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RTW 08/09

Chocolate and Wine

ARGENTINA | Friday, 28 November 2008 | Views [603] | Comments [1]

A little bit of indulgence is required you know before heading into the cold unpredictable weather that awaits me in Patagonia.

First stop after I left Salta was the wine capital of Argentina, Mendoza. The city was flaten by an earthquake many moons ago and rebuilt. The streets are wide and are lined with trees. Plazas are dotted around the city as gathering points if another earthquake comes along.

Siesta time is from 1pm until almost 5pm and then the city gets alive again. The Plazas and parks are full of couples mooching on park benches and kids running around till all hours of the night.

I could have stayed longer but that has been the case in a few places I have visted so far.

A trip to Mendoza has to incorporate a trip to some of the vineyards on the outskirts of the city. A few of us from the hostel rented bicycles for the day and off we went on a tour of the wineries. We also stopped off at a chocolate factory and an olive oil producing plant.

Mr Hugo, the guy we rented the bicycles off provided all of his customers with free wine at the end of the day. At one point there were 17 backpackers sitting in Mr Hugo´s front yard having a tipple while him and the wife ran around making sure our glasses were never empty. Nice way to end the day.

After sampling some of Argentinas finest wines, I made my way south last Monday to Bariloche.

This town is the gateway to Patagonia and as you come in on the bus you realise that the flip flops and t-shirts can be packed to the bottom of the backpack for a while. The town is located on a lake surrounded by many snowcapped peaks.

It is also the place to come if like me you have a soft spot for chocolate. There are a lot of Swiss people in this area and they have taken some fine recipes from Europe to satisfy the very sweet tooth that the Argentinians seem to have.

I had just arrived about two hours, got rid of the flip flops and was sampling and stuffing my face in chocolate heaven.

Then went and had a salad to make me feel better :-)

Have spent the past couple of days burning off all the calories and have been out in the hills and mountains around Bariloche hiking on some of the trails. The views to be had around the area from some of the peaks are amazing. Yesterday I did a hike to a really nice snow capped peak and walked and slipped on snow for the first time in a couple of years. Another first for me was seeing a woodpecker. I didn´t know he was a woodpecker until he started abusing a poor tree.

I was having my chicken sandwich at the top of the trail and a Condor glided past, I think he was checking out my picnic.

Tonight I am heading to El Chalten which is my first real taste of Patagonia.

Only thing is its a 35 hour bus journey before I get there which will be my bus journey record so far.




wow, I am so jealous... you paint a wonderful picture..

Wine and chocolate, I would say you could write a book about that. lol.

great to catch up eith your travels

  ANNE MARIE Dec 11, 2008 9:50 PM

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