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Mendoza (9-13/11/2018)

Cordoba to Mendoza

It was another long bus journey! - we left Cordoba in bright sunshine(!) at 0730 for the 11 hour journey to Mendoza. It's a BIG country - the scenery was amazing - kilometre after kilometre of flat countryside disappearing into the distance - seemingly endless panoramas and big skies. There were quite a few stops at bus terminals but, unlike Brazil where there are meal stops and everyone gets out for 30 minutes, here, only people finishing their journeys were encouraged to get off the bus.

Bus trip Cordoba to Mendoza - first half

Bus trip Cordoba to Mendoza - first half

Bus trip Cordoba to Mendoza - second half!

Bus trip Cordoba to Mendoza - second half!

Bus trip Cordoba to Mendoza - country dwelling

Bus trip Cordoba to Mendoza - country dwelling

Cordoba to Mendoza by bus - finally some hills!

Cordoba to Mendoza by bus - finally some hills!

Bus trip Cordoba to Mendoza - near Mendiza - with vines!

Bus trip Cordoba to Mendoza - near Mendiza - with vines!

Hostal Confluencia

Arrived in Mendoza in the sun, and took a taxi from the bus terminal to our accommodation - Hostal Confluencia - which has an excellent central location.  We had a very friendly welcome from the people on reception. Great large bedroom in a corner of the second floor of the building with lots of windows looking out over the greenery of the trees and down onto a busy crossroads.  A minor inconvenience is that the private individual bathrooms are all located across the corridor from the bedrooms. 'Included' breakfast, lovely roof garden ... at less than 20 euros per night it is the cheapest and best value accommodation we have had on this trip.

Hostal Confluencia

Hostal Confluencia

Hostal Confluencia

Hostal Confluencia

Hostal Confluencia - roof garden

Hostal Confluencia - roof garden

Hostal Confluencia - roof garden

Hostal Confluencia - roof garden


Hostal Confluencia - Street view from our room

Hostal Confluencia - Street view from our room


Hostal Confluencia - Morning coffee seller on street outside

Hostal Confluencia - Morning coffee seller on street outside


Hostal Confluencia

Hostal Confluencia


Hostal Confluencia

Hostal Confluencia

Around Mendoza

Mendoza is a pleasant small city with a population of 140000.  It is the wine capital of Argentina and is lively and affluent. It seems that all roads in the city are lined by mature trees, which give shade from the sun (which apparently shines practically all the time - except for a lot of the time during our stay!), but means that buildings are often quite obscured for photographs! We have not come across many markets on this trip but here in Mendoza the Mercado Central was just round the corner from the hotel.

There are several pleasant squares and a couple of attractive parks to see but, with the poor weather, we did not get the opportunity to visit them.

With help from the Hostal staff and from two friendly local couples who happened to be sitting next to us on different nights, we found a great variety of spots to eat and drink over the weekend - pizza, pasta, parillada (mixed meat barbecue), burger, wrap ... not to mention the liquid sustenance! Fortunately, one gets a lot of exercise travelling, but eating out in South America is rather more copious and the food less healthy than at home!! Must go on a diet on our return!

Mendoza - Around town centre - typical leafy street

Mendoza - Around town centre - typical leafy street

Mendoza - Around town centre

Mendoza - Around town centre

Don't fall down the hole!

Don't fall down the hole!

Typical large hole in pavement! - tree removed - hole left!

Typical large hole in pavement! - tree removed - hole left!

Mendoza - around town

Mendoza - around town

Around town

Around town

Mercado Central

Mercado Central

Mercado Central

Mercado Central

Mercado Central - Cake and sandwich (white) display (Note: the cut, sliced white sandwiches  - popular all over Argentina it seems)

Mercado Central - Cake and sandwich (white) display (Note: the cut, sliced white sandwiches - popular all over Argentina it seems)

Mercado Central - 'Promocion': 2 slices of pizza and a "chopp" (draft beer) for under 2 euros!

