Journeys in Latin America - January to June 2009

Friday, 13 February 2009


Almost all the wine in Argentina is made here. I have drunk some of it, and i have to say that my mouth has been very appreciative - i guess you can spend the same as you would for a decent bottle in the UK and get a cracking locally produced delight here to savour with the ubiquitous steak.

The hostel i´m staying in now in Mendoza is brilliant - Hostel Lao. Its just exactly what i think a hostel should be, with friendly relaxed staff, loads of nice people, excellent dorms, a nice little garden sitting area with hummingbirds drinking from beautiful red flowered trees, hammocks, guitars, and just a generally very nice feel to it.

So i have decided to stay for the whole of next week and study some Spanish (although they definately speak argentinian here...). 20 hours of one-to-one with a teacher, and i´m guaranteed to be completely 100% fluent by 5 o´clock next friday evening. splendid... I was planning on doing this in Buenos Aires but i think i will have more than enough time in that monsterous city, and would rather keep myself in the nice cosy hamlet of Mendoza´s 1 million inhabitants, each of whom i will probably know by name (again, by about 5pm next friday).

Apart from my throwing myself into an intense self-improvement regime next week, there are a few things that Mendoza seems to offer the interested traveller, the main one of which is tours of the vineyards. This can be done just with a bike, a lot of water, a map, and an ability to retain cycling skills throughout mild intoxification. I may go and do something like that, but it sounds like the sort of activity best done with a group of friends rather than alone, so i´ll see.

Anyway, i´m off now to locate two very important items - a decent pair of shorts, and a replacement for my murikami, i.e. a book that i similarly can´t put down. On the "factual" front, I have been attempting to improve my Argentinian history knowledge which is very "underdeveloped" - to that end i bought a nice little book which i have been trying to plough through - the road names in Chile & Argentina are invariably named after either a major figure in the history of the last few hundred years or a date of something important happening (i.e. 9 de mayo, 10 de noviembre etc etc). Currently i have no idea what revolution, declaration, coup, battle or independence gaining occurred on any of these dates and i feel like i should.

That´s me for now...


1 comment:

Amanda said...

Ah, Mr. Webster. You have finally appeased Dionysus, and avoided all threats of leopard and pine cone attack! Well done!