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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mendoza, Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls, Argentina (and also Brazil but shhhh I was an illegal)

After the 13 hour bus through the Andes we finally arrive around 3am into Mendoza and got a taxi to the hostel. Now to all the hostel owners that I am friends with I truly appreciate it when I get to a hostel and the middle of the night and the bed is made so thanks for that. The only place on this trip so far where that hasn’t been the case is Argentina and that was only in some places. Still no big deal, but trying to make a bed at 3:30AM in the dark with 5 other people trying to sleep is not fun! That still was not the problem of the evening. The problem was quite simple actually when you have bunk beds like most hostels do in South America if there is not a step at the edge of the bed please provide a ladder to get up to the top bunk. Case in point would be in Mendoza when I almost killed Eddie. Since there was no ladder I grabbed onto the side of the mattress and tried to pull myself up which actually worked out the exact opposite because I pulled the mattress off the bunk and almost fell over. I was laughing hysterically at this point and had to leave my room to recover and then finally made it up there to pass out for a few hours. Nice way to introduce myself to the guy I was going to end up traveling with for the next 2 weeks. That morning got up not wanting to waste the day and took off so we could experience what Mendoza is famous for which is it’s wine. If you go to Mendoza you have to hit up Mr. Hugo’s and rent a bicycle for your wine tasting session. Yes, you read that right wine tasting and bike riding. I don’t know who came up with this combination but it always ends hilariously. We started out with 3 of us Eddie the Kiwi Firefighter/ topless waiter/ Spartacus extra and Sander the flying Dutchman but could it be our wolf pack was at 3 and grew into a bike gang of 9 adding 6 Englishmen and women. It was quite the gang as we ended up drinking a few bottles of wine at the Trapiche Winery, which is the largest winery in Argentina and has some delicious Malbec wines. After that adventure decided the next day to go white water rafting in the Andes mountains. While it wasn’t the roughest rapids I’ve ever been down, class 3, the scenery more than made up for it! It was absolutely incredible and had an amazing time and met some great people. The next day took off on the night bus to Argentina, the buses in Argentina are quite something if you get the Full Cama or Executive Cama. You get fed dinner as well as a small bottle of wine to help you sleep through the cold night and a seat that retracts all the way down as if you were in bed. Since Eddie and I were headed to BA (Buenos Aires) for the weekend we knew we were in for a big party so we decided to get ready by watching the movie Project X, it was a good idea and got us ready for a few epic nights. If you are going to BA and want to stay at a party Hostel I would recommend Milhouse as it was clean and if you want to party they know how to do it. While in BA I was also able to attend Argentina vs. Ecuador World Cup Qualifier soccer match as well as visit Recoleta to see the amazing cemetery and go visit Bocas to see the Boca Juniors stadium and see the amazing colors and neighborhoods and the Tango Dancers in the street. Let’s get down to what is really important about Argentina and what it is known for which is it’s beef. I had without a doubt the best steak of my life at a restaurant in Palermo called La Cabrera and if you go between 7 and 8 it is their happy hour and you get 40% off your meal. This was my last meal both times I was in Buenos Aires the first time leaving to head up to Iguazu Falls and the night before I left for South Africa. The bus up to Iguazu was cold and since we got semi-cama we did not get blankets so that sucked. As soon as we got into town we booked into our hostel and headed out to check out the Argentina side of the falls. It was amazing to see how powerful the Pachamama (Mother Nature) is. The falls were incredible and we were told that we could skip the Brazilian side as the Argentina side was better. I am so glad we didn’t skip it because it was absolutely amazing! I liked the Brazilian side much better the endless rainbows and how you could go out into the middle of the falls to experience the sheer power of them was amazing. After Iguazu headed back down to Buenos Aires for a final night of partying in South America so headed back to Milhouse and ran into about 5 people that I had met in Peru a few months before. It was an epic night and a great send off to South America. The next evening headed to the airport for the next leg and next continent of my journey as I was headed to Cape Town, South Africa....

Mendoza, Argentina Pictures
Buenos Aires, Pictures
Iguazu Falls, Argentina
Iguazu Falls, Brasil

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