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  • Day284

    Mendoza

    February 14, 2018 in Argentina ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    On our way to Mendoza we flew over a huge mountain range – reminding us of flying into Cusco with the plane seemingly not high enough above the peaks. Once over the mountains, the landscape became very flat and dry.
    A downtown Airbnb apartment served as our base. Dangerously, it had Netflix. While we caught up on a few series, we also managed to get out and about a bit.
    The downtown was bustling and full of restaurants, cafes and wine bars. Many of the buildings were charming, but not nearly as impressive as in BA. While it felt safe, we were put off by many of the small corner shops taking orders through barred windows – even in the middle of the day in nice neighborhoods.
    Wine country was a change from Chile with the main difference being there seemed to be hundreds of small, independent wineries near Mendoza in contrast to what seemed to be fewer, bigger ones in Chile. The tasting fees were also far more reasonable (~$10-15 instead of ~$25-30), likely because of so much competition. We visited a few wineries (including the sparkling wine maker, Cruzat) and had lunch at a beautiful wine lodge. The vineyards were pretty and the wine delicious with huge mountain ranges visible in the distance.
    On one of our days here, we took a drive back towards the Chilean border through a stunning desert landscape. It made us wish we’d taken the bus here instead of flown so we could have seen even more. We were surprised to learn that the highest mountain outside of Asia is here, called Aconcagua, an impressive 6,962 meters (22,841 ft). Luckily we had a clear day so had very good views on our short hike near the mountain. We enjoyed the city and would recommend it for a visit, but the highlight for us was the nearby mountains and landscapes vs. the city itself or even its’ wine country.
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