Post-Inca Trail trek, Jeff and I were exhausted and, quite frankly, very scruffy. We returned to Cusco from Machu Picchu late at night, and had about 12 hours to shower, sleep, take care of laundry and pack up before catching a flight to Mendoza, Argentina. After four days on the trail, we decided to reward ourselves with four days in wine country because…….we’re spoiled little hedonists, OK? Don’t think I don’t know what you’re thinking.
I’ll keep the Mendoza entry brief; for the most part, we just ate a lot of rich food and drank a bunch of Malbec. I was also sick with a bad head cold, so spent an unfortunate amount of time “caving” at our airbnb. But two cool things to note about Mendoza:
First, a huge number of wineries are accessible via bicycle! Apparently when Jeff was in Mendoza seven years ago, you could tour the wineries via moped too. This was no longer an option when we visited, which is probably for the best (?). Anyway, we rented from Maipú Bikes on two separate days, and I can’t rave enough about that experience and the outfit’s owner, Christian. For about $10 USD, you get set up with a bike, water, and very detailed map of the nearby vineyards. They even offer a free wine and tapas “happy hour” at the end of the day.
Between the two days, we hit seven or eight wineries and even a distillery in the Maipú region. Our favorites were Tempus Alba (for the gorgeous building, grounds and view); La Rural (for its cool museum, and also because it’s the oldest winery in Argentina); and Trapiche (just because it was fun to see where a familiar wine was “born.”).
The second thing to highlight about Mendoza is that Jeff went paragliding! [Given that “blogging” is the closest thing I have to an employment status, I decided to be a true professional and extract the following quote from Jeff]
“[The experience] was less adrenaline-inducing than anticipated, but [it felt] more like flying than I thought. We were in the air for about 15 minutes…you just run off the side of a hill…it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.”
For our last night in Mendoza, we took my friend Jamie’s advice and made a reservation at 1884 Restaurante (founded by the renown/fancy chef, Francis Mallman). It was obscurely located but lovely overall, and seemed fitting that we cap off our very indulgent time in Mendoza with a very indulgent meal. Word to the wise: resist the HUGE bread basket; hold out for your delicious (and $$$) entree.