Argentina Travel

Day 1 in Mendoza – Sudores de Carnes

Will unfortunately arrives safely and we all get meat sweats

Unfortunately, Will is here.

Of course I’m kidding, Will added a much needed boost to our trip and had our spirits sky high, despite how terrible he is.  To reward him for getting here on time, we had him immediately jump on an 18-hour bus trip from Buenos Aires to Mendoza. Don’t feel too bad for him though, he wanted to do Mendoza and this was the only feasible way to get there without shelling out another $300 for a flight.

And what better way to punctuate our trip through Satan’s anus then being on a bus for 18 hours.

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This photo was not doctored in any way

The overnight bus was, for the most part, very enjoyable.  We each got our own giant Lay-z-Boy seat and were able to put our feet up and get some decent sleep.  It provided WiFi which didn’t work and a large selection of movies and TV shows that we couldn’t watch.  Not that it really mattered since all of the movies were in Spanish, but it would’ve been something to do.  No service in the country and no deck of cards because Christina forgot them, we had to actually converse with each other.

Conversation and iPhone games took about 5 of the 18 hours, the rest of the time was spent staring at a whole lotta nothing out the bus window and bathing in the farts from other passengers. The smell of stale sweat and unwashed assholes started to really ramp up around the 10-hour mark. Still, our attitudes remained positive.

Also, some guy thought it was a good idea to turn in circles as he was pissing and coated all of the walls, floors, and toilet seat with his gift.  Minor gripes aside, the trip went pretty smoothly.  Well, our driver almost got arrested but I was sleeping for that so I’m going to pretend it didn’t happen.  We also drank a bottle of wine on the bus which was a nice break and helped me sleep for a good 6 hours.

We’re in Mendoza!

We got in at 8:00 AM and had 6 hours to kill until we could check into the AirBnB.  At this point I’m thinking “fuck these bags”, I had been lugging these 50 lbs. burdens around for 3 days and wanted nothing more than to leave them somewhere for a few minutes.  Instead, all of our luggage joined us for breakfast and lunch as we wandered around beautiful downtown, killed some time, and remained in good spirits despite our collective exhaustion and irritability.

We hit up two cafés, Bute which we thought was a nice local gem until we saw them on every block, and I drank a cup of coffee that nearly gave me a panic attack it was so strong.  Lesson 1: South America coffee is cocaine in a cup.  I had to drink some wine to stop shaking.  But it was a beautiful day out and we enjoyed walking around the city even though we must have looked like pig pen from Charlie Brown with overwhelming stank and dirt following us wherever we went.

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Wine. seltzer water. friends. cigs. perfection.

We FINALLY arrived at our AirBnB, put our stuff down, took some much needed showers, and started drinking on our rooftop.  “This is a marathon, not a sprint” I told myself as we began to drink, and then proceeded to ignore my own advice.  I’m a very excitable person, and the excitement of being in Mendoza with my best friends combined with the relief of not carrying my bags caused me to drink waaaaay too fast. Will brought a Bluetooth speaker so we did what any white people do when they drink together, listened to pop punk songs from the late 90s and early 2000s and sang along, poorly.

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Our balcony was legit.

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Photos of the sing-a-long.  Cameo by Otis on the smartphone.

Sweaty Meat People

Christina found one of the nicer Parrillas (Steak house) in town, el Patio de Jesus Maria.  Drunk and starving, we got there at 8:30.  Despite knowing that Argentina doesn’t eat dinner until 10:00 PM, we thought it wouldn’t be a big deal.  It was.  We arrived before the senior citizens got there.  We didn’t want to look like a bunch of losers so we walked down the street and had a beer first. On an empty stomach.

We got back at 9:30 and we were still way too early, how the fuck do people eat this late?  This time we said fuck it, went inside, and each consumed an entire cow, entrails and all, along with two bottles of wine, papas fritas with scrambled eggs on top (surprisingly good), and a mountain of bread.  I ate so much I’m surprised it didn’t force everything out of my system.  I thought I was going to poop my pants and came to terms with it because I wasn’t moving until all the meat was gone.

How to feel supremely satisfied and like you’re dying at the same time

The entrails were surprisingly delicious, even though the consistency was…strange. After eating it I thought it would be best if I didn’t ask what body parts I just ate.  The Bife de Chorizo was by far the best, a huge slab of sirloin seasoned and cooked perfectly.  The Malbecs that we paired with our meal were worked beautifully and the entire meal set the tone for the rest of our week.  We were pretty hammered and this meal brought us all back to reality.  Our first parrilla experience was thankfully a successful one. Like Stella, we needed to get our groove back, and 15 lbs. of meat was how we did it.

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Just a couple of dorks.  

So much for pacing ourselves.  For some reason, we thought it would be a good idea to celebrate the Boston Bruins win by drinking some Jameson at the local Irish pub.  It was tied when we went, Christina wanted to celebrate if they won, I wanted to celebrate if they lost.  They won, and she didn’t even drink her Jameson.  Me and Will (Will and I?) ended up consuming it and painfully shitting it out all the next morning.  After we got a little too drunk celebrating our arrival, we stumbled home and slept like coma victims for the next 10 hours.

Yep.

It was an appropriate start and a small taste of the binge wine drinking that was to come. Next up – Wine bike tours.

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