This country and I are getting along very well. It has been quite a change from the Central Andean countries like Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Travel in Argentina is downright civilized, I would say.
I have heard many tall tales in my travels of the quality, and low cost, of Argentinian beef. It´s all true. If you ever come to Argentina, you need to hit one of their asados. This is a BBQ, sometimes all-you-can eat (very dangerous), where the meat is typically cooked slowly over coals. My hostel in Mendoza did an all-you-can-eat asado the other day. I over-ate so badly I had to be carried to my room.
If you are vegetarian, I suggest you take a reprieve for one day in Argentina
Speaking of Mendoza, I´m told it is one of the finest wine-making regions in the world. I wouldn´t have the slightest clue, as I don´t like wine (somebody pass me a beer…). But I´ll tell you what I do like: bicycle wine tours. Now, this is a good time. In Mendoza, you can rent a bike and cycle around to all the wineries to do tastings. All the other people are swishing, swirling, gurgling, tasting the wine. I am just tossing the stuff back and getting sloshed. Classy, as usual.
Getting drunk and biking around vineyards in beautiful weather is a blast!
Not far from Mendoza (a great city, btw) lies the biggest mountain outside the Himalayas: 6962m Aconcagua. It is one of the Seven Summits. I spent two days trekking and camping on its flanks. At one of its base camps, I saw many people preparing for a long (typically about 2 weeks) attempt on its summit. I´m not going to lie, I was a bit jealous. (Although I don´t really know why I was jealous, as I know an attempt on its summit would be absolutely miserable.) I will have to return some day with my mountaineering and cold-weather gear. And a climbing partner.
My little tent at Camp 1 of Aconcagua. Check out the massive expedition tents in the background. These are fairly permanent and are for clients of big expedition companies who guide people to the summit. When I arrived music was blaring from one of the tents – Queen, of all bands.
Blog Readers, I would like to introduce you to Aconcagua
On this blog I usually just write about the weird/ridiculous things that I do (or happen to me), because I only have so much time, and it makes for fun writing (and, hopefully, reading). But, so much more happens than I could ever write about! It is a great life. In the future, I want to try to include more info on this, because the life of a traveler is so different from life in the real world. Look forward to my thoughts and observations on the unique life of a long-term traveler.
Here is reminder that you should drink with me on New Years Eve at 11.30pm Eastern Standard Time. It will be fun.
Anyway, I´m in Santiago, Chile now. In a few days I fly to the remote and famous Easter Island for Christmas. I hope you have a merry one and I´ll talk to you after I get back to the mainland.