Busing and Biking in Mendoza

Welcoming Gates at Trapiche

Grapes and Old Railway at Trapiche
Maipu Bike Rental
Andesmar Bus Company

Many people are scared of super long bus rides, and if it was anything like the overnight bus I'd taken with three friends last year from La Paz to Uyuni, they should be. Although nothing bad technically happened, the bus sketchy and bumpy for a solid eight hours. The two bus routes that I've experienced in Argentina in the last week, the first a 13.75hr bus from Buenos Aires to Mendoza and the second the one where I'm writing this, Mendoza to Salta, are not as bad as they sound. Seriously.

R, A, and I are currently sitting in what would be premier business class leather seats, playing bus bingo during hour 14 of an 18-hour bus ride. So close to the win! A had only 1 number left to win the traditional bus award: a bottle of vino. Shame. The three of us would be really enjoying it right now as A watches an Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston flick on the main screen, while I write this post and R is glued to episode after episode of Homeland on her iPad.

The three of us have our legs propped up on the seats in front of us, finally getting to sit together since one passenger got off at some stop before 7AM. Early last night, A and R tried to rearrange seats with a grumpy Indian couple, only to fail in the attempt. A made sure to have conversations with R & I across the lower level of the bus in retribution. Conversation content: "Do you guys want chips? I finished the bag. We need spoons for our yogurt. What movie do you think they're going to play?" The couple was alright, though. Just a bit finicky about their seat location.

Block Wooden Floor to Better Roll Barrels (Of Course)
Edit: Ok, so the last 2 hours were more on the brutal side. The AC broke and these megabuses, while comfortable, lack windows that open. When you travel at 10% of the cost of flying, you can't really ask for business class seats AND impeccable comfort the entire 18-hour way through, right?

The bus is a stark difference to what we were up to the previous day: 20km+ bike ride through Mendoza's vineyards in high and dry heat. Before we headed off to the vineyards, we picked up a solo fellow traveller, S, who was doing a two-week stint in LatAm from London.

Admittedly, as someone who has ridden a bike exactly once since being 12 years old, having wine midday and getting back on a bike was probably not one of my best ideas. The group of us did pedal a few extra, albeit scenic, streets along the way, none of which were even noted on the map given to us by Maipu bike shop. Whoopsy. It was along these pleasant, tree-lined, dusty streets that we enlisted the help of a friendly local to point us in the right direction, but we weren't on our way until after an overly friendly pair of dogs wanted to hang out with me. A brown and white spotted, short haired dog, with its tail whipping around furiously, lunged itself on me, sniffing, licking, and playing doggy games.

Finally, we were off. Our first stop was a big industrial producer of wine, Trapiche. Though I don't know very much about wine other than tid bits I've picked up here and there, this stop had the best tasting, a bubbly light pink and a CabSauv. After a couple more vineyards, the furthest point was an olive oil farm and processing plant before cycling the whole way back. Yum. Sun-filled, glorious day.

Sparkling Flats Over Glass Floor in Tasting Room (Trapiche)

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