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Paul & Luiza´s World Tour

Argentina - Salta, Mendoza, San Rafael

ARGENTINA | Tuesday, 15 April 2014 | Views [1828]

San Rafael

San Rafael

Argentina - Salta, Chepes, Mendoza & San Rafael – Braving the magic land of Chorizo steak & red wine  

 

For some reason Salta feels like home, so we decide to do a bit of housekeeping before moving on to the next place, meanwhile, who;s up for some empanadas and red wine for lunch?. Another day, car washed, laundry done, chorizo steak and red wine downed, it is time to move on, this time towards Mendoza. The trip is way too long and the landscape is dry and boring. We try to make it in one day but by 7PM we give up, tired and hungry and take a room at an Argentina Auto Club Motel, surprisingly clean and neat and with a very decent cup of coffee in the morning.  Next da it's another long drive to Mendoza, the kind that sometimes you get the feeling you will never get there. The roads are in very good condition however, in general, there are no signs and we need to frequently stop and ask for directions as the GPS sometimes plays up a bit. Muchas Gracias to the very patient Argentineans who always take the time to, despacito, help out the distressed gringos. We finally arrive in Mendoza and drive around a bit till we find the street where most of the hotels are. We have a hard time finding something decent as the weekend is approaching and they don’t want to commit to less than three nights, it is kind of insane as it's just Wednesday. We find a last room in a hotel and book it just for one night as we are planning an escape to San Rafael to avoid the weekend crowds. We walk around Mendoza just to get a feel for the place, have a massive “Milanesa” for two and get into planning mode for the next couple of days.  

After getting to know Mendoza a bit better we decide to move on to San Rafael as it is a much smaller place, kind of what we expected Mendoza to be, and we can basically do the same stuff from much nicer and quieter surroundings. On the way is the Aconcagua Mountain, the highest in the western world. We set off to try to take a closer look at the mountain as it is a very rare clear morning but half way to the lookout the morning turns very cloudy so we trun around and head on to San Rafael. We stay at the very nice La Francia Hotel. When we arrive, we meet a couple who recognised us our hotel in Mendoza. They are a nice couple from Santa Fe, central Argentina, and they invite us to visit a dam in the afternoon, so it's a date. We go for a ride with them and then, on the way back go out for another chouizo steak and a tira de assado (BBQ ribs) and red wine, can easily get used to this as it's our kind of thing.  One infuriating thing about Argentina is how late they have their dinner. Most of the restaurants don’t open until 9.15PM. It is insane you can’t eat when you want, and for us, used to having dinner at 7PM, it is very hard to digest… the next morning, after finally having a breakfast that doesn’t involve only a cup of milky coffee and a medialuna (something like a really small sugary croissant that makes up the regular breakfast here) we go out to visit the beautiful Atueil Canyon with its several lakes and we have another nice day out with our new friends Miriam and Jose Luis, followed by more barbecued meat. Now, it's time to leave the Mendoza region and hit the road again, this time to Bariloche.

 

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