Yesterday was really fun. On another suggestion from Francisco, we went to a town called Maipu, or more specifically a district outside the small town of Maipu called Conquibito (again, f#@& you, Footprints, it seems everyone else´s guidebooks told them about this place). We were able to rent bikes there and they gave us a map to 7 or 8 wineries around that we could ride to. We ended up seeing a group of 4 other tourists–we could tell because they were wearing shorts– and decided to follow them. They ended up being really nice Irish, whom we could actually understand! We did the whole tour with them and got drunk from the wine and ended up at a really great place that made liquers including Absinthe. Yes, we actually saw it sitting in the wormwood. Unfortunately, we had no more money at this time, so had to go home empty handed, but a little tipsy even after the bike ride home. It was nice to converse easily with people and enjoy the sun and scenery (again, photos to follow).
Ok, so here is where the conflicted emotion comes in… when we got back to Francisco´s house after a really great day, I still felt uneasy or nervous and not really excited for the trip ahead. We had been planning to make our way slowly across northern Argentina, end up on the beaches of Uruguay and then to Buenos Aires for Christmas and New Years with Mike´s cousins who live there. Mike and I ended up talking for a long time about why this made both of us nervous and we started talking about the best times while travelling and we found a few similarities. Many of them were when had mobility freedom (like the scooter in Thailand or even the Paris Metro) and all of them happened when we had a secure home base. The present and near future has none of these things, and even though we really like the city and culture of Mendoza, there is no way for us to relax into a rhythem of life. It isn´t so much the travelling that we like, but the staying part.
We made a decision to speed up the travelling part and try to get to BA faster and stay there longer. We are realizing that South America is huge! I mean obviously, but when you are looking at it on a map above your bed at home, you aren´t thinking from point A to point B takes 26 hours or wow there are 86 cities the size of Bellevue or larger, you just think, Argentina. By going to BA for so long, we are sacrificing a lot of the country and a lot of different ways of life, but if we don´t, I fear that we would go crazy trying to see everything. One month is barely enough time to say that we have been somewhere for real. We probably won´t even know BA as well as we could when we are done, but we will have a much better chance of knowing anything if we cut out the rest.