Wine. Food. Wine. Food.
I felt like I was living a fairly healthy tourist lifestyle in Buenos Aires. Lots of walking. Working out. No bread or pastas except for the occasional empanada. Sharing delicous portions of meat on the side of full portions of vegetables. With a few modifications, we followed this pattern in Iguazu as well.
With no scales to be had, I convinced myself I must be getting healthier and losing weight on this Atkin's diet of sorts.
And now, I'll never know if it was true. Thanks Mendoza.
We flew from Iguazu back to Buenos Aires and, despite the chaos and confusion of the Mitre Omnibus Terminal, we managed to board our bus for the overnight ride to Mendoza. Apparently, this is the standard mode of transportation in Argentina. So, while our trip was too short to do it for every leg of transport between cities, we figured we'd give it a try at least once.
Pros: it's less expensive than flying and much more comfortable than 13 hours on a plane in economy class. Also, there's a dedicated attendant, and since we opted to pay the extra $25 US or so to get leather seats that fully reclined, our seats came with sparkling wine and our dinner came with wine.
Cons: The flight would have been about an hour and forty minutes. More importantly for me, a rocking bus in traffic is much louder than a plane. So, I spent much of the night almost dozing off to be woken by a horn, a jostle, cross traffic, or my fellow passengers. While awake, I cursed my stupidity for leaving my earplugs in my checked luggage.
Eventually, we arrived in Mendoza unshowered and sleepy. Thankfully, we were immediately checked in, and after a shower, we sat for a 2 hour Italian lunch including a meat and cheese plate, salad, beet and squash gnocchi with lamb in a tomato sauce, and pounded veal cutlets for E in a white wine olive sauce. You know, a light lunch.
A flight of wines at Vines of Mendoza Tasting Room (highly recommended).
Dinner at the hotel and sleep. Glorious sleep.
A weak excuse for a workout. Wait for the driver, who is 30 minutes after the rescheduled late arrival. Coffee. Of course, the driver arrives once the coffee has been ordered.
A gluttonous day of wine tasting and food including the lunch of infinite awkwardness. Suffice it to say that we are not wine buyers, but we were the guests of a winemaking family who had come under this impression for some reason. They were not thrilled with our honest questions, like "Rioja? As in Spain?" (Note: we have since learned that there is a wine region known as Rioja in Argentina as well)
Thankfully, despite the mix-up, we had a superlative day of fabulous wines and great food, which makes everything wonderful.
For dinner, we followed the advice of the amazing Carolyn of Uncorked Argentina and enjoyed a deliciously multi-regional meal at Siete Cocinas (Note: best scallop ceviche I've ever had. Order it.)
On our walk home, we stopped to buy water. We re-hydrated until sleep.
The last morning in Mendoza, I rose to work out, guiltily. Restraint of any sort had not been in effect for several days and the workout felt as you'd imagine.
From there, we were to fly to Bariloche, the land of chocolate.
(pictures and more details to come)