trip report by editor Rick McCharles
Up early again. Coffee as the sun rises.
Rather than doing any more hiking I enjoyed a lazy morning at camp. Toying with my electronics. Listening to my Spanish lessons. The sun was HOT.
There are all sorts of characters coming and going. Some carry huge backpacks.
The craziest of the crazy are trying to summit Aconcagua independently and unsupported. Somehow transporting 70kg of gear or so up the mountain with multiple shuttles.
Around 11am I finally packed up the tent.
I figured it would be an easy walkout. No rush to catch the 5pm bus.
On a rest stop I laid out my basic gear to dry.
I’d expected a quick 2 hour 400m descent, but the walk felt long. Full pack. I was tired.
It was nice to finally reach vegetation.
If there’s something green here, there’s plenty of water.
I checked out at the park entrance. Turned in my permit. Handed over my trash bag.
My Aconcagua trek was a success.
With a couple of hours before the bus arrived, I walked the highway …
… down to Puente del Inca (2740m).
…a natural arch that forms a bridge over the Vacas River, a tributary of the Mendoza River. …
In March 1835, Charles Darwin visited the site, and made some drawings of the bridge …
In the old days people would walk across the bridge to reach the stone church.
It’s a tourist trap with overpriced junk and yappy dogs.
I decided to wait to eat in Mendoza.
There are a couple of hostels and a campground, however. A good emergency stop. Or hikers could sleep here one night before heading up towards Aconcagua.
I slept well on the bus. Then got myself a big chunk of Argentinian beef to celebrate back at the hostel.