Friday: Mendoza, part two kicked off with visiting the wine parade. This parade could compete with the Macys´ parade any day. The floats were all elaborately decorated, most for the queens that represented each region. They threw all sorts of fruit to the crowd, mainly grapes and one float even tossed whole melons out.
My favorite float was the Asado float, where they had a fire and barbecue running on the float. Yes, large slabs of beef were cooking over an open fire on this float. This was not a parade to zone out at.
Saturday: Saturday was a day dedicated to, you guessed it, wine. Our lovely hosts, Javier and Romina took us around in their wine-mobile. We visited Javier´s vinyard, where the grapes were just 3 weeks away from being harvested. There we also picked fresh peaches, plums and pears right off the tree.
Then we visited two Bodegas, tasting wine at each and marvelling at the giant oak barrels that european immigrants had hauled all the way over from France.
That night we viewed the grand finale presentation. The show was held in a giant outdoor stage in the hills of the Andes. The tickets all sell out within days of going on sale, but most people prefer to view the event from the hills behind the stage. Ben and I followed our hosts to a great spot in front of a giant outdoor screen. We had a nice picnic and drank Javier´s wine while we watched hundreds of performers dance around on the stage. It was quite the spectacle.
Sunday: On Sunday we went rafting on the Rio Mendoza. It was an hour long trip, and the river was pretty low. When the guide found out that I guided in the States, he gave me the captains´ chair, and never asked for it back. It felt really good to read a river I´ve never been on. It was only a class II – III, but it was good practice and good fun. I´ve never boated on water as murky as this, so I learned a lot.
After rafting we ate lunch by the reservoir, then had a mate, looking out to the Andes. It´s incredable how the mountains start from no where. We looked at the ridge holding back the Rio Mendoza and thought about how flat it was out there.
Sorry for the extremely short and un-descriptive post, but the internet cafe is closing and I have some trekking to do tomorrow. More posting in a couple weeks, promise!