Mendoza is the wine producing region of Argentina. Many of the vineyards and wineries are located within a 40km area. One can visit the wineries by organized tour, car or two wheels. And, not necessarily two wheels on a motorcycle. It is completely possible to visit a number of wineries by bicycle...so that's what I did.
A fellow traveler that I met named Randy and I rented some bikes from a place called Mr. Hugo's...and off we went.
The first stop was the winery called Museo y Bodega La Rural.
They had museum with a collection of old wine making equipment like these wine sacks.
Wine press, the kind that you jump on top and mash grapes with your bare feet.
Mechanical wine press.
Wine fermenting barrels.
Old cash register.
And of course there was a wine tasting. This varietal was a Cabernet Sauvignon.
The second place we visited was a winery called Trapiche.
Out front they had a small organic vineyard.
They had a large and modern production facility, but they also had restored this old winery building.
The original owner had built a private railroad line to facilitate the transportation of wine. Prior to the construction of the railroad, to transport wine by horse and carriage from Mendoza to Buenos Aires would take weeks. With the railroad, they could transport more wine and the journey would only take 24 hours.
Inside the winery was a receiving area to weigh the grapes.
There was this amazing rosewood tile floor.
Oak barrels imported from France and the United States.
And of course there was a wine tasting of Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and a Malbec Dulce. At this winery we ran into some other travelers that I had met previously in the town of Bariloche. Jeff and Christie from San Diego. Clinton and Laura from Sydney. We all shared in the wine tasting.
The third winery was called Tempus Alba.
It was a fairly new winery that had only been in operation for 6 years.
They had some of their own vineyards, but also sourced grapes from nearby vineyards to round out their varietals
We took a break here to enjoy some food and drink. We bought some bottles of Malbec and Syrah.
In August 2011, I purchased a new 2011 Suzuki DR650 motorcycle for a trip through South America. The engine, exhaust, chassis and suspension have been maintained in the original (stock) configuration. This approach was chosen to increase reliability and facilitate repair or replacement of items with original parts while traveling. The modifications were only made to the motorcycle to add durability, safety, comfort and protection. The prices listed below were the original costs of the items. The prices are listed to serve as a reference point for the cost of the build.
Many of you that follow this blog know that I really enjoy hiking, camping and backpacking. Whether it is camping in the front country or back country... it is all good.
I recently came across a resource that has really made it easier for me to research and plan my trips. The website, app and community are called TheDyrt. "The Dirt" is an idiom which means the gossip or real story. So getting TheDyrt is a play on words which translates to finding out the real story about campgrounds.
TheDyrt.com website allows users to search for campgrounds in the U.S. (currently only available within the U.S.) and read user generated reviews of the campgrounds. Sometimes the reviews are very general and sometimes very specific - down to the campsite number or cleanliness of the facilities. The website markets itself and its service as the Yelp.com of camping.
Some friends and I took a trip to The Narrows on the Blanco River in Texas. It is a gem.
However getting there was no easy task.
This trip is physically, logistically and legally challenging. The Narrows is on the Blanco River, but is surrounded by private property. There is no trail. The route traverses dry riverbed, sand, rocks, brush and water. The journey can take between 12 to 16 hours, cover 6 to 8 miles in and 6 to 8 miles out and may require swimming 1 to 3 miles in and 1 to 3 miles out depending on the flow of the river. The route and conditions may vary at different times of the year. One must be prepared and equipped for self-rescue, there is no cellular service near the access points nor along the river.
There are two ways to access The Narrows. 1. Obtain permission from one of the property owners with land bordering the river. Or, 2. Access the river via a public right of way and hike and swim the entire route. Texas Navigation Law specifies access to inland and coastal …