I’ve returned from an ideal Mendoza wine tour experience and have two very different stories to tell. I have conflicting emotions over what should be remembered as a perfect day.
The first is a lighthearted story about a wine tour overlooking the Uco Valley and Andes mountains. We visited two wineries that looked like postcards come to life, the wine was delicious, the people were warm and friendly, and our tour guide was knowledgeable and patient. Our best day in Mendoza.
The second is a horrific tale where my entire body almost fell out of my asshole because I could not. stop. pooping.
My upper half enjoyed itself, my bottom half did not.
The Beginning of the End(less pooping)
We went out for Will’s 27th birthday, drank a bunch of heavy IPAs, ate some incredibly fatty, rich food, and capped the night off with a few Jameson shots at the local Irish pub at midnight to celebrate the fact that Will is closer to death than ever before. This set a series of events in motion that led to me almost dying of dysentary like I was on the Oregon Trail.
It’s all fun and games until your asshole is a flamethrower
In Buenos Aires, the late night food is not Wendys or McDonalds, shitty food I can handle, it’s super poncho hot dogs with mayonnaise, a poison my stomach is unfamiliar with. We (Stupidly) decided that the best time to try one was that night at 4 AM, from a restaurant that would have been condemned by an American health inspector.
It was a Subway-esque place where you can customize your weiner with all sorts of condiments. I loaded mine up with 5 hot sauces, some vegetables that had probably been left out for 4 days, and Argentinian fritos because I’m drunk and who cares. The 5 hot sauces were a huge mistake, my eyes and mouth would not stop watering. A foreboding sign of what awaited me in the morning.
Footage of how disgusting it was. And how drunk we were.
Oh my god please stop pooping
Dramatization of me in the bathroom mirror.
From the time I woke up at 8 AM to when I got back at 5 PM there was boiling hot shit flying out of my asshole at 7,000 PSI.
We had about 3 hours of sleep before we stumbled downtown to meet Oscar, our tour guide. My morning poop was a watery violent affair, but after a night of drinking that’s not out of the ordinary, so I didn’t give it a second thought. As we started walking towards the car, my stomach sounded like it was screaming for help. I started to feel a sense of impending doom.
I, unfortunately, had to sit shotgun on the ride there. Oscar tried to converse with me but every fiber of my being was focused on not shitting all over his passenger seat. I was sweating bullets and analyzing the highway, looking for any makeshift bathroom. An emergency area, rest stop, even a large bush to pull the car over so I could spray liquid diarrhea all over the place. There was nothing for miles. No cover, no bushes, just a desert landscape with no hope of relief in sight.
When we finally arrived, I barely got to take in the beauty of Susana Balbo’s house/winery before I annihilated her bathroom. I would do this several more times before we left. I don’t think it will ever be the same. To Susana and the winery staff – I’m so sorry, but it was your toilet or my pants and I still had a full day ahead of me.
“Take the picture, I have to shit.”
The Belasco de Baquedano winery got the worst of it. The bartenders and staff went from warming greeting me to angrily glaring at me after my 6th or 7th trip to their water closet. Since there was nobody in the lobby they saw, heard, and smelled the horror I was unleashing throughout the day. There were several close calls as I tried to balance having a good time with not pooping myself. I learned a long time ago never to trust a fart, so I took no chances. Can’t gamble with diarrhea.
Oscar, Will, and Christina had a lot of fun watching me suffer. I found it funny on poop #3. By #5 I wanted to go home. By #10-11 I started to plan who I was going to call to say goodbye because this is clearly the end of my life. I’m the first one to laugh at shit related humor but this crossed a line I didn’t know existed. It’s hilarious in retrospect, but at the time I thought I was going to die with my pants around my ankles in a tiny South American bathroom.
A brief moment of me not pooping.
I’m not exaggerating when I say I shit at least 12 times that day. I literally shit myself into tears. I was praying to Allah (God obviously wasn’t listening) to make the horror stop. during my 12th visit to the bathroom I was sweating, pale white, and sobbing like a bitch. It was a humbling experience. My cheeks were also beyond raw from using the worst toilet paper on Earth. Good thing we had to walk A LOT for both winery tours.
Pondering where my life went wrong
I also didn’t learn a god damn thing about Argentinian wine because I was absent during a majority of both tours. When I was present I struggled to pay attention, what little energy I did have was focused on not soiling myself. I’ll post the photos but I’m going to struggle writing about them without every sentence ending with “or something, I don’t know, I really had to shit.”
I somehow survived the whole ordeal and made it back to our AirBnB, exhausted, and barely able to walk. I still struggle with PTSD (Post Traumatic Shitting Disorder) to this day.
Despite my bowel issues, it was THE highlight of our Mendoza trip. An unbelievable experience for the $140 we paid. I enjoyed the tastings, the veal tenderloin I ate at lunch was the best steak I’ve ever had, and the breaks between poops were filled with good times and laughs, mostly at my expense.
I’m proud to say I fought through it, overcame adversity, and despite all of the close calls, didn’t have poop in my pants. That’s how I measure success.