Published: July 10th 2012July 10th 2012
The way it Started:-
I started dreaming about Andes as soon as I reached Argentina for a work assignment and finally got the glimpse after 6 months.
It was a 12 hr bus journey that took us to San Rafael from Buenos Aires , a small city beside the red mountains and “green” river. We booked a cab and roamed around”
We roamed around Cañon del Atuel
.We did some hiking and adventure sports as well like canopying. You can do rafting in summer when the water is more and gushing.
I felt good but not great because I was expecting something big, something more something that can take my breath away. Anyways at night we started for Malargue (A small province close to the mountain – la Montana). By 2 o clock at night we reached there, It was freezing cold but somehow we managed to get a cab to our Hostel Eco.
The magic begins:-
Next day morning I woke up early and went outside the room and found The Andes upright with white crown on the top. I couldn’t wait rather we couldn’t wait
and started for the Andes tour.
Breath taking valleys, Green lakes and high altitude Andes made us stunned and speechless. Kevin, Milind, Siva and Abhi started running to nowhere as they couldn’t believe that places like these really exist.
Andes is so rough though so beautiful, So colorful and so arrogant. I found all the contrast here. We drove all the way to Las leñas and then valle hermoso. I haven’t been to a place in India called ladakh but I have seen it in documentaries and I found the exact match here. The whole day passed by like a twinkling of an eye but we couldn’t say anything, our hands were tied and mouth was taped. We just caught the beauty with naked and electronic eye and smelt the purity.
Info: you can ski around in las lenas in winter after adequate snowfall.
We came back to Hostel and a surprise was waiting for us there.
It was a free ASADO (grilled meat, It’s a typical Argentinean food) and wine with amazing music by local folks. Vejji’s guitar and Shiva’s dance made it more eventful as
The hospitality of the Hostel guys were out of the world.
The rough and tough:-
I have never been to Volcanoes and that’s why my wanderlust was driving me crazy.
We started very early in the morning in a maxi cab. We crossed many hills and I found the change of vegetation as we were heading towards rough. I found that part of Andes only has meadows..
After driving 3 hrs we suddenly found everything is black from the rock to the road. Yes these are volcanic stones. We stopped by for half an hr to see a volcanic river and then again we started.
We crossed the Oil refineries and after 1.5 hrs what I see I didn’t expect. It was a desert, desert of Black ashes and decorated by wild yellow grasses and for the toppings of Pizza you have red lava stones piled up.
I pinched myself; yes it’s for real what I am seeing. We could feel the nature. we could feel the fear as we advanced. I walked down with Vejji (my friend). It was breath taking, stunning. I was so
moved that I forgot to take pictures but it was never late and I took out my camera to get some amazing shots and hopefully I got them J It was amazing for Srini also as he enjoyed a Kriya (meditation) there.
We realized again that nature is the best painter because we were able to be a part of the canvas there.
We spent some more time and had a great asado beside the volcano in the wild then again started for the top of the Volcano La Payunia.
We climbed up till the top and it was scary when we saw the glance. It was highly windy and the lava rocks made the surface uneven so it was very tough to stand but still we managed and went up to the top and gained a lifetime experience.
We had to lie down to take pictures of the big mouth and we did.
After that we drove down to Malargue and that evening we started for Mendoza by Bus.
Being a Goucho:-
Early morning we have reached Mendoza and put up in
We didn’t have much time there so headed for the horseback tour in Andes.
On the way met some girls from US so it became more interesting for us ;).
At last we reached the stable and we got trained for some time to how to ride a horse and then it started.
It was a marvelous experience to go uphill and downhill on a horse back and that to in Andes. Far Away Snowy Mountain, narrow springs and Rough rocks made me a true rider. On the halfway we had the great Argentine mate to quench our thirst.
Once the activity is done we came back to the hostel and spent some leisure time there, had lunch and started for Buenos Aires by bus in the evening 6.
Abhinav, Milind, Srini, Siva, Vejji, kevin and me (Jaydip).
How to go:-
Take a bus from Buenos Aires to San Rafael or Malargue directly or to Mendoza.
From Mendoza or San Rafael take another bus to malargue.
You can fly up to Mendoza from Buenos Aires.
to put up in Malargue:- Hostel Eco international. http://www.hihostels.com/dba/hostels-Mendoza---Malargüe---Eco-Hostel-Malargüe-002052.en.htm
There are more photos below