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Argentina - heading north to Mendoza and Salta

Time for adventure and good wines

sunny 26 °C
View Year Off 2007 on Lejla's travel map.

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Mendoza and Salta likewise as Patagonia is a must for most Argentina visitors and the climate is great and there is much to do.
Already the journey from Chile (8hrs on the bus during the days) takes us through amazing landscapes and country side.

Mendoza is the wine factory of Argentina. 80% of the countries production is here. Most of it is not for export as the locals just finish it and hence, next to horse riding, paragliding we decide for the half day winetour. Some funny people on the tour, but managed to buy a bottle for $15 (15 pesos = 2.5 pounds) which can´t be bought other than in the United States due to a binding 5 year contract the bodega has signed...there is is sold @ 70 dollars the bottle. Probably the poshest bottle we had our entire life. Being shattered after a 18 hrs bus journey to Salta we just had it in our hostel and i needed a nap afterwards. Not used to alcohol anymore or...

Well, the local drink in Chile was the Pisco sour. Kind of a grappa, served in a prosecco glas with lime juice and some nice sugar topping around the glas. Nice one ! BUT defininitely lethal as so yumm !

Activities and Mendoza: just arriving we had the same spiel as in many other places that the first day the weather is dissapointing and hence we don´t get a feeling for the place after day one. Day by day the weather improves, we extend the stay in the hostels and end up being nearly 5 days in Mendoza and even 7 days in Salta where it is finally boiling hot. What a difference as we got so jealous that you lot were doing BBQs in April in the UK, Switzerland and Germany.

Day1: To enjoy our time we rent bikes and go to the local Zoo which was really nice as it is located in the huge San Martin Park

Day2: Horse Riding. How lazy are these boys. Still a nice and easy trip as we ride up and down some nice mountains. I must admit i was looking for a little bit of action on these nice animals, but it wasn´t meant to be. Saw some really ugly dog though, apparently a mexican creature, not sure whether the locals were just taking the micky telling us chistes..ANYWAY, it the story made perfectly sense to us and we were entertained.

Day3: Winetasting (1 industrial bodega, organic olive oil factory - bought some nice stuff for my skin here, organic bodega). This is only a half trip and really interesting as well. Originally, we intended to do the bike & wine tour, but somehow nobody we met was raving about it, hence we gave it a miss

Day4: Paragliding. Now this was a hightlight as it was the first high adrenaline activity for me. Flew from approximately 1600m, luckily my instructor was a professional who is parapeting for more than 24 years and also flies a lot of competitions. We did some acrobatic stunts and some attempts of freefalls. Wasn´t scared which helped and really loved these 20min in the air, but must admit, i am done on it for a while as i got a little bit sick and wasn´t sure whether i would make it...(not pucking). It is the same as sea sickness and if you have ever spent any time on a boat with me, you know what i am talking about.

All in all, we leave Mendoza on a high, even with some little disasters on hostels....not worth boring you on those though....

Next stop SALTA
Didn´t really think to much about Salta the day we arrived. Yes, exactly, it was too cold again. We intended to stay for a couple of days, but once we changed hostels, met some nice people, waited for good weather, we did change our mind. There is loads to do here and no wonder this is one of the MUST places for people to visit. The original plan was to hire a car and do our first tour, driving ourselves to Cachi and Cafayate, but we headed for some adventure first.

Canopy, gosh this is so much fun. It is also called something similar to tyroling or so. Basically it involves you being connect to a zip and a carabiner and off you go from one moutain to the other crossing rivers, lakes or hills. We did this tour with an Argentinan super woman and her daughter and managed to converse in castelano for 2 whole days as they were on our other trip as well. Well, we got invited to an asado, BBQ, when we return to Buenos Aires, so it was worth the pain.

Downhill moutain biking. Again what a trip, we just loved it. We drove to the national park, stopped at the top and headed downhill for the next 5 hours, occassionally stopping to gain breath, have some food, have a chat and finished 45km later on a complete high !!!

The other days we just spent lazying around, Simon checking about every bar whether they would show the ManU Champions League game, which they lost so badly after all the hoo haa b4hand,...going for runs pretending to get fit and eating far too much in particular red meat, but in hinsight that was a wise thing b4 heading to our next adventure, BOLIVIA

Posted by Lejla 13:25 Archived in Argentina Tagged backpacking

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