Argentina part II: Cordoba and Mendoza

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Flag of Argentina  , Central Argentina,
Thursday, January 12, 2012

After BA, I planned to head to Cordoba. Cordoba is Argentina's second largest city, and is situated in the foothills of the suerras Chicas on the Suquia River.  It’s located about 450 miles northwest of Buenos Aires. 

I stayed in a hostel call "Tango" which was run by a pair of Columbian brothers.  The hostel was conveniently located in the heart of everything.  I arrived via bus from Buenos Aires around 6AM.  Just like BA, things were still pumping.  Assortments of college aged kids were patiently waiting in lines to enter clubs.  When you are backpacking for long periods of time, you have the luxury of not rushing things.  With this in mind, I decided to take the rest of the day and relax.

I spent the following couple of days exploring Cordoba’s many churches and parks.  The city has a rich history, and offers dozens of churches, each with its own unique story.  The nightlife of Cordoba rivals that of Buenos Aires.  With 6 universities and over 100,000 college students (mainly female), you can find something epic to do every night of the week. 

On my final day in Cordoba, I decided to take a day trip outside of the city and visit a small village located in the mountains.  The bus ride lasted about 3 hours, taking us through vineyards, forests, and fields.  The town itself was tranquil and quiet.  The population had to have been less then 1000 people.  There were no tourists to be found.  I spent the remainder of the day following the Suquia river through the blossoming canyon which it carved into.

That evening, I caught an overnight bus to Mendoza.  Mendoza is known as the leading producer of wine in Argentina.  It is also Argentina’s third largest city.  I was there for a number of reasons, but mainly to experience the vineyards and desert which surrounded the city.  The city itself is OK.  Relative to its size, there is not a lot to do inside the city.  However, a 1 hour bus ride gives you a lot of options.  I planned to spend 4 days in Mendoza, before heading across the border into Chile. 

The first adventure I planned was a visit to the city’s surrounding desert.  The majority of the trip was spent on the bus, which was a bit of a disappointment.  The scenery however, was beautiful, making the trip more then worthwhile.

The following day, I signed up for a wine and bike tour.  The entirety of the trip consisted of a bunch of drunk gringos riding from vineyard to vineyard in search of there next free glass of wine.  Like the desert trip, the best part of the wine and bike tour was the scenery.  It’s hard for a company to mess that up for you. 

After nearly a month in Argentina, I will head to Chile.  I am more then ready to see the ocean again, and experience some cooler temperatures (mid 90’s daily in Cordoba and Mendoza). First stop in Chile is a costal city called Valparaiso.  Time for some surfing and relaxation!
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