Livin' La Vida Gaucho

Callan Swaim
April 8, 2015

Feliz Pascua!

As you all know, this past weekend was Easter. For Argentines, it means time to spend with your family (just like in the US), for us study abroad kids, it meant travel time! 

Some ventured to Uruguay and some to Chile but the most popular spot was Mendoza. If you have never heard of Mendoza, it is one of the most beautiful places on the earth. Basically it is vineyards as far as the eye can see, and then the Andes mountains, and then more vineyards. Its just like the pictures, im tellin' you. Knowing that my mom was coming to visit around this weekend, it was perfect to take a mother daughter trip to the wine village. 

Arriving on Thursday night, we didn't really want to get into anything active, so we found this great little artisan fair where we walked around and tasted all the amazing homemade foods from the people of Mendoza. The next day we were determined to go to some bodegas, or what we call vineyards. After wandering around for hours trying to find a bus that would take us to Maipu (the wine village) we decided to pop into one of the local tourism offices. There was where we were told that everything was closed due to the holidays, which did not make us too happy. Luckily, there was one last activity that was scheduled for that day and the bus happened to be waiting outside- white water rafting. So, my mother and I (in our normal street clothes) hopped in the bus and rode up to the mountains to the river. To be honest, being completely unprepared and completely soaked on the drive back, we can still say that it was a great time.  

The next day, we had scheduled to go and ride horses though the Andes mountains. (Woah, it even looks cool when you write it) We, once again, took a van up into the mountains. After two hours of driving on "roads", we arrived at this little cabin and horse ranch where real life gauchos greeted us with coffee and medialunas (pastries) We then mounted our horses and began on our full day tour of the Andes. This is usually where I get out a thesaurus to help me express my feelings in words, but really- there are no words to express the beauty of those mountains. There was even fog rolling though the hills and valleys which made it even more majestic. On our venture back towards the cabin, it started to sprinkle, riding though the Andes mountains during a storm, how cool? Right after that thought, it started thundering. Then came the rain, the lightening and the hail. And that my friends, was the first time in my life that I have ever sympathized with a gaucho. 

We finally made it back to the cabin and were greeted again by gauchos and food. The most amazing smoked meat, Argentine wine and roaring fire warmed us right up after near frost-bite. But hey, this blog wouldn't be nearly as exciting if everything went perfect right?

Sunday, our last day, my mom and I were ready for a day of wine-tasting. We rode the local bus into the town of Maipu where we found three great bodegas to go and taste wine. It was relaxing and surprisingly informative. Not being a wine connoisseur or anything of that sort, I am proud to say that I now know the difference between a Malbec and a Port wine, I think. 

Over all it was an unforgettable trip, where I can honestly say that I have learned a few things that will benefit me in life. 

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Callan Swaim

<p>Hola! My name is Callan Swaim and I am a junior currently studying Business and Spanish. In the United States you can find me either frolicking in the cornfields of Indiana or perhaps strutting to class at Wittenberg University in Ohio, but in Argentina I will experiencing a whole new world. Stay tuned and I will take you on my adventures exploring though the life, streets, and culture of the magical city of Buenos Aires.&nbsp;</p>

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