Wine, Wine, Wine.. Mendoza, Argentina

January 2, 2015 we woke up to slowly make our way to the bus station to leave Vina Del Mar and head to Mendoza. We thought our bus left at 8:30, and we needed to be at the bus station at 8:15, but we started second guessing ourselves and checked our ticket and it said the bus was leaving at 8:15. So we quickly grabbed all our belongings, shoved them into our packs, had a nice grab and go breakfast, and swiftly walked to the station. We arrived just in time to throw our bags in the cargo compartment and take our seats.

When we went to the bus station to book this bus, we were originally given tickets for the 18th of January. For some reason the lady at the ticket booth didn’t understand that we wanted our tickets for the very next day. After telling her we needed to change our tickets, we were left with only two seats on the bus that were not next to each other. We had one in the front of the bus with a full cama seat, and one a few rows back with a semi cama seat. As you can guess, the full cama seat is larger than the semi cama, and it reclines a bit more as well. Heather wanted to sit in the semi cama because she was hoping the lady sitting next to her was nice and that she would have the chance to practice her Spanish a bit, so Jason took the full cama, and was asleep within the first ten minutes of the ride.

The lady sitting next to Heather asked if Jason wanted to trade seats with her. After Heather held in her laugh for a second she kindly replied with “No thank you, I think he wants that seat, he is very tired, possibly later on the ride.” When she really wanted to say.. “Are you kidding me?! We paid 3000 more pesos for that seat (about five more dollars) and it’s huge and Jason wants to take a nap so sorry lady, you will have to have the smaller seat that you paid for.” She was not very happy with Heather turning down her oh so kind offer of upgrading her seat and gave Heather a face like, “Excuse me, but I’m older than you so you should switch with me.” then was quiet for a bit. After literally about five minutes, she began moving around her things and somewhat pushing Heather out of her way so she could get to the aisle. Heather had no clue what she was doing, so she just moved out of the woman’s way. Then she took all her stuff and went and woke Jason up and motioned for him to move so she could take it. We looked at each other then told the lady, “Uhh he doesn’t want to switch with you.” And she shamefully came back to her seat for the duration of the ride.

The bus ride was extremely beautiful. To get to Argentina from Chile you have to cross through the Andes, and they are gorgeous! The boarder crossing took about three hours, lots of time waiting in line and lots of passports that needed to be stamped. Upon arrival to Mendoza we hung out at the bus terminal for about an hour researching places to stay and waiting for Flick and Luke to arrive on their bus. We found out where they were staying and wanted to look for a place with a pool before decided on their hostel, so we grabbed our belongings and began walking.

Boarder Crossing into Argentina.. crossing this boarder took so long!!

Boarder Crossing into Argentina.. crossing this boarder took so long!!

DSCN5095

Andes Mountains!!

We walked and walked and walked for hours! Every hostel that we went to was already completely booked. Apparently Mendoza is way more popular than other places we had been. We walked to five different hostels, and had the hostels call other hostels to see if any of them had vacancy. We finally we able to find a hostel on line that had a pool, that was at least 15 Argentinean pesos cheaper than the rest, and had an awesome deal where girls stay free for the first two nights that they book. Umm.. hello score! Walking around for hours before finding this place was well worth it. It ended up being extremely far outside of town, but again was worth the walk for the price, and the fact that it was the only one that had an opening.

{Traveler’s Tip… Book ahead of time for Mendoza, in fact, for most places in Chile and Argentina. They seemed to fill up a lot quicker than places in Bolivia and Peru. Same with buses.. definitely book them in advance as well. The hostel we stayed at in Mendoza is called Youth Hostel, and it was a good price with the promotion, but we don’t think it’s always such a good price. And you have to remember- you get what you pay for with this one!! Also, definitely try and book a place with a pool! It’s really hot in Mendoza and hanging out by the pool is nice after bike riding around to different wineries.}

Our time in Mendoza was honestly a really weird experience. We loved the scenery and the town was lovely, but Heather was a bit uneasy the whole time. We got there and she just felt a weight on her shoulders that she couldn’t shake. We relaxed a bit the first night and then met up in the morning with Jake and Taylor to head our to the wineries for the day. We took the local bus out to Maipu where you can rent bikes and ride around to different wineries. On the bus we met two other girls that ended up biking around with us.

{Traveler’s Tip.. take the local bus for the bus station out to Maipu. There you can get off right in front of Mr. Hugo’s bike shop where you can rent bikes for the whole day for only 80 Argentinean pesos. Bring extra cash with you though because you will have to pay for tastings, tours, and bottles of wine (if you want them) at each winery. When we were there bottles usually ranged from about 65-120 pesos, and tastings and tours were usually 40-60 pesos per person. At the same time, you don’t want to bring too much, because we saw a girl that got robbed on the tour. Keep reading to see the story.}

The six of took of around 11:00 from Mr. Hugo’s and headed to our first winery. Or what we thought was a winery. The first two ended up just being buildings with tastings, and none of the six of us were interested in paying just for tastings of one of two wines in a place that wasn’t very nice. The third on we went to was amazing though. On our way there we saw Flick and Luke, who we planned on meeting for lunch after the winery, and they told us the winery was really nice. What we didn’t know was that it was going to be beautiful, extremely relaxing, and that it had great tasting wine! This winery ended up being our most favorite one. Again, we weren’t interested in doing the tour and tasting because that would have cost around 60 pesos a person, when we could just buy three bottles of the wines we were going to be tasting and share the three bottles between the three of us for only 45 pesos a person. So, we decided on three bottles of wine, and found a beautiful place to sit and enjoy each bottle with some snacks.

