When you study Spanish in Argentina, one of the most enticing areas to visit during a weekend is the province of Mendoza. Wine, mountains, and asados; this is the province of Mendoza in three words. Nine students of Amauta Elebaires visited this beautiful region from March 21-25, 2014. All of the students affirmed that it was a breath taking experience.
We began our trip on Friday March 21st at the ‘Estación de Omnibuses’, a huge bus station in Retiro that almost looks like an airport. At 8:00 p.m. we were settled in our comfortable seats in an impressive double-decker of Via Bariloche. The seats and on-board catering gave us the feeling that we were flying business class. Everyone had a good night of sleep.
The next morning at about 10:30 a.m., we arrived in Mendoza. After taking a rest and soaking up the beauty of Mendoza´s high plains, we departed for a real winery tour through some bodegas in the middle of the world famous wine yards. The first one we visited was a more artificial one, called Don Arturo and the second one, Vistandes, was a more industrial one. At the end of both visits, we benefited from a wine tasting. Our last stop was an interesting one. We went to a factory where grape oil is made. Our nice, first day came to an end by eating at a Mexican restaurant in the popular nightlife area of the city.
The second day began really early. At 7:30 a.m. everyone was ready to go on a magnificent trip to the Andes Mountains. We were going to see the mountain of all mountains in the Western and Southern Hemispheres, the Aconcagua! We went in our mini-bus, making our first stop at an artificial reservoir with an incredible view over the Pre-Andes. After driving some hours through the mountains we stopped at a ski resort to go up the impressive mountains and overlook the Andes from a higher level. After that it was time to eat something, so we went to Puente del Inca, a natural arch that forms a bridge over the Vacas River. After lunch and a visit to the bridge we went to the Provincial Park of Aconcagua. We walked a few kilometres to get to our main objective, the Aconcagua. We were thinking a couple of kilometres would be easy, but our minds were changed quickly whenever we realized the altitude made the climb so much more difficult. And then we saw it; the mountain of almost 7 kilometres high, the Aconcagua! After some pictures we went on with our trip to the border of Argentina with Chile. An abandoned railway station in Las Cuevas was a nice scenery for some ‘urban, exploring photography’. To finish our second day we went to an Italian restaurant and got some ice-cream.
Our last day, our group split up. Most of the people went to the Pre-Andes to go horseback riding, and others rented a bike to cycle between the wine vineyards. For many of us it was the first time we drove a horse. We went through steppe landscape and over mountains, it was incredible. After the riding, we went back to the place we were staying to have a real asado (barbeque) prepared by typical Argentinian gauchos. The meat we ate was one of the most tasteful we had ever had. It was such a beautiful day!
At 8:00 p.m. we had to go back to the bus terminal to catch our luxury liner back ‘home’ to Buenos Aires. Everybody enjoyed this unforgettable trip in the stunning province of Mendoza.