The first point I will note about Mendoza is its town planning (weren’t expecting that were you..)
An earthquake in the mid-19th century necessitated a rethink of the roads and layout of the area. To avoid a repeat of the architechtural devastation, the avenues were built wide, with plenty of parks around the centre of the city. Trees still line the pavements, and in the late summer sun, it was all very pretty.
And now the wine.
Mendoza is accountable for over 80% of Argentina’s production of wine. The superstar grape is Malbec, though the others grown here are far from disappointing. In fact during 11.7.2 we were told how a group of French people toured and had nothing but praise; saying the Argentineans grow the best Malbec in the world. Seeing as its a French grape, the compliment carries a fair bit of weight..
On Friday night a parade happened as a prequel to the big Wine Festival (11.7.3). It was all quite fun, with people dressed up and dancing to the music blaring out from the lorries that slowly progressed down the street. Those on the “floats” distributed an array of gifts to the grasping hands of those on the roadside. Sometimes it was sweets, though often just leaflets for things like new Water Projects in the area.
What got most attention though was when the glamorous queens handed out peaches, plums and grapes. The kids were going mental for them. It seems if you want to boost a child’s intake of their 5-a-day it helps to have a shiny truck and play Lady Gaga..
Throughout the four days in the city, there were three activities of note (11.7.1/2/3) and in between I spent time exploring the broad avenues, enjoying the sun, and chatting to people at the hostel.
With timing carrying more importance, the route out of Mendoza was airbourne, arriving to Buenos Aires in one tenth of a bus journey.