DSCN5072

Our all time favorite winery in the Mendoza area!!

IMG_5109

Bodega Dominciano.. Our favorite!!

Take a look at those grapes!!

Take a look at those grapes!!

Wine Tasting Group!!

Wine Tasting Group!!

Hands down.. one of the best wines we have had!!

Hands down.. one of the best wines we have had!!

We stayed at the winery for about two hours and then finished off our bottles before heading on to our next stop. We went to the beer garden next where Jason tried their two beers and the girls got lunch before heading to the last winery of the day. At this winery we met up with Flick and Luke and their friends and enjoyed another bottle of wine and a beautiful view.

At the "beer garden"

At the “beer garden”

DSCN5087

When two groups become one.. it’s way more fun!!

DSCN5085

Wine with a view.. Okay no this wasn’t actually our table.. hello not all of us would fit here, but it makes for a great picture right??

DCIM102GOPRO

This is the real table!! So many new friends!

On the way back to Mr. Hugo’s, we were riding along and noticed another group of people on some of Mr. Hugo’s bikes with the police next to them. We stopped to ask if they were okay and they informed us that one of the girls had just been robbed. Come to find out, they were riding down the road and someone came up from behind something and shoved the girl off her bike while she was riding it and stole her purse. After that point, we were all a bit more aware of what was going on around us and road with a lot more caution.

Mendoza, Argentina

Gorgeous tree canopy down one of the roads we biked.

Selfies while riding a bike.. maybe not the safest idea, but had to get a picture somehow!!

Selfies while riding a bike.. maybe not the safest idea, but had to get a picture somehow!!

Everyone cheese!!

Everyone cheese!!

Upon returning to town, we walked around for a bit enjoying a craft fair, and exchanged some money with someone on the street. We were a bit nervous about this, but everyone down here changes US dollars for Argentinean pesos on the street because it is a much better exchange rate. You get about 14 pesos per dollar on the street when you only get about 8 pesos per dollar in exchange booths or at the bank. Jason and I then went and had a nice dinner at one of the outdoor restaurants on the main street before walking back to our hostel that night.

Argentinean steak dinner :)

Argentinean steak dinner 🙂

Plaza viewing!

Plaza viewing!

The next day we woke up and had an extremely relaxing day running into town to help Jake and Taylor find a new hostel for the evening, grabbing some food at the grocery store, and lounging by the pool. That evening, the four of us made dinner and played cards until we were all just exhausted and ready to call it a night. Heather stayed up for a bit trying to find answers to her uneasiness, and finally got into bed around three in the morning. The next day we had to wake up at 6:30 to pack our things, grab some breakfast, and head to the bus terminal to find a bus to Santiago. We made it to the bus terminal only to find out that we couldn’t catch a bus until 1:30 in the afternoon, so we would be spending our day in the terminal. Heather caught up on the sleep she missed out on the night before while Jason watched a couple movies on the computer. 1:30 actually approached a lot faster than we thought it would and before we knew it we were on the bus and heading out of Mendoza.

We were such a mess from Heather feeling so uneasy while being there that we didn’t even know why we were leaving and actually wished that we had stayed longer and enjoyed the wineries a bit more. We even forgot to go back to the first winery and buy our favorite wine. But there’s a reason why we left, and although we certainly wish we had more of the amazing wine, we now are happy with how everything has perfectly fallen into place since then.


…Where We Are Now and Where We Are Heading…

Since this blog, we have spent about five days in Santiago, roughly a week in Pucon, and 10 days volunteering/working at a farm just outside of Pucon.  We know, last we told everyone we should be in Patagonia by now, but the Lord had other plans. The birthday dinner that we went to for some friends turned into the volunteer/working opportunity for us, so we have spent the last 10 days on a farm. We are finally leaving the Pucon area and heading south. After we post this, we are grabbing our packs and sticking our thumbs out to hitchhike on down to Chileo or Valdivia. From there, the plan is to continue south into Patagonia, and by the looks of how much there is to do and see in that region, we will probably be spending about a month down there. Now again.. these are the plans we have thought out, and the Lord loves throwing in curve balls to lead us to better things.. so we will see what actually happens!


…Prayer Requests…

*Pray for safety and guidance while hitchhiking!! (Sorry mom and dad)

*Pray for continued health with Jason. He is doing great after being out on the farm, so we are going to try and stick to the same kind of diet that we had while out there. So also pray that we can find the good foods!!

*Pray for our friends back home that are pregnant!! We have loads of them! Pray that the pregnancies continue to go well and that the births that should take place in the next month are just completely blessed!!

*Pray for healing for our grandma and grandpa.. they are both really sick with the flu and our grandma also has pneumonia.

*Pray that we continue to see where the Lord is guiding us as we continue on this amazing journey!

GET OUR MONTHLY(ish) NEWSLETTER
Become a part of the ArboursAbroad Family! Receive our newsletter along with freebies (like our budget guide) straight to your inbox!
Here's where we tell you your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else... but seriously, who does that anyways? Don't worry about a thing 🙂

1 thought on “Wine, Wine, Wine.. Mendoza, Argentina

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: