Reaching Argentina it was a given that we would visit the biggest wine region it has and arriving from Santiago it was a nice surprise to be welcomed by the wide tree lined streets and parks of Mendoza.
After spending a few days eating our way around the city, and drinking copious amounts of red at our hostel, it was wine tour day. Coming from a wine region a day at the wineries wasn’t something out of the ordinary for me, so we chose to do our own self guided tour, by bike! We met some great people at the hostel and the six of us set off, we reached the Maipú region and hired our bikes. It took precisely five blocks to realise, my fitness levels were not up to it, and another five for one of us to pop a tyre, a clear insight into how our day would unfold.
We made it to our first winery Viña el Cerno where we were sold on the idea of doing away with the tastings and hitting a few bottles instead. We got lucky, the previous few days had given us freezing winds, but the sun was out and it was quiet warm, the perfect wine weather if you will. After a few wines in the sun it was onto Tempas Alba for lunch, where we had been told the steak was spot on. It goes that Argentina has the best steak, I however do not like steak, I know, I know- I keep hearing it, who doesn’t like steak? Even the vegetarians staying with us ate the steak- and loved every bite. So I did it, well to an extent, in that I had a tiny bite, and… I still hate a steak, best in the world or not the blue cheese on top couldn’t mask that meaty flavour. The rest of the crew did give it a ten out of ten though.
After a few more bottle tastings it was back on the bike and onto our third and final winery Mevi. The perfect spot to end our day, we perched ourselves on the balcony to catch the last of the day’s warmth and a pretty delightful sunset over the Andes.
Before we knew it we were riding back, feeling much fitter than the ride there, the six of us were blissfully riding single file along the road, then it happened- what we knew was coming all day, the fall. The car was pulling out, unsure of if it would stop or not Ruth stopped, or attempted to, slid and as I turned she just slide into that huge ditch. A cut head and cars stopping everywhere, then we were in someone’s house, people rushing to wipe her face, appearing from everywhere. It was bound to happen, and I had all my money on it being Ruth, and by the looks of things it was certainly not the first time that family had witnessed drunk foreigners falling off bikes.
Finally we made it back to return the bikes just a little late and make our way back to the city to cheers our day with a few more bottles of red and some football.