Thanks to a former colleague, I had plans at 5p to meet up with the marketing head at Vines of Mendoza to learn about project work. The Vines is a popular tasting room in the city of Mendoza but also has land for sale in the Uco Valley for people to purchase their own private villa and land for those wishing to own a piece of a finca (land belonging to the winery).
Between late morning and 5p, I had a few hours to myself and I was eager to explore. There were loads of tourist shops and many places offering wine tours. One of the popular tours was biking to the vineyards for wine tastings.
My new friends, Rafael and Gustavo, from the Cordoba airport had warned me against it since the bikes weren’t in the greatest condition and the vineyards were a pretty far ride. Without their warning, I was also hesitant to do the ride through the vineyards. I really enjoy wine tasting and vineyard hopping; however, the bikes, the distance and the blazing heat I felt on my first day did not make for a very enticing combination.
Instead I wandered. And wandered some more. I continued to explore Mendoza. Until I arrived, I didn’t realize Mendoza was an actual city. There were no vineyards where I was. Slightly disappointed but I knew I would get out to the vineyards on Thursday at the very least.
I stopped for lunch at an outdoor café in the center of town near the Havanna I had settled into earlier in the day. My table was adjacent to an elderly British couple traveling on, what they called, a grandparent gap year. They were finishing up their lunch but stayed at their table eager to chat with me. They embraced South American time and ordered another glass of wine, telling me that they would keep me company until my meal arrived. We had a lively conversation over my first glass, and their last, and I really enjoyed, and appreciated, their company.
My map reading skills failed me in Mendoza. I was chasing my tail using the map and got turned around so many times that I ditched the map (okay so I didn’t ditch it, I still needed it) but I just let myself decide where to wander and so I covered a fair bit of ground. Let it be known that Mendoza is supposedly an easy city to navigate.