Aconcagua Finale....Thanks for following our journey. I left you last time with the post-summit celebration at basecamp. We were all overjoyed with the dream of getting off the mountain. Patrick and Kathy summited an 18,000 foot peak nearby while Brendan and I summited Aconcagua. It was a long day for us all and we were looking forward to steak and wine in Mendoza. So, off we went...on the long, downhill slog.
|All smiles at first. Yeah, more rock and scree but at least this will be the last of it for some time.
|I'm smiling believe it or not.
|Live action photo of Brendan crossing a very cold stream en route to the bottom.
|YES! Stuck the landing for at least a 9....judges?
|Yep, still smiling.
|The last bit of running water until we hit Penitentes.
|Brendan coming up and bearing the heat and dry climate quite well. He might have something different to report.
|Mules...and more mules.
|Brendan still chugging along...quite happy to be leaving this hill.
|I think we lost our smiles by this point. We just wanted to be done. At this point, we were about 3 hours into the descent.
|The long dusty trail that lead us to....
|The ranger station! We made it.
|Hey, wait a second, where is Brendan?
|Oh, there he is....
|But not exactly happy.
|Fake smiles...but we are done.
|Real smiles followed with our first beer. Ah beer. Nectar of the gods. Nice hair dude.
|Very happy to be done. Time for beer.
|A very happy Kat.
|Hot dog? Don't ask.
|Very nice lid.
|A happy kid.
|and who wouldn't be happy amongst all that wine?
|We enjoyed the bus ride with our road pops (not pictured for fear that the bus driver would kick us off in the middle of nowhere).
|On a walkabout with the family.
|Our luxurious sweet suite - courtesy of Hotels.com. Thanks guys!
|GS scooter...how fitting after I listened to Quadrophenia for most of my climb. Patrick was just digging on the Doritos
|Beer, writing, reading, and beer. Not always in that order.
|Oh yeah, a hot day in the park.
OK, fini! We are done with Aconcagua. My next objective: Everest. Stay tuned for some posts related to my preparation for Everest.
For those interested in my further celebration, here are some pictures of Santiago (one day there) and Valparaiso, Chile.
|Bus ride down from the Andes toward Santiago. See the switchbacks? Crazy, huh?
|Brendan and I decided to be tourists for a day. Not sure what he is pointing at here....
|We went to the farmer's market and found the worlds largest ear of corn. Who eats an ear like that? Horses is my guess.
|Tourism continued up some huge hill where we worked up a thirst for a great evening out on the town.
|Nice view from the top of the hill. Santiago is a huge sprawling city. Time to leave after tonight. Need more quiet.
|So we grabbed a bus to Valparaiso. Time for the beach!
|One of us was a little tired. Not much sleep Brendan? Hmmmmm. Well, you made up for it on this 2-hour ride.
|and so it began all over again. Here is the view from the roof of our lovely hostel.
|Our hostel. Great place....
|where next door we could get a huge (1.2 liter) beer and some empanada for next to nothing. Life is good.
|and where the colors throughout the town were simply magnificent.
|Our walkabout in town consisted of grabbing a beer, taking pictures, and chatting with the locals - at least the ones who spoke some English. Neither Brendan nor I spoke Spanish...no, Brendan...you don't speak Spanish.
|The coolest staircase in the world.
|We skipped the organized tour because it did not include stops for beer.
|Instead, we just took pictures. Check out these murals. Cool, eh?
|and some of them were huge!
|or just downright silly.
|and some signs were just too funny to pass up. The funny thing is that this place had cold beer but no cups and no opener for the bottles. What the heck? Lure us in with your siren song you vile package store.
|Well, it was a cute place.
|We even got to see one mural in the making.
|This mural was cute. Long-since finished.
|Hey, there I am with beer in hand.
|Here was the guy who was painting the mural. Wait until you see what he painted (see below).
|oh yes, Cristal, our beer of choice.
|Happy guy on the rooftop.
|Another great stairway.
|that lead to some cool little alley ways....
|that twisted and turned throughout this part of the