Monday, February 23, 2009
Although my stay in Mendoza began with me sitting in a cheap restaurant thinking I was going to die, Mendoza ended up being the one of my favorite places in Argentina.
I ditched Sebastian and met a nice girl named Cara, who lost everything she owned to a house fire when she was 10 and then to Hurricane Katrina when she was 22. Recently she decided to give everything up on her own accord and start traveling. Her past misfortunes made me realize that losing some electronics was not quite the end of the world.
Cara and I decided we would try the popular wine tours in Maipú, a small town 15 kilometers south of the city of Mendoza. Mendoza is the wine capital of a wine-rich country and Maipú was one of the many small towns full of wineries. I woke up quite hungover from the night before but knew I had no real reason to puss out on a day which involved bike riding and drinking wine.
I stumbled out of my room at 9:30 in the morning with a gameplan of forcing as many breakfast rolls in me as possible, hoping they would absorb all the toxins in my body. Everything was blurry, but out of the corner of my eye I noticed a guy and girl still drinking with a pile of cigarette butts in front of them roughly the size of Mount Aconcagua. Five minutes later, I realized it was my friend Cara and some guy named Matt. I asked if she was still down for bikes and wine and without hesitating, she said of course. I definitely needed to shake my hangover off and harden the fuck up.
We biked from winery to winery, taking a tour of each facility. After that became too strenuous we settled in the middle of one of the vineyards with a great $4 bottle of red wine we bought from the winery which had the nicest tour and we ate the sandwiches we packed the night before. While sitting in a plot of dirt underneath a crystal clear sky with the snow-capped Andes in the bac as Cara told me she disliked Alanis Morissette simply because the song “Ironic” is really not ironic at all because each described scenario is actually tragic. Then, after we thoroughly analyzed Morissette's other work, we drunkenly rode our bikes back into the center of the small town. A local 10-year-old rode up beside me and gave me the look, so I had no choice but to leave Cara in the dust as we raced for the next three blocks. He won, but only because he had home street advantage.
We returned our bikes back to the shop and hopped on the bus back to the town's center. Two cute girls who looked about my age sat right in front of me and Cara. I was already quite content from the wine and the perfect breeze blowing through the windows, but then one of the girls put her arm around the other. I eagerly mumbled to myself “Please go at it! Please go at it!” And then they started making out. And then I was the happiest man in all of Argentina.