Mendoza to Puente De Inca - Day 6

Trip Start Jan 31, 2008
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Trip End Ongoing


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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Today is finally the day we head up into the Andes to start our voyage to the roof of the the western hemisphere. We were picked up by a minibus in the early afternoon for the three and half hour drive to Puente De Inca a small settlement by the side of the Trans-Andean highway around 10km from the Chilean border. The settlement sits a little under 2800 metres in an arid and dusty valley, the place has a real frontier feel about it, with what looks like a derelict rail-line and ramshackle buildings. We're staying in a surprisingly comfortable hostel tonight by this busy highway before entering the Aconcagua national park tomorrow. Tomorrow we begin the walk to base camp which will take 2 days, the second day apparently being a bit of a dry and dusty 8 hour slog.

Unfortunately I've developed a case of the shits which is just my bloody luck. I'm hoping it's just a 24 hour thing and I'll be OK in the morning, fingers crossed.

After arriving in Puente De Inca we generally relaxed and had a bit of a stroll around the small settlement. It was interesting to see the people coming down from the mountain, with their wind and sun burnt faces. This is exactly what I'll be looking like after two weeks on this harsh and unpredictable peak. I really hope luck is on our side and we manage to find a good weather window which allows us to have a crack at the summit. More importantly I hope I'm physically and mentally able for the challenge at hand, we'll just have to wait and see.
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