Mendoza is 2.5 hours from San Juan. Two of the main industries of Mendoza area are olive oil production and wine. The city is a frequent stopover for climbers on their way to Aconcagua (the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere) and for adventure travellers interested in mountaineering, hiking, horseback riding, rafting, and other sports. In the winter, skiers come to the city for its easy access to the Andes.
We were welcomed by Tachi’s family. We will be celebrating New Year with them and some of their friends. They have a big house with a garden at the back and a cat. :-) The weather in Mendoza is hot and dry. We didn’t do much on the 30th Dec, only visited Tachi’s sister house at night. In Argentina, Christmas and New Year are celebrated with the family. Most of the clubs are closed on the New Year eve. So don’t think of having a blast in Argentina!
On the New Year eve, is another day of doing nothing. As their house is far away from the center, I could not go anywhere. So I spent my time compiling a year end video and watched a movie. In the evening, we started to prepare for dinner, we will be making Asado which means BBQ. The meat in Argentina is the best in the world. What can be better than Asado for New Year eve! We had beef, ribs and sausage BBQ, empanadas, melon with ham, salad and lots of wine and champagne. Dinner started around 10pm and lasted thru midnight where everyone cheers for the New Year 2012. Fireworks lights up the sky and break the silence of the night. We continued to have our dessert and more drink in the garden till late.
We reached the final destination which is the Aconcagua Park. The mountain was covered with snow. From the park is the starting point to hike the 6,962m high mountain, the highest in America. It is considered one of the easier climb of the Seven Summits from technicality perspective because the northern route does not absolutely require ropes, axes, and pins. But I am not going to climb this mountain, we made a 2 hours trek in the park till the hanging bridge. There park was cover with colorful flowers. We had the spectacular view of Mount Aconcagua from all corners. I took pictures after pictures. Breathtaking! :-(
Back to the hostel around 7pm, I got freshen up to catch the 7 hours bus to Santiago de Chile. :-(
Campo Base Hostel– A45 for 9 in a share room with air condition, breakfast and Wifi
Taxi from Terminal to Tachi’s house – A25
Bus from Mendoza to Santiago de Chile – A190
Taxi from Hostel to Terminal – A10
High Mountain Excursion – A190