I am not proud to admit it, but I was unable to disassociate Mendoza, the fine provincial capital in Argentina , with Rainier Wolfcastle’s nemesis on the Simpsons. Therefore, with each turn through Mendoza’s leafy avenidas, I continued to hear Rainier’s voice calling out amidst the various signs advertising the school of viniculture, wine tastings, and wine shops. We are in wine country now, and Mendoza is one of the major growing regions.

Unlike Chile, where the stores offer industrial boxed wine (albeit of surprisingly not bad quality), Argentines enjoy an astounding variety of wines at inexpensive prices in every supermarket, corner store, restaurant and heck—even the bus station. Nowhere is that more true than in Mendoza.

Lex and I are making the long haul from Patagonia, up to Northwest Argentina, stopping along the way, first, in Mendoza, and second, in La Rioja, before we reach the Salta & Jujuy provinces, our next base of operations. We spent the day a bit foggy-of-mind from the overnight bus ride, wandering the streets and plazas of Mendoza, predominately in search of English language books. Unlike in the States, where some titles are published in Spanish, you really can’t find much in English down here. We are in full-on literary crisis mode and if you are reading this now, consider yourself a candidate to mail us books once we settle in Bolivia!

A few apologies are in order for you, dear friend or family member and reader of this blog. First, it seems I’ve got a bit more of an eye for photographing things grown than things built. As a consequence, there are not a great deal of “money shots” from Mendoza to share with you.  Second, without our consent, WordPress has started placing ads on our blog! This is a purely non-commercial undertaking, and if anybody knows how to get rid of the ads please let us know. At the very least, we want to make it clear we’re not pinching nickels off Google links or aligned with whatever Argentine empresario may be featured below.

We enjoyed our day in Mendoza a great deal, both the refreshingly warm and sunny weather as well as the cultural offerings.  As we strolled through the town, we encountered the contemporary art museum, some “milanesa de gluten” at a modest vegetarian take-out stall (they DO exist in Argentina!), and, finally, the Running Of The Hogs. No, not the kind of hog people eat, rather, I’m talkin’ the kinda hog they ride, amigo. Curiously, we witnessed a procession of about 200 guys on Harley-Davidsons cruising the town with a police escort leading the way.

At day’s end, we retreated to our modest hotel, a bit above the center of town. Mendoza, a larger town, has plenty of lodging options. We were happy to stay in an abode free of the party-hardy backpackers or posh foreign tourist who have seized control of places like Bariloche. We wanted to stay with regular Argentine folks, which, on this day, as it turned out, meant staying with a large contingent of Harley riders and the women who love them.  By love them, I mean to say the women who yell out in the night whilst engaging in rowdy biker couplings. There are some things that you just DO NOT want to hear through the walls of your hotel room, regardless of what language they are in. On the plus side, my capacity for understanding Argentine Spanish is certainly improving!


About andesnotthemint

Alexis, Mark, 2 seasons, 1 continent, a very long mountain range.
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2 Responses to Mendoohhza!

  1. mom wyman says:

    Glad to see you made it thru the forest and over those bridges..
    This town looks lovely — beautiful trees – clean level streets!
    and…..very interesting art too.
    Enjoy the beautiful warm weather.
    love- mom w.
    PS: it’s snowing again 3/21

  2. herbert m wyman md says:

    Photos and blogs very informative and enjoyable! Eighteen hours on a bus sounds like more of a challenge than those bridges! What was the bingo prize? Re the ads: they’re very minimal on the page, and do have some interesting links. I don’t mind them. I noticed, though,they’re also very subtly related to the content of the blogs e.g. if you describe food a lot, there’s bound to be an ad from FoodPress with a recipe link, as if to say, if Mark and Lex got you hungry, here’s what to eat ! Countryside descriptions will attract ecological ads. So I checked website: They say the ads enable them not to charge for the blog. You can get rid of the ads by paying $12.00—17.00/year/fees. So far wouldn’t say it’s worth it.
    Wines sound wonderful! By sheer coincidence last week I opened a bottle from Argentinian Patagonia (Zagat wine assortment) Schroeder Estate, family vineyard, est 1927, located in the Neuquen River Valley. Did you pass through there?

    Love, Dad

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