I landed in Buenos Aires in the morning and decided to rest my head in the leafy, tree-lined neighborhood of Palermo, which turned out to be a great choice, as this area has some great restaurants, and Argentina has a reputation for some good food.
My initial observations are that everything here is REALLY, REALLY expensive (except the wine). Granted, I’m used to traveling in places like Southeast Asia and India, where the average price I paid for a room at night was $3 and a meal was about the same price. I’m currently on a ~16 hour overnight bus ride to Mendoza and the price for a one way ticket is nearly $100. Just a little more than I had bargained for, but I’ll make up for the prices by drinking more wine. 🙂
The other interesting thing is that roughly 95% of the population is of European descent, so for once in my life (other than while in Europe), I look like just another white Argentinian. And, if I’m not walking around with both backpacks, I apparently look like a local, judging by the number of times I’ve been asked for directions thus far.
I arrived in Mendoza and visited two wineries and one olive oil farm. As I adore Malbecs, this region is such a treat for me. I even learned some new wine facts today, such as a rose (well at least the one we sampled today) is made from malbec grapes, and has a pink color only because the skins are kept in the wine for a very short amount of time. And champagne can also be made from malbec grapes, but the skins are removed while the champagne ferments (hence, the lack of pink or red-ish tone).
I like Mendoza. It’s about as far from the mountains as Denver is, but the mountains feel about 4 times taller – literally. The city is a bit more relaxed than Buenos Aires and I really like my hostel. I will put some pictures up soon, but felt that I should post something before long.