On Thursday morning (12 January) after hotel breakfast weve left for the airport. After ten boring hours in the airplane we landed in sun-lit Santiago, 18:20 hrs local time. We were greeted by hordes of taxi touts and 30 C heats. We went straight to the organizational business.
First, we nodded to the offer of direct transfer from the airport to the Argentinean city of Mendoza. So, for that time we havent had to challenge our thirty-kilo backpacks.
Unfortunately, we passed through the Andean mountain passes only by night. We have overcome the culminating point (3400m) without any headache for the time being and we found ourselves at the Mendoza bus station at 2 hrs in the morning. Only small bunches were messing about. The city looked pretty dangerous at the first glance. Our attempt to find a decent accommodation failed five times in a row. Finally we got a bit more expensive hotel at about 3 am. After a short sleep weve set out to get a permit for Aconcagua. Everything went smooth but it took us a whole day to buy all the food, get mules and arrange for the transfer to Puente del Inca. Mendoza is a bustling one million city.
Local temperatures reach 35 degrees and it seems that Martin doesnt get along well with omnipresent air-conditioning :-)
The plan for Saturday 14 January is that we will leave for Penitentes (close to Puente del Inca) with the beginning of the ascent the following day. Most likely, we wont have any access to the internet for some time, so the next update might come up either very soon or in a twenty-day time. Lets see.