Mendoza Region, part 2 – from 18/10 to 21/10/2012

The roads here are pretty funny, a lot of bumps and dip… it makes my stomach not feeling that nice but… was alright when driving. I am glad I wasn’t in one of the buses we saw on the road!

the bumping roads

Traffic lights are the other side of the crossing… being attentive to everything is really the word in Argentina! And when you are pedestrian, there are no lights for pedestrians, you have to look the lights for the cars, and hopefully you deduct it right when you can cross or not… don’t be tired when you go out 😉

So, we left the campground pretty early on Thursday, to spend the whole day in the valle de la luna, to do a tour with the cars and to do a trekking for a few hours. We arrived there around 10 in the morning, and bought our tickets for the “caravan tour” to drive around the park (40 km), and we were a bit “shocked” because of the price!  130 Argentinean pesos each (around 20€) to drive around with our car and get a few explanation from a guide. And if we want to do the trekking is 50 pesos more each… so we kind of enjoyed the view and the drive, but didn’t do the trek because it way pretty average, we were a little bit disappointed that we drove all this way to pay that much for “this”… but still, it was nice rocks formations, but it is definitely not worth it to drive there only for that!

The rock formations in Valle de la luna
Ayers Rock ? Ah no… but nice red rocks 🙂

We had fun taking stupid pictures, being the last car of the convoy and taking pictures on the dirt road, making sandwiches in the car while driving, trying to drink water with a bumping road and a driver who didn’t leave me drink (braking or accelerating at the perfect moment)… we found our way to have fun!

So after the drive, early afternoon, we drove back to San Agustin, at the “siesta” time…so, empty and quiet town… but the owners of the camping organized a trip to the 7 colors valley with horse riding, so we went there and had a nice quiet time for an hour or so.

Horse riding !

On Friday, we left San Agustin and drove back to San Juan, and found a camping around the Dique de Ullum. It is a dam, and it is possible to swim in (in summer only!). The camping had a pool as well, but empty (only filled in summer: starting end of November)… So it was warm (probably around 30 degrees) but we didn’t have water to jump in… too sad! There was NOTHING to do in the area because it is not summer, so we went back to San Juan on Saturday and stayed in a hostel for the last night in Argentina. There was a Jacuzzi on the roof, but it was empty as well of course…

Dique (Dam) de Ullum

We went to a park, had a rest and climb a tree, went to THE tower for a view of the city… we could have not done that but… and we practiced Spanish with an Argentinean girl in our room (even if like Argentinean people the “ll” sounds “ch” instead of “dj” !)

Free tree climbing…

On Sunday, we woke up early and left around 8 o’clock because we had to drop off the car in Mendoza. The drive back was pretty average, Alex had to do a control of alcohol with the police on the road (of course because 8 in the morning here is the way back from partying!) and that is pretty much everything that happened on the way to Mendoza.

We dropped off the car and went to the bus station (actually the guy from the car rental office drove us to the bus station, really nice!), and got in a big bus.

On the way, we could see a lot of mountains in the valleys we drove in, it was really nice!

The pre-Andes
The Andes
And again

We arrived at the border a few hours later, it was snowing! Ok, Los Libertadores, the border is 3200 meters high… but still, it was crazy cold and snowing… and foggy… but it is not the best part of the border crossing for us!

It’s snowing !
The customs/police/border offices and the fog…

Like on the way from Chile to Argentina, we were not allowed to carry fresh food (fruits, vegetables, milk products, meat…) but we wanted to try to go through with our ham and cheese for sandwiches. They stamped our passports, they checked all our luggages, they asked us if we have fresh food, we said no of course… and they went in the bus to check everything… 5 minutes later a guy came out with our food bag…oh oh… so we had to open it, and we knew we would find ham and cheese but the only thing we forgot was that we had carrots with us…:-/ so the guy said it was forbidden a few times, we said that we knew, but we forgot… but it wasn’t enough. He said that cheese and ham is totally alright, but not vegetables. So he took Alex’s passport, and they went inside the office for more than 45 minutes… I was waiting in the bus, as 50 other people, that Alex would come out of the police office… and eventually he did, with 5 papers which says that he did something wrong, and that if he does it again it will be 80 000 Chilean pesos fine. But this time was for “free”!

All of this for only 2 carrots :-/ that we couldn’t even eat!

The weather was bad, grey, rainy until Santiago, where it was raining and cold when we arrived as well. “Welcome back!”

Don’t forget to have a look at all the pictures of the trip on the right column of the blog, there is a link! (or here!)

2 thoughts on “Mendoza Region, part 2 – from 18/10 to 21/10/2012

  1. ben, nous aussi, il a neigé ce weekend, alors que des gens se sont baignés encore dans le lac mardi. Joli, le lac, c’est sûr que pour le feu de camp, c’est un peu juste en matière première: à 2600m, il fallait s’y attendre mais quel paysage grandiose.

    1. Oui oui c’était beau, et si accessible depuis la ville en fait… avec un peu de bonne volonté et pas avoir peur de marcher un peu avant de trouver une voiture… 🙂
      et surtout qu’on ne pensait pas être si hauts !!! :-/

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