Monday, May 26, 2008

Don´t Cry For Me Argentina

So Mendoza is the last stop for us in Argentina, and as a result we have decided to get that Evita song in your head. You are most welcome. As a town, Mendoza is a more affluent, more touristy version of Cordoba. The main attractions all center around the looming Andes mountains. But, because we are cheap bastards and cheap bastard serendipity is on our side, we showed up in the very small sliver of low season. Too early for skiing. To late for rafting, skydiving, zip-lining, fly fishing, full contact parasailing, or whatever else the kids are into these days.

But the slight chill in the air did not stop us from doing the tourist thing. We decided on a whim to do a bit of rafting despite the river not being at its full awesome level. Off-season made it affordable and the fact that all of the companies that offer rafting were around the corner from our fabulous hotel made it an easy decision. So I have been rafting a few times but it was Kristi´s first go. The fact that the rapids were basically a class lower than normal meant that we would not be doing the crazy-dangerous stuff, but it would still be a fun intro.

So early one morning, we woke to find our goggle-wearing guide Jose standing in front our hotel waiting for us. Apart from being a wonderfully dopey guide, Jose sported a look that seems a bit too common in the southern hemisphere. It combines the worst of the mullet with the worst of the white-guy-dreadlocks. Not good on anyone. After a drive through the slopes of the Andes and a brief hauling of the raft down to the river, we were off.

Jose quickly made up for the diminished rapids by forcing our boat of five people to stand on the edge of the raft while going down some small riffles, making us nose the boat underwater and fill it right before we hit a rock, try over and over again to get me soaked while keeping Kristi miraculously dry. Apart from the cold, rafting was absolutely great.

The rest of the time in Mendoza we spent enjoying the region´s abundant and cheap wine (for those wishing to win a free something-or-other, count the number of times we have used the word ¨cheap¨on our website, and if you get it right, you will receive the whatsit), playing some backgammon, checking out craft fairs and shopping for a lasso. Only two people will understand why, the rest of you can just live with the possibility that K and I are rustling some ´pacas down in Chile right about now...

Farewell, Argentina and happy independence day! Vaminos Chile!



Lee said...

As far as I can tell, bad mullet inspired hair is exclusively an Argentine phenomenon in the Southern hemisphere

Ben Schwabe said...

17 days left? Oy vay. So sad.

So you're coming up to Portland right? Call me when you're in the PNW, maybe I can come down.

I have a job, so I'm not as flexible about time as I used to be.