The last few days have been absolutely great. We took a bus from Santiago to Mendoza, a great wine region in Argentina. Of course, we got on the bus tired as could be and were both asleep before it even left the terminal. Amazing how the locals can go out until 5 or 6am and then go be functional adults the next day. I guess they take advantage of the siesta in a way we haven't fully embraced yet. We'll have to work on that!
So, a little while later, I woke up and had to wake Rahima up (something she hates when I do...) to look out the window. We were crossing through the Andes and all around us were the peaks, all covered in snow. It was so beautiful...and cold. When we go out to go through customs we had to get off of the warm little bus and stand around while they checked and stamped all of our papers. You can't bring any fruit in, but I had forgotten and had some bananas with me. We had to take all of our belongings off of the bus so they could be reviewed. There was a nice guy on the bus (argentino) who I confided in. I asked him if I should declare them, throw them out, what? He did the proper thing for me. He took my bag and hid it back on the bus. No more problems there. And we enjoyed our chilean bananas a few hours later.
Mendoza is a city I would love to live in. Except for the fact that the hostel we chose seemed to have mosquitoes that attacked us at night. I got bitten on my neck by a rogue vampire mosquito and on my arm. Apparently I spent the first night scratching in my sleep, which caused Rahima to think there were bedbugs which kept her up all night. Luckily the mosquitoes were normal, not Machu Picchu mosquitoes. Those bites are STILL healing, three weeks later. urgh.
Yesterday we did a bikes and wine tour of some of the vineyards here. Yes. I got on a bike again. What is this trip doing to me??? It was MUCH better riding a bike after not having been bucked around on a scooter the day before. Much more of a pleasant experience for me. The vineyards were really great, but we soon realized that for both of us to do a tasting, we might as well just buy a bottle of wine, it is cheaper that way. So at our third winery we bought a bottle of Malbec, but since it wasn't one of the elite bottles we couldn't actually drink it on the premise. So the guy opened the bottle for us and we biked a short distance away, sat in the shade under a tree, surrounded by vineyards and drank our bottle of wine. After about 6 wineries, the tour ends at a chocolate factory. Who wouldn't love Argentina? We are still eating the alfajores we bought in bulk.
So the saddest thing was leaving Mendoza, where we enjoyed great parks, good food, good wine and good people, but we bought a flight to Ushuaia, the southermost city in the world, and it leaves tomorrow (Wednesday) morning from BA. So we had to take a bus last night to get us to BA on time. So we are just hanging out in the city today, and we will be far, far south for Halloween. Then spend the next few weeks working our way back up here. I'll try to get more pictures up soon. Can you believe I didn't take ONE picture in Mendoza??? I think I loved it so much I spent the whole time just soaking it in. Funny how that happens...