Mercado Central - 'Promocion': 2 slices of pizza and a "chopp" (draft beer) for under 2 euros!

Wine

Wine is, of course, the main reason that tourists come to Mendoza. We decided to limit our visits to the two main areas we could get to reasonably easily by local transport rather than take an expensive wine tasting tour. The two areas we visited were Maipu and Coquimbito which are, it has to be said, not endowed with many grape vines! They do have bodegas there, with token fields of vines, but for a better experience, a visit to, say, the Uco valley (about 2 hours away in the foothills of the Andes), would be a better experience.

Maipu

Our first day in Mendoza we had good weather so, after we had spent the morning walking across town to the bus station to buy tickets for the bus to Valparaiso, and wandered round town, we decided to visit the nearby town of Maipu where there are a couple of bodegas which can be visited. It involved quite a lot of time getting to the outskirts of Maipu by tram, walking to the bodegas and into Maipu itself and a long bus-ride back, and turned out to be a bit of a waste of a pleasant afternoon! Firstly, the Lopez winery offering free tastings, which should have been open all day, was shut! Then, the other bodega we visited, the Antigua Bodega Giol was at least open and the lady handling the tastings was friendly, but they no longer produce their own wine and the tastings were mediocre. She did take our photo for their Facebook page though! A couple of photos for the record ...

Antigua Bodega Giol

Antigua Bodega Giol

Antigua Bodega Giol

Antigua Bodeba Giol - tasting

Antigua Bodeba Giol - tasting

Coquimbito

Sunday was not a good day weatherwise, and wineries are mostly closed, so we did not get much more done than a short walk round town. At least it was not raining on Monday when we caught the bus out to Coquimbito and it turned out to be a much more successful day! After 45 minutes on the bus and 15 minutes walk we arrived at the Bodega Rural - one of the oldest bodegas in Argentina. It offered a tour for around 8 euros - an interesting museum of old winemaking implements and a couple of tastings of pleasant wine. At the end we got a pleasant surprise - the full value of our tour tickets could be used to buy bottles or glasses of wine!! Of course, we can't carry any wine, but the value of the tour ticket was exactly the cost of two ample glasses of very good wine each (we had one white and one red each!). Say no more!

Bodega La Rural

Bodega La Rural

Bodega La Rural

Bodega La Rural - vines!

Bodega La Rural - vines!

Bodega La Rural - museum tour

Bodega La Rural - museum tour

Bodega La Rural - museum tour

Bodega La Rural - museum tour

Bodega La Rural - museum tour

Bodega La Rural - museum tour

Bodega La Rural - museum tour

Bodega La Rural - museum tour

Bodega La Rural - tasting at end of tour

Bodega La Rural - tasting at end of tour

Bodega La Rural - 2 ample glasses to savour!

Bodega La Rural - 2 ample glasses to savour!

Bodega La Rural - Tasting!

Bodega La Rural - Tasting!

Walk from Bodega La Rural to Trapiche Bodega (a full hour!)

Walk from Bodega La Rural to Trapiche Bodega (a full hour!)

Trapiche Bodega

The lady serving us at the Bodega Rural told us it was only about 15 minutes to walk on to the other winery we wanted to visit, on unpaved roads through the countryside. She obviously had never tried it herself on foot - we arrived at the Trapiche winery about an hour later! This is quite an upmarket winery/vineyard where we had an interesting tour, followed by a tasting of three very good wines, for a little more than the "Rural" tour - but no freebies this time. It was raining by now - 15 minutes walk back to the main road, and back into town on the bus.

Trapiche Bodega

Trapiche Bodega

Trapiche Bodega

Trapiche Bodega

Trapiche Bodega - tour

Trapiche Bodega - tour

Trapiche Bodega - tour

Trapiche Bodega - tour

Trapiche Bodega - tasting room

Trapiche Bodega - tasting room

Trapiche Bodega - tasting

Trapiche Bodega - tasting

We would have preferred better weather, but we really enjoyed Mendoza and our time there.

Posted by Lindseyalan73 15:18 Archived in Argentina

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