15.01. – 18.01.
In Mendoza we meet Renate and Bart from Holland again. For new readers: I met Renate and Bart in Guatemala close to the border of Honduras. We then traveled a week through Honduras and Nicaragua together and had various adventures.

Our paths crossed again in Bogota for an evening. Now we should meet again in Mendoza for the third time. The two are heading south, Andi and I go north.

When they read my last post about the encounters, they seemed a bit disappointed, that I did not tell in detail about them – there was a purpose. Our days in Mendoza were meant to be mentioned in a separate article. ;-)

Bart is firefighter and Renate has worked in a bank. They are enthusiastic motorcyclists and are riding on BMW F800 GS for about 8 to 9 months through North and South America. Renate’s motorcycle, as it should be for a girl, has a few equipment some in pink. ;-)
Except from Andi, who now travels with me now, I spent the most time with them on my trip. They are among the nicest people I’ve met on my journey.

In Mendoza, we spend four nights together. Steaks are devoured – it must have been a whole cow, and beer and wine flowed down our throats.

On one of the days in Mendoza we booked a full day wine tour. In a minibus with 10-12 other people we drive through the area and visit three vineyards, a factory that produces olive oil and a shop “de dulces”, which also manufactures various alcoholic drinks.
We were told that there are abount 1,000 vineyards around Mendoza in various sizes. We were visiting a big traditional winery, a young company and a family owned business, where everything is done by hand and without pesticides.
The visit of the first winery, Bodega Lopez, was pretty impressive. They produce 50 million liters annually, we were told. Huge wooden barrels on the ground floor and in the basement a huge space with metal containers. The barrels are only partly in use, old and worn out and too expensive to continue to use them.
The small company that produces olive oil was interesting too. We learn a trick, how you can see, whether olive oil was produced naturally. As far as I understand, you have to put the olive oil in the fridge and after some time water components and oil should separate. Tell me if I’m wrong.

You can see how the people are getting more and more tired during the heat of the day. At the third vineyard people are acting just like they are interested in what the guide is talking about.
Malbec is the most famous wine around Mendoza. Malbec for breakfast, Malbec for lunch and Malbec for dinner. Malbec at any time. We are constantly reminded to drink as much wine as possible.

The temperatures are between 38 to 40 degrees. Between 1pm and 2pm most shops close and then open again at 5 to 6 pm or later. On the last evening we celebrate Andis birthday too.

On Sunday the 19th January Renate and Barts and our ways separate again. It was a warm farewell. Some meetings evolve into friendships. I count the two to my friends now and see them in the Netherlands again.

Thank you for reading, Jürgen.

Photos Album

Andis Video Don’t worry be happy

P.S. And here comes the cliffhanger for the next article, where I write, how it came to our first bribe.