Days 2 & 3 – Mendoza
February 11 (day 2) was a chilly one at only 10 C! It was raining back home in Canada – so not all that much temp difference. After a leisurely breakfast of yogurt / coffee/ fruit and pastries, we headed for the foothills to Jasmine & Marcelo’s property, about an hour drive to an area with lots of agriculture. No fruit or veg could be brought into the area to ensure no contamination of local crops. So we had to stop for veg inside the region – and they had the very common foosball table of course. We had a ‘campo’ near their property, and Bauti immediately took me exploring to the riverbed where we found some bones, and many footprints – bird, fox and mouse. We had another asado (so more meat, cheese, wine & beer – all excellent) along with Paul and Fiona. They are a Canadian couple from Winnipeg who have been in Mendoza for 20 years now. They were very helpful in guiding our Buenos Aires agenda as she goes there a fair bit.
We hiked around the property which is lovely – but quite remote and isolated. On the way back we got a flat tire, but Mike & Marcelo were able to change it quickly. The next few days provided Marcelo with quite a challenge however trying to find new tires. It was a super long weekend (we lucked out as it gave us more time with Marcelo), so lots of shops were closed.
We stopped at a local beer pub on the way back and sat outside with lots of fires going it was so cold! We included campari and Fernet con Coca as it was too chilly for beer drinking. Can’t say we’re big fans of the Fernet & Coke, but it sure is a popular drink here.
The next day our plans had to change due to the flat tire. The drive out to the desert is not one to make on old tires – so Marcelo spent the day trying to source a solution. We did manage to check out a cool little bodego, Estrella des Andes (Star of the Andes). It was an old train station and there were lots of antiques around, and a local stone artisan had sculptures around the grounds. and of course, the standard foosball table. Once again we ate and drank too much – but no regrets.
On the way back, we stopped by the chapel on the old Ortiz family finca (farm). Marcelo’s great uncle still lives there. It is still well maintained as is the small ‘machina’ (machine – Hilario’s favourite thing in the whole world!) water wheel in the canal.
After a short siesta, we went out for ‘dinner’ which consisted of ICE CREAM and coffee. The dulce de laite con nuet (with walnuts), and the marscapone con frutas del bosque (with berries) were amazing – they certainly know how to make ice cream!
And as a final success for the day, Marcelo went with Mike to borrow 2 tires from his brother-in-law. They went out to his sisters home, an old school house, to pick them up and also check out the horses. We were invited back to ride another day, but unfortunately that never worked into the plans. Bauti and Hilario are now getting lessons tho’, so next visit we’ll look forward to seeing their progress!