoza is the main area for wine production in Argentina. Just one of the vineyards is the size of the entire wine region in Bolivia that we visited...enormous! Its the 5th largest wine growing area in the world.

We got picked up from our hostel and visited 3 different wineries during the course of the afternoon. We tasted many different wines & the wineries we visited had a strong Italian heritage - although the wine that Mendoza is famous for is Malbec which originated in France. 

The tour took us behind the scenes to the warehouses where its made and the vats were the size of swimming pools!

We also visited a olive farm and learned the processes for how different olive oils are made. It was a very old family business that still used the classic method for oil extraction - a GIANT pestle and mortar style grinder. They also used modern machinery as well, but it was good to see the old method hadn't died out!

Extra Virgin -  The olives must be processed within 48 hours of the harvest and no other chemicals used for extraction. The acidity of the olives are lower making it much healthier for your body.
Virgin - The olives are still processed with no chemicals but there is a longer period between the harvest and the olive oil processing creating a slightly higher acidity level making it slightly less healthy. 
Olive Oil - A small amount of other chemicals are used to extract the oil from the olives which means the oil is not 100% pure.  

FOOD!

While we were here we spent most of our time eating as we had already done throughout Argentina. We had some delicious steaks in local restaurants. The owner of our hotel was a chef so one night he made an Asado for all the guests there, which is basically a giant BBQ of different meats. the next night he made a special meal just for us which was a giant steak on the outdoor BBQ, with giant BBQ'd vegetables to go with it. Delicious!

We also tried Argentinian ice cream for the first time here too. Wowwww. It really was amazing, best ice cream ever. Argentina is famous for Wine, Steak and Ice cream and all of them were amazing! 

 
 Food & Drink


New Tastes: Argentinian Ice Cream - Lots of flavours!

International McDonalds Meal: Italian triple burger with bacon

Local Beer: Quilmes

Strangest Thing to See

Service Station Pubs - The service stations all had tables and chairs outside them so you could go in, but a beer, and then sit outside the service station next to all the cars filling up with petrol and drink a few beers before heading out to the city centre. Bit different! Of course we joined in!

Accommodation

Hostel Estacion - This was a lovely little hostel only 4 blocks away from the main square. We paid $20 a night (which was the second cheapest place in town) for a private room with a private bathroom, but no air con. Breakfast Inc. Tour booking office at reception.

The hostel had a pool, a lime tree and grape vines growing in the garden. Very beautiful. 

Expenses

                
Meals: $2 - $8

                Water: $1.50 for a litre

                Alcohol: $2 for a beer

Wine Tour: $15 for a half day tour

Steak Meal Out: $8


Average Daily Spend per person: $33

Transport there for both of us: $73

Total Spend for both of us inc. Transport: $335

There aren't many pictures for here as we didn't bring a camera with us a lot of the time, the olive pics are really blurry as Fae had water in her phone from the night before, Still working though!
 
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