After an amazing journey on the nightbus (it even arrived early) I awoke on the bus to quite the change of scenery.
At about 7.30 breakfast was served. It consisted of a cake, a brownie, two jam biscuits and some dry crackers. One of those moments I really wanted someone next to me to giggle with! As cakes go they were pretty good, and the tea that went with it did the job.
After getting off the bus my first impressions of Mendoza were a bit average. The guy in the hostel wasn’t hugely friendly and the city is just a bit meh. It has some nice parks and houses but otherwise there isn’t much in the city itself.
I managed to kill time until I was allowed to check in properly in a Caffe Nero copy called Caffe Jeff and having lunch at a vegetarian buffet called cuenco. In such a meat loving country the buffet was an unexpectedly good surprise and even had some raw food stuff I think!
I was really tired the first evening so had my first solo dinner out at a Mexican called Taco Bar. Check out the highly authentic agentinian quesadilla, nachos and cup of English Breakfast tea on the side.
On day 2 I went on an afternoon wine tour. My bus was full of a group of British guys who had just summited Aconcagua (a big mountain nearby, apparently the world’s highest outside the himalayas!) so there was a lot of lad banter to pass the time. The tour itself was pretty lame! You spend an hour in a van to go visit two wineries and an olive oil factory but you only get a couple of samples at each winery so no chance of getting tipsy. They definitely didn’t know the British were coming!
Anyway, I did manage to make friends with a girl from another hostel and we went for dinner with one of her friends. It was lots of fun, we had steak and listened to a random band playing in the square. I also made it through half a beer! The steak looks grim but tasted great. The brown stuff was some kind of delicious sauce and the rest was potato cubes with some kind of bechamel and cheese on top. Token salad of about 5 bits of shredded cabbage on the side!
Today was day 3 and after waiting ages for the tour pick up I headed out for horse riding. I was the only person not fluent in Spanish so I had to muddle by a bit! It turned out to be a really good day. We headed out of town for about 30 minutes until we reached open plains and great views of the Andes. The horses were ready when we arrived and we rode for a couple of hours. My thighs were getting tired by the end so it was nice to come back to a waiting bbq with steak, roast veg and salad. I unfortunately spilt loads of meat juice on one of the ladies on the tour when she asked me to pass the meat but luckily she took it very well!
Now I’m on the bus back to Buenos Aires. Its not quite as good as the way out- I have someone sat next to me and there are crying children. It is still a flat bed though and came with yet another world class example of the things you can do with ham and cheese. That’s a ham and cheese empanada, a mini platter and a pin wheel!
Fingers crossed for some sleep. Hasta mañana!