In my first official day in Mendoza I woke up at around noon. I was in a 6 person room and was woken up by the sounds of new people moving in. I jumped out of bed. This was late! I had planned to go on a vineyard tour that was to depart around 1pm. My two new roomies turned out to be a really great German guy and girl. We instantly hit it off speaking German and hearing from them about their adventures in South America. I believe the standard list of questions for other backpackers I had met along the way was 1. So where are you coming in from? 2. How long will you be in South America for? 3. What does your itinerary look like. We quickly got up to speed with Max and Barbara. The best advice they gave me was to change the hostel I planned to stay in Buenos Aires.
Max and Barbara: It is a party hostel
Thekenyanexplorer: Sounds like my type of hostel.
Max and Barbara: No, really! It is full of 18 year olds who don't know how to drink. You will wake up to puke on the floor. You can never sleep as people party 24 hours a day.
Thekenyanexplorer: Uh huh! Ok. Time to cancel my "Milhouse hostel" booking and change to this Eco Pampa place you guys have recommended.
They also had plans of doing the vineyard tour, but we quickly discovered there was a nationwide strike that day. Everything was closed. This actually became quite common during my stay in Argentina - nationwide strikes. The weather was rainy, but we all decided to go to a park nearby that was meant to be quite pretty. We waited at the hostel for a Norwegian friend of theirs and together we went to the park.
It was half an hour's walk away, and we spent an hour or so walking around at the park. I was so thankful for all the speed-walking I have been doing at Jaffreys as this was no normal stroll in the park. We were walking quite fast - which I actually enjoyed a lot. I am one of those people who get irritated when I am in Nairobi CBD and people are walking slowly as if they are in a wedding procession.
After our cardio session at the park we went back to our hostel and had a few beers as we waited for the 7pm free wine. Now that I think about it, I don't think we ate anything that day other than some yummy chocolates that Jonas (our Norwegian friend) bought us. After the beers, we had lots and lots of wine. More and more people streamed onto the patio and at "free wine time" was when I realized just how many people the hostel had. Friendships were quickly made - lubricated by bottle's of wine and cemented with memories that none of us would clearly remember at a later date. The patio was something from another planet. I only realized that the plants hanging from the patio "roof" were grapevines, when we were provided with bowls to grab as many grapes as we wanted to have with our wine...Yes, true story!
At some point someone mentioned there was a great buffet place that cost around $10. We all walked there - by this point we were a group of around 15 or so very loud tourists. We never found the place and ended up eating somewhere along the way - no real recollection of where exactly. At some point Jonas mentioned he knew a cool hip-hop club in the middle of Mendoza. Off we went! I was out till around 6am and clearly remember hearing Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby got back," in Mendoza:-) Wonders never cease. My one poor decision for the night was having a few shots of some Fernet - an Argentinian liqueur. It was a decision I would really regret all of the next day.