Mendoza: Malbecs, massages & more meat

Time to indulge,  backpacker style. Starting with the 17 hour bus ride from Bariloche. The buses in Argentina are amazing compared with those we’ve caught in Europe and Asia. We traveled with CATA Int. and upgraded to a cama seat. Good decision. A guy in our hostel asked the ticket office what the difference was and was told semi-cama seats just reclined less. Poor fella, he came down from upstairs to find us with our fully reclining seats, personal TVs, blankets and a glass of champagne in hand.

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Mendoza is home of the malbec and produces a number other wines such as cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay. We chose to visit the wineries by bike- its not nearly as dangerous as it sounds.

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First stop was Tapiz, where a super enthusiastic guide taught us more about producing and tasting wine in an hour than we’ve learnt from numerous wine tours in Margaret River. Having said that, we still prefer the wine from Margs.

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We also visited Norton which is by far the largest winery we have ever seen. We got to drink wine straight from the fermentation tank and oak barrels in their cellar, which was more of a novelty than anything.

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Of course our trip to Mendoza featured even more meat. The hostel organised an asado, and as you might expect when it’s 35c and the bbq is next to a plunge pool, the night ended with half the hostel jumping in.

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In typical honeymoon style, we treated ourselves to a spa day. In typical backpacker style, we forgot all about our need to get up at 7am when drinking til 3 am. As you can imagine we didn’t look or feel the best arriving at the spa. But a swim in the thermal spas quickly fixed that.

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Termas Cacheuta also had a mini mud bath where you can slather yourself like an elephant. It’s a very odd feeling drying out in the sun, but so much fun.

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Our day also included a huge buffet lunch. The feast was perfect for our hangovers. Trying not to fall into a food coma we made our way to get a massage. Ah bliss..

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