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The Argentina Roundup

28 May

The Statistics

Number of days spent in country –  43

Cities/towns visited – Mendoza, Bariloche, El Bolson, Esquelle, El Calafate, El Chalten, Ushuaia, Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, Salta, Humahuaca, Purmamarca, Cafayate, Angostaca.

Number of different lodgings – 12 hostels and a couchsurf

Flights – 1

Bus journeys –  26

Combi/collective/taxi  rides – 9

Bike Rentals – 1

Days of rain – 4

Budget

Total US dollar amount spent – $5522.62

Average cost per day, per person – $64.00

Argentina is not as cheap as it used to be.  Our ‘Local Travel’ category of the budget was by far the biggest chunk of spending here – long distance buses are triple the cost that they were in 2009, and flights are as expensive for foreigners on the domestic airlines.

Average lodging cost per night – $15.35 per person.  Hostels were pricey in Argentina compared to other places in South America.  We ended up in dorms often, though we went for a double room, even with a shared bath, in a few places.  You could do cheaper, especially if you are willing to stay in the party factory dorms, or sacrifice location or cleanliness.

Most expensive lodging – Reina Madre Hostel in Buenos Aires – a private room with shared bathroom was $23.25 per person.  The second most expensive was the Freestyle Hostel in Ushuaia which was $20.50 per person for a DORM.

Least expensive lodging – $9.30 per person for a dorm room in a little hostel in Angostaca.  We got stuck there overnight while on a road trip through northern Argentina.

Average food/drink cost per day (per person) – $14.30 – We consumed an obscene amount of cheap empanadas, usually for lunch.  We often cooked dinners in at the hostels because of the high cost of eating out.  We did go out for dinners sometimes though, or ate at the hostel when they had an asado night.

The Best

Empanadas!

Hostel Empedrado in Mendoza.  They have private rooms as well as dorms, clean bathrooms, TWO kitchens with plenty of cookware, a small pool, hammocks, free glass of wine every night, free empanada making class, good wi-fi…and FREE LAUNDRY!!!  It’s just an overall winner.  It is a little bit outside of downtown, but not more than a 10 minute walk.  You can book online, and if you’re headed there in the summer make sure to ask for a room with air-conditioning since some only have fans.

Hiking up to Fitz Roy in El Chalten. Looks like a fake background…but it’s not, it’s just a bad exposure!

El Chalten – Yeah, the town.  If you like mountains you will LOVE El Chalten.  There are multiple day hikes that get you way out into the hills with some of the most spectacular mountain scenery we’ve encountered.  Take your time and spend more than a hot second there, you won’t regret it.

Big Ice Tour in El Calafate – Even though we got ripped off by the travel agent who sold us our tour, this still goes down as one of our favorite activities.  It really was worth it, especially if you’ve never been on a glacier.  If the cost is too steep for you, look into a trek on the Viedma Glacier out of El Chalten.

Taking a break from biking in Bariloche

Biking around the Circito Chico in Bariloche – We haven’t gotten around to posting about this ride, but it’s a 25 kilometer ride around beautiful meditteranean colored lakes just outside of Bariloche.  You can rent a bike for the day and set out at your leisure.  There are many places to stop along the way for picnicing, swimming, or just gawking at the scenery.  The bike rental will only set you back about $18 and you can get there with public transportation.  Your hostel should be able to reserve you a bike, otherwise any travel agent in town can also, just make sure they don’t charge a commission for it.  You’ll get a map from the bike place, but don’t worry, it’s a loop and basically impossible to get lost.

The Worst

We really loved almost everything in Argentina, and the one major exception was Hostel Pudu in Bariloche.  We heard that it was fantastic, and perhaps it used to be, but now it’s just run down despite the bright and shiny website.  One of the hostel owners spent more time getting high with the guests than doing other things…like cleaning the bathrooms, which were disgusting.  There was a pretty high price tag for a dorm room, and I have to admit to sheer laziness or we would have moved after the first night.

Photo Friday – Family Pictures in Buenos Aires

18 May

Buenos Aires has a fantastic Sunday antiques market, the Mercado San Telmo.  We spent an afternoon wandering around among the stalls and we came across this box of old family photos.  When we find relics like these I’m forced to wonder, “Who were these people?  Why have their photos ended up here, selling for 5 cents a piece to strangers who know nothing about them?”  I am both fascinated and saddened by this because I think of my own family, and wonder what could have happened that all these family photos have ended up for sale here.  There are years of memories, vacations and celebrations jammed into this box, their stories lost somehow and leaving us only to wonder what might have been.

