Tag: Mendoza Travel

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8 Travel Safety Tips to Avoid Getting Mugged

May 20, 2013 at 2:22 PM | by | ()

We were robbed. It may have happened just over a year ago, but we still live with the effects (like a fear that comes while biking and we hear a moped motor approaching). Read the full story, but also take away whatever knowledge you can from our horrible experience in order to prevent it happening to you while away from home.

Only a few days ago, Lifehacker posted a brilliant list of tips for travelers toting nice cameras, including how to deter would-be thieves. In this vein, we're revisiting our own 8 safety tips to avoid being mugged abroad:

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Jaunted-Approved Hostels in Berlin, Singapore and Mendoza

May 18, 2012 at 1:18 PM | by | ()

If you're older than 24 and you're still staying in hostels, that's a big shhh no-no. At least that's what society would have you think, however; we'd like to officially come out and say that we're older than 24 and still. staying. in. hostels.

Deep breath. Though the reason for our hostel stays has evolved—they're now backups for when we blow all our budget early on in trips, with 5-star hotels—we're never ashamed.

Having done the whole backpack-around-Europe thing during college, we have a solid past dotted with hostel stays of all sorts. Dirty hostels? Don't get us started on Budapest. Party hostels? Ugh, Barcelona. Plain scary hostels? Look no further than London. Still we haven't given up on them, and we've discovered some real diamonds in the rough, places we'd happily return to (and soon). Oh yeah, and ALL WITH EXCELLENT, FREE WIFI INTERNET AND BREAKFAST. Here's three we've recently stayed at, and personally approve of:

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Foreign Grocery Friday: The Yerba Mate of Argentina

March 30, 2012 at 10:54 AM | by | ()

When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!

Take the teabag out. Throw it away. Travel to Argentina and have some real Yerba Mate. Forget that you ever drank Yerba Mate using a stepped teabag.

While mate is popular all around South America—in Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Peru and Bolivia especially—we're concerning ourselves with mate in Argentina, which is where we recently went crazy for the stuff and where drinking it is a social thing, but even more frequent than having tea in the UK or coffee in San Francisco. You'll see people clutching their gourds everywhere.

Mate is a type of shrub holly, and yerba are its leaves. The tea, a dried loose mix of the shriveled leaves and little sticks, has a very specific preparation that involves its own specific instruments: a guampa/mate (hollowed out drinking gourd) and a bombilla (metal straining straw).

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Photographing the Vintage Cars of Mendoza, Argentina (in Hipstamatic)

February 29, 2012 at 2:13 PM | by | ()

If you want to talk about cities and their signature characteristics (and we obviously do), then you could say that NYC has its bodegas and delis, Las Vegas has its flashy signage, Moscow has its onion domes and Santiago—as we've already seen—has its vibrant street art. But Mendoza, Argentina?

Wineries, right? Wrong. The wineries of Mendoza are, for the most part, outside Mendoza in the agrarian outskirts. Instead, in the proper city center, we instead found streets littered with brightly painted vintage cars—Renaults, Peugeots, Fiats and Fords and Dodges from the 1950s through late 1970s, all surviving thanks to the arid environment.

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Eight Travel Safety Lessons We Learned the Hard Way, After Getting Robbed

February 27, 2012 at 4:07 PM | by | ()

Only a few days ago, while bicycling around Argentina's wine country, we were robbed [read the full story here]. The banditos only got away with our Nikon DSLR camera, and it could have been much worse, but regardless we've come away with a slew of lessons learned the hard way.

While the "what ifs" stream through our mind, here's eight tips to avoid being a victim:

· Keep moving. Even if you're lost, try to keep moving and look alert (maybe go around the same block) or head towards a busier area to ask at a major business for help with directions.

· Always read about crime and safety considerations when you travel to an unfamiliar city. In this case, we had actually read about the snatchings on WikiTravel, so we knew immediately what was happening as soon as the man surprised us by putting his hands on the camera in our bike basket. Alas, it was because of this warning that we had wound the straps around the handlebars, which prevented him from taking off with our backpack as well.

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Foreign Grocery Friday: The Lomito Sandwiches of Argentina

February 24, 2012 at 4:08 PM | by | ()

When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!

Who's up for a cheesesteak...Argentinian style? All around this South American country, at almost any time of the day (but yeah, mainly lunch), people of all walks are biting into big lomitos. The lomito sandwich is a beauty to behold for the meat lover; it consists of juicy tenderloin steak plus some combination of the following: tomato, lettuce, fried egg, spicy mayo, mustard, cheese, and maybe grilled peppers.

It's typically oozy, cut in half, and large enough to satisfy two small appetites. In other words, it's awesome.

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Robbed While Biking the Argentina Wine Trail: Our Firsthand Account

February 23, 2012 at 3:20 PM | by | ()

Policia truck in which we rode

Me robaron. Me robaron. ME ROBARON. I was robbed.

I've gotten very good at saying this in Spanish in the last 20 hours, as yesterday around 3pm local time in the wine tourism town of Maipú, Argentina, a man reached into the basket of the bicycle I was riding, and stole my Nikon DSLR camera. That's the simple way of explaining what went down; the full explanation is far more harrowing, and you can guarantee that I've spent every waking moment since then replaying the events in my mind, wondering how a nice day of biking to vineyards turned into an ordeal involving 17 bulletproof vest-wearing members of the local Policia.

Here we go.

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OMG. McDonalds Has Wine on the Menu in South America

February 21, 2012 at 1:26 PM | by | ()

Never thought we'd ever, ever say this, but McDonalds serves wine...good wine. Don't rush out to the drive-thru just yet, however; the bottle is only available as part of a value meal in the Argentine wine capital of Mendoza.

Billed as the "Sabores Mendocinos" menu, the meal includes a double-patty burger of Angus beef, two meat empanadas, and a 187mL (glass!) bottle of local Malbec produced by Bodega Santa Julia. Want to sample it? "Sabores Mendocinos" will cost you 47.00 Argentinean pesos, or $10.80 USD.

It's definitely not the most expensive McDonalds item we've ever seen—the $17 "1955 burger" meal of Norway holds that honor—but it definitely ranks up there in both priciness and weirdness.

So, what does it taste like? We did the dirty work of drinking the McDonalds wine to find out...

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FAUX SNOW FIGHT! Celebrating Carnaval in Mendoza, Argentina

February 21, 2012 at 10:42 AM | by | ()

It may be Mardi Gras/Carnaval today, but the party gets started much earlier in some countries. Take Argentina for example, where the celebrations are usually several days full of dancing, music, and...fake snow fights? Yep, totally true, and actually true for other South American countries as well, where aerosol cans of foam make the party.

Last night in Mendoza, we headed into the Parque General San Martín for some lomos (sandwiches) and some getting seriously soaked with nieve artificial (fake snow), not to mention the full water bottles and water balloons being tossed with abandon by little kids and teenagers, further up by all the cheering and taunting that is just as much a part of the experience as the foam.

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Sometimes, You Just Gotta Take the Bus

February 20, 2012 at 9:43 PM | by | ()

Black & white? Vignetting? A barren landscape? What decade is this exactly? Santiago, Chile and Mendoza, Argentina. The trip—through the Andes and down into the vineyards of wine country—really makes for some of the most juicy travel porn ever. Surprisingly, we opted to use our iPhone and the Hipstamatic app to capture the magic almost the entire time.There's just something about a long road that calls for photo filters.

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