California & Colorado’s Lovechild

DAY 4: If California and Colorado had a baby, it would be Mendoza. After a day of biking and bodegas, we spent the next day in the mountains. We decided to pay for a tour/trip instead of trying to see and do everything on our own. This was probably overall one of the most bizarre, but funniest days we had during the trip. This is going to be a long post, so if you don’t want to read it all just scroll through the pictures 🙂

So we woke up really early and Rafting Guy (worked at hostel) was mad at us because we didn’t finish washing our dishes from the night before. We all conked out right after dinner, oops… We were really confused about what time our bus was coming to pick us up for our tour, but Rafting Guy told us to stand on the side of the street and just wait for it, so that’s what we did. Later Christa came out and was like “Rafting Guy wants to know why you all are standing out here. You can wait inside because they are going to call the hostel once the bus gets here”. Thanks Rafting Guy…

First stop, Potrerillos:

Later in the day we took a chair lift up part of the mountain:
photo credit: Sydney
photo credit: Sydney

 

Windy and chilly at the top (photo credit: Abigail)

 

Next stop was Puente del Inca which is a rock formation that forms a natural bridge. There was a hotel nearby for many years that utilized the hot springs which are thought to have certain healing properties.

By this point we were starving, but was it lunch time? Of course not. Our next stop was Cristo Redentor de los Andes (Christ the Redeemer of the Andes) which is a monument built really high up on a mountain on the border of Argentina and Chile. It was built to celebrate the peaceful resolution of the border dispute between the two countries, and one of the plaques says (in Spanish), “Sooner shall these mountain crags crumble to dust than Chile and Argentina shall break this peace which at the feet of Christ the Redeemer they have sworn to maintain.”
We had to get out of the bus and into these little vans to go up the mountain. It took like 45 minutes, no guardrails, and it was a really bumpy road. Our bladders were super happy by the time we got to the top, not. Our driver gave us 15 minutes to take pictures, but it was SO COLD I literally jumped out of the van, took 2 pics, and got back in.
Up the mountain we go
Argentina on the left, Chile on the right

 

It’s warmer in the van (photo credit: Sydney)
After returning to the bottom of the mountain, they took our group to this restaurant to eat FINALLY (it was like 5pm at this point). The restaurant was kind of expensive, so we went looking for something else. This town, Las Cuevas, literally had 5 buildings (population: 7 as of 2001). Let me give you a run down of the conversations we had-
First building that we went in:
-“Do you have a menu?”
-“No.”
-“Well do you have any food?”
-“Let me check.”
-“…..”
-“No”
-“But there are people sitting and eating right there.”
-“No food for you.”
SERIOUSLY?
Next building:
-“Do you have a menu?”
-“No.”
-“Do you have any food?”
-“Yes” (This looks promising)
-“What do you have?”
-“Jamón conocido o jamón crudo” (Basically, ham sandwich or ham sandwich)
-“Ok. We’ll all take a ham sandwich”
 
After our lovely ham sandwiches, we ran to catch our bus. We were scared that we were going to get left behind since we separated ourselves from the group, but they noticed that the only Americans were missing. The trip lasted all day and when we got back around 9:00, we had to go all the way across town to find a grocery store that was still open. It started drizzling while we were walking back, and two minutes after we got back to our hostel it started hailing. Yes, hailing. A crazy end to a crazy day I guess.
Nos vemos!
Ryan
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