Photo Friday – Hornocal Mountains in Northern Argentina

4 May

Way more than 7 colors….click on the photo to view it in a bigger size

In March we embarked on a whirlwind road trip through northern Argentina with our friends Kristin and Bryan from Happy To Be Homeless.  Purmamarca has it’s share of fame for the ‘7 Colored Mountains’, but I had heard rumors of a more spectacular hillside located somewhere outside of Humahuaca.  We set off with nothing more than a hand-drawn map the owner of our hostel made us, and a few hours (and a few breakdowns in our beater of a car…) later we made it!  The mountains were just as stunning as I had hoped, and completely devoid of other tourists, except for one truck whose occupants looked at our tiny rental car as if we were insane to be driving such a little tin-can up the side of a mountain with…less than ideal road conditions.   You’ll need your own car, preferably a 4-wheel drive.

Not In The Guidebooks: El Ateneo in Buenos Aires, Argentina

10 Apr

Lonely Planet’s South America on a Shoestring is like the backpacker’s bible.  I’ll be the first to admit that we’ve spent hours sifting through the zillion bits of info in our own guidebooks searching for places to stay, directions to the biggest tourist sites, or using the language guides to help decipher a menu.  However, at some point most travelers come to realize that the guidebook is only that, a guide.  It cannot possibly include everything, and it shouldn’t because really, a huge part of really travelling is learning to hunt down a fantastic local restaurant, bar, or anywhere interesting that isn’t filled to the brim with tourists.

Over the last few months we’ve stumbled across some real gems that aren’t in the guidebooks and we’d like to share some with you, provided that you don’t tell Lonely Planet!

During our time in Buenos Aires, our couchsurf host asked if we’d been to see the famous bookstore that was housed in an old theatre.  We hadn’t even heard of it, but we are both book and theatre lovers so we decided it would definitely be worth a visit.

El Ateneo bookstore in Buenos Aires, Argentina

We didn’t have big expectations, so we were a bit blown away when we walked in.  In addition to being simply massive, the theatre, originally called ‘The Grand Splendid’, has been beautifully maintained and is bright and welcoming.  All the seating has been removed and replaced with rows of books, including in the side balconies.  A few of the box seats have been converted to small reading rooms with plush armchairs, and the stage now holds a lovely café that serves coffee and sweets.

There aren’t any books in English, but it’s worth the visit just to marvel at how spectacular the space is.

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Word On The Street

* El Atenero is located at Ave Santa Fe 1860 in Barrio Recoleta in Buenos Aires. 

Blown Away in Patagonia

4 Apr

The title pretty much says it all.  We had heard that we should expect some ferocious winds during our time trekking Torres del Paine in Chile and in the Parque National Los Glaciers  in Argentina.  We sort of thought people were exaggerating when they said you might literally be knocked down sometimes, but that’s exactly what happened to me on more than one occasion.  The winds can supposedly reach speeds, in bursts, of 180 kilometers per hour!  We didn’t feel anything that strong, but there were times when it was strong enough that we had to just give up for a bit, sit down, and wait it out.

So far, hiking in Patagonia has been one of the highlights of our trip.  We love the feel of the small mountain towns, and just when you think the scenery can’t get more spectacular, it does.  We’ve got lots to say about each of these parks, but for now we’ll leave you with a video of some of our windiest moments.

Photo Friday – 7 Super Shots

23 Mar

We’ve decided to try and be more diligent about sharing pictures of our journey, so from here on out we will have a regular Photo Friday post.  We’re starting with a nice little travel meme, “7 Super Shots” started by HostelBookers and passed along to me by Nod ‘n’ Smile travel blog (check it out, they are in the final stages of the planning process and will be heading out soon!).  This meme is very straightforward – select 7 photos that fit into 7 categories and then nominate 5 others to share the same.

Since we are on the road, we’ve chosen only from pictures that we’ve taken on this journey.

A photo that…

1) Takes my breath away

Justin in the Andes at Macchu Pichu, Peru

We had gotten up long before dawn to make our way up to Macchu Pichu before the sunrise.  As day broke, the mist that had settled in the valleys overnight began to shift, rising and flowing up through the Andes.  It was a moment of such unexpected beauty that it really did take my breath away.

2) Makes me laugh or smile

Dianna Arroz. Of course.

I mean, how can you not laugh or smile at this?!?! We were grocery shopping in Bariloche, Argentina when we came across this marketing gem.

3) Makes me dream

Sunrise at Deception Island, Antarctica

I still cannot find the words to describe how incredible Antarctica is.  It really is the most beautiful, almost magical place we’ve ever been.  We got up at 4am so we could witness the sunrise on our final day of landings.  Watching the sun break the horizon that day, I felt like anything was possible.

4) Makes me think

Local woman near Maras, Peru

We took this picture on our way to see the salt ponds of Maras, in Peru.  The juxtaposition of this woman with the beauty salon advertisement, in the background (notice that the model is a blonde woman) makes me think about what happens when the modern and the new crashes into the traditional.

5) Makes my mouth water

Olives at the market in Arequipa, Peru

We LOVE local markets.  We can spend entire afternoons wandering around and sampling food, eating little bits of everything there is to offer in lieu of a real meal.  These olives were so perfect that I can almost taste them as I’m typing this…

6) Tells a story

Shaman during a wedding ceremony in Ollantaytambo, Peru

We were blessed with the chance to attend a local wedding during our stay in Ollantaytambo, Peru.  The traditional ceremony was performed by a shaman, and while we couldn’t understand the language much at that point, the beauty and the purpose of the ceremony came through very clearly.  At this point, a young girl had just come into the ceremony site with a bag of fresh milk.  The bride and groom’s families took turn offering the milk, and some wine, to the four directions, after which the wine was poured by the bride and groom and shared with all in attendance.  It was one of the most mystical things we’ve experienced, and we feel very fortunate to have been a part of it.

7) I am most proud of (a ‘National Geographic shot)

Glacier in Paradise Bay, Antarctica

It was hard to not choose pictures entirely from Antarctica for this challenge because it’s just so easy to take great photos there!  For me, this one just leaps out every time we sift through the tons of images from that trip.  Our zodiac cruise around Paradise Bay was one of the highlights of the cruise because we had absolutely perfect weather and, as you can see, totally still waters.  As our zodiac made its way closer to this ice hunk, a piece of it collapsed and sent huge chunks of ice crashing into the ocean, a reminder of the ever-changing landscape in Antarctica.

And now…I’d like to see 7 Super Shots from

Happy To Be Homeless

Fluent in Frolicking

Ric and Roll

Adventures in Nature

Click. The Good News.

Big Ice – Trekking the Perito Moreno Glacier in El Calafate, Argentina

20 Mar

Perito Moreno Glacier in El Calafate, Argentina

Wow, that title sure is a mouthful.  The thing is, any post about the Perito Moreno Glacier in El Calafate, Argentina deserves such a title because the glacier itself is so huge.

Perito Moreno has been on our South American Must-See list for as long as I can remember.  While it’s not the biggest glacier in the world, it is one of the most accessible and tourists come in droves from all over the world to get up close and personal with this giant hunk of ice.  It measures 97 square miles, and is part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field on the border of Chile and Argentina.  This ice field is so massive that it contains nearly 1/3 of the world’s fresh water.  It stands at a height of about 250 feet, and that’s just above the lake! One of the most remarkable things about Perito Moreno is that it’s one of the only glaciers on Earth that continues to grow instead of melting away into oblivion.

Close up of the ice formations on the Perito Moreno glacier

There are a million varieties of tours you can take when you visit – everything from boat rides that get you up close to the face of the glacier, to bus/boat combos, to ice trekking tours.  You can also go on your own and take a public bus to the park entrance and spend the day wandering the catwalks.  Despite the fact that we have generally been living like paupers, we decided to go ahead with a major splurge for our chance to spend a day doing some ice trekking.  There’s only one company in town that runs this show (heeellloooooo monopoly!) so we forked over way more cash than we should have, and attempted to go to bed early since we were getting picked up bright and early the next morning.

We were a bit bummed to be greeted with a drizzly morning, but we layered up, grabbed some extra plastic bags for the camera gear, and hopped on the Hielo & Aventura bus at 7:30am.  It takes about an hour to reach the glacier from town, and as our bus rounded the bend to give us our first glimpse of the ice, the driver slowed way down and blasted comically dramatic music to heighten the atmosphere.  We were given an hour to walk around the catwalks and take photos before we boarded a boat for a ride across the front of the glacial lake to where we would get our gear for the ice hike.   After a moderate climb up behind the edge of the glacier we were given gloves and crampons and split into very small groups to begin the trek.

Be careful when walking!

Hiking on ice is fairly straightforward.  Make sure your crampons are on tightly, then lift your feet and smash them down into the ice to make sure you have a good grip.  Keep your feet enough apart that you don’t rip your pants or skewer your own calf, which apparently has happened more than once on these tours.

Our guides were fantastic and took us on a long and meandering path where despite the fact that we knew the other groups must be close, we didn’t see them at all.  The ice is constantly moving, changing shape, melting and re-freezing.  This makes each trip unique, and some features that we saw will have totally vanished in the time it took me to actually get this post up (6 weeks since we visited).

We saw numerous ice caves, including one that was big enough for us to walk inside, though we had to really watch our step because it was split down the middle with a crevice that was easily 20 feet deep.  The inside was perfectly smooth, slippery and so blue that we almost glowed.

Inside the ice cave

An erratic rock on the Perito Moreno glacier

We also saw numerous ‘erratic rocks’, which are rocks that tumble down the mountains that surround glaciers and are then carried by the movement of the glacier.  Eventually, when the glacier is gone, the rocks will remain and appear completely out of place since they are often carried great distances and then deposited in the valleys and flatlands created by the glacier.

It’s a very surreal feeling to be out in what seems like the middle of nowhere on something that is as foreign as the surface of the moon.  The ice changes texture and shape often so there is always something new to look at after walking just a short distance.  The surface is deceptively peaceful since one wrong step can leave you crashing through a thin spot, or slipping into one of the fast moving rivers that form on the surface as parts of the ice begin to melt.  Above all, it’s exquisitely beautiful.

Ice landscape

Top of Perito Moreno glacier

Lunar ice landscape

After tromping around for nearly 5 hours we were completely exhausted and were taken back to the boat landing to begin the journey home.  Much to our surprise and delight, we were given a chocolate biscuit and a healthy glass of Jameson on glacier ice (yes, for real) to finish off the day.

This was easily the most expensive tourist day trip we’ve done so far on our journey, and it was totally worth it.

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Word On The Street
* The Perito Moreno glacier is part of the Los Glaciers National Park in Argentina, about an hour outside of El Calafate.  You can visit parts of the park for free (notably, in El Chalten, Argentina) but you must pay an entrance fee to see the Perito Moreno glacier.  At the time of writing, the fee for international tourists was $100 pesos.
 
* There is only once company that can take you out onto the ice – Hielo and Aventura.  They offer a Mini-trekking tour, which is a half-day trip, or the Big Ice trip, which ended up being a full 12 hours, door to door.  We highly, highly recommend the Big Ice trip if you are fit as it seemed like a much better value.  The Big Ice tour costs around US $175 and the Mini-trek is less, somewhere around US $140.  Prices can be higher if you book ahead with a travel agent, but most hostels will book at the same cost as going directly through the company.
 
* Waterproof shoes are essential.  Waterproof jacket and gloves are a good idea, especially if the weather isn’t being cooperative, though Hielo and Aventura will loan basic gloves if needed.  Crampons are provided.
 
* You’ll need to bring your own lunch, and you’ll eat it on the ice.  Having a bag to sit on is a good idea. 

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For more pictures, take a look at the slideshow below!

Moving Box Bet – Argentina AND Uruguay!

7 Mar

If you are unfamiliar with our Moving Box Bet series, check out Justin’s first challenge from Peru, and his second challenge from Chile.

It took a long time for us to find a suitable food challenge for Justin in Argentina.  This mostly has to do with the fact that just about everything we’ve come across here is delicious!  Argentina has a lovely mix of Spanish and Italian heritage, and as a result you get some great pasta, pastries, and meat.  All of these we love, so you can see the dilemma.

In Argentina, people eat a lot of meat.  A lot.  Parillas (place that cook meat on a grill) are a dime-a-dozen, it’s an Atkins diet dream come true.

One thing we discovered in our quest to get better at reading menus is that people here eat every part of the cow.  Seriously.  Every part.

This diagram is missing a few key elements...

It is not uncommon to find sweetbreads or other organ meats on the menu.  Lonely Planet even lists ‘ubre’ (udder) in the food glossary, which mean you must be able to find that in at least a few establishments.  We had resigned ourselves to the fact that we would simply have to find a place that could grill up some good thymus gland and that would suffice for Justin’s challenge, despite the fact that it’s really not all that unusual.

That was before we met our couchsurf host.

We had the pleasure of staying with a fantastic family for most of our time in Buenos Aires, and we shared the concept of the Moving Box Bet with them in the hopes that they could point us towards a reputable place for Justin to complete the challenge.  Much to my delight, our host exclaimed that there were way more unique parts of the cow that could be cooked and eaten.  Parts that she in fact knew how to cook.  Parts like the brain.

Until this point I was totally unaware that you could waltz into a butcher and just ask for a brain, but apparently you can.  Our first few attempts at locating this precious item were unsuccessful and we had resigned ourselves once again to the thymus.  On our second to last night we were heading out to dinner with some friends of our host’s daughter and we happened to pass a butcher.  We popped in and low and behold, the man had not one, but TWO brains available for us to choose from! Jackpot!

The brain was frozen, which was ideal since we were on our way to dinner and didn’t have time to run back to the apartment before we were due to meet the rest of our party.  Our host’s daughter simply had them double bag it, and she casually popped it into her purse as if it was no big thing to be carrying a frozen brain on your way to a restaurant. I was giddy over the whole situation and kept bursting into laughter at the thought of the brain just chilling in her purse during dinner.

Tragically this was the ONLY NIGHT we have ever forgotten our camera in the last 4 months.  Go figure. I could not get over our luck at finding the thing, and our sheer stupidity for not having the camera to document the moment.

The next day, true to her word, our host expertly cooked the brain (just a tip, you have to soak it in vinegar for about 15 minutes, remove some sort of filmy outer membrane, and then you can boil it) and had it ready to go for dinner that night.  There is a long history of people eating brain in different parts of the world.  In Italy they used to chop it up and use it as filling for ravioli.  You can also slice it thinly, bread it, and fry it, like Milanese.  The possibilities are endless.  For the purpose of the challenge, I requested that it remain whole, you know, so Justin could see it for exactly what it was before he ate it.

We actually shared a lovely full meal with the family that evening, and brain wasn’t the only thing on the menu.  We had decided that since we’d only be in Uruguay for a short time, and since the menu is very similar, that Justin would eat TWO things that night and one of them would count for Uruguay.   If Lonely Planet can lump them together into one guidebook, then we can lump them together into one challenge. We decided on something you can find easily at every parilla in Argentina and Uruguay – morcilla, or blood sausage, to round out the evening.  In all, I consider it a spectacular success.

Recoleta Cemeterio, – NOT the place to be during the zombie apocolypse

2 Mar

Cemeteries in South America are fascinating.  They tend to be above ground in spaces that range from basic slots in a big wall, to insanely elaborate family mausoleums that resemble miniature mansions, churches, or temples.  To wander around in them is like being in a very tiny city.

One of the most elaborate cemeteries we’ve visited is the Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  It’s an actual tourist attraction and is where Evita was laid to rest, along with a slew of other notable Argentinians.

As we wandered though this little place of the dead, a few things became very apparent to me.

1) There are a lot of tombs where either there is nobody left to pay the maintenance fee, or the family can’t afford to pay it anymore.

2) Nobody seems to care, or do anything when these tombs start literally falling down.

There were a number of mausoleums where the glass on the windows or doors were broken, and a few where the ceilings had caved in completely.  This makes it a whole lot easier to see the, erm, contents, of the structure.  I am a bit unaccustomed to seeing stacks of coffins, so when I peeked into the windows of a disheveled tomb and saw this (below), I was a little taken aback.

I don’t know what I expected was in these things, but I was still surprised to see so. many. coffins.  The other thing was that they are all just there on like a bunk bed for the dead.  Morbid, I know, but after many nights in dorm rooms I just can’t think of another way to describe it.

Now, if you already know me, what I am about to say won’t be that surprising.  If you have never met me, well…sorry, you’re about to meet a little bit of my supernatural crazy.

It wouldn’t be very difficult at all for a zombie to pop the lid off a coffin that’s just laying about in a mausoleum.  In the States, they’d have to work against all that topsoil and it would take them forever to get out.  In Buenos Aires, it requires hardly any effort!

Justin tried to point out that they’d still be all in their little marble houses, but then we started realizing that actually, a lot of those aren’t so secure.  Take this one for example.

It looks like it was originally built to be solid.  I don’t really know what’s happening with the door, but clearly it wouldn’t take much to unhinge it completely.  Let’s take a closer look at the “lock” now.

Yeah, that’s not going to restrain the power of the walking dead.  I’m just saying.

There were tons of tombs that had this problem, and we quickly came to the conclusion that we don’t want to be anywhere in South America when the zombie apocalypse occurs.

In the meantime though, these cemeteries are incredible little microcosms of architecture, and you should totally go check a few of them out if you get the chance.  The best we’ve seen are the Recoleta Cemetary in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the Cementerio General in Santiago, Chile.

Bikes. Wine. Empanadas.

17 Jan

Obviously we went to Mendoza for the wine.  What we didn’t expect was to stumble upon a great little hostel, the Empredrado, which offered not only a free glass of wine every day (hello amazing!) but also a free empanadas making class!

We have completely fallen in love with empanadas, in all of their forms, so we were super excited to be learning how to make them on our first night in the city.

My first empanada!

As it turns out, they are ridiculously easy to put together, especially when you can buy the dough, pre-cut to the perfect size, in any grocery store in Argentina.   Basically, you prepare your filling, which traditionally is meat with onion, part of a hard-boiled egg and a piece of olive, though really you can fill them with whatever you want.  Once that’s sorted out you put a little bit on one side of the dough, fold it over and crease the edges together.

Place the ‘raw’ empanadas on a baking sheet, brush with butter, pop them in the oven and voila! Perfect empanadas!

The first tray is finished. Don't put them too close together or you end up with siamese-empanadas.

The next day, full of energy provided by my new favorite snack food and with some new-found friends, we headed out to sample some of the local wine.  It’s incredibly easy to rent a bike for the day in Maipu, just outside of Mendoza, and just peddle yourself around some of the local vineyards, stopping to sample wine or grab a bite to eat along the way.   You can take a city bus out to the town, and then walk around the main square where you’ll have your pick of bike rentals.  Prices seem to be around 30 pesos per day at this point, but there is definitely a little bit of room for haggling if you are there in a slower season.

Maps in hand we set off down the dusty road.  Our plan was to ride out to the furthest point on the map, about 12 kilometers away, and then make our way back while sampling along the way.  I’d highly recommend this route as it seems that cycling 12K after a day of drinking might be less than ideal.

It’s easy to see the similarities of this area with parts of northern Italy, especially with the abundance of Cyprus trees that lined our route and we were thankful for the shade in the near 100 degree heat.

There were way too many wineries for us to be able to hit them all, but we made it to Vistandes, Carinae, Di Tommaso, and Vina el Cerno, with a stop for lunch before the last tasting.  The cost for a tour and tasting ranges from about 15-30 pesos per person.

In the cellar at Vistandes

Our least favorite was Vistandes, which was unfortunate because it’s a relatively new operation with a lovely building and a great tour guide.  What made it our least favorite was that they served us bottom of the line wines, and only two of them, for the tasting.  Why would we buy something when you give us the worst of your production after putting the best of the bottles out for display on the tasting table?

Carinae had astronomy themes running through their wines.

Carinae offered a few different flights of tastings, and for a few pesos more we were able to sample some of their reserve wines.  We also ordered some cheese to snack on and it came with their own olive oil, which was some of the best I’ve ever had.

Original wine tanks at Di Tommasa

Di Tommaso was a lovely place with some antique casks and an incredible cellar.  They keep a bottle from every year that they’ve produced and you can can view the ever-growing stack in the private cellar. They gave a wide variety of tastings, and will deliver any bottles you purchase to your hostel for you the same day so that you don’t have to ride around with them in the hot sun.

Vina El Cerno was a clear winner, if for no other reason than that their ‘tasting’ was really 4 nearly-full glasses of your choice from their selections.

I mean, sometimes it takes 8 or 10 sips to get a proper taste....

After El Cerno we took a detour into an olive orchard and spent some time leaping about, which really, after a great day of sampling Malbec, is the only logical thing to do.

Wine! Hooray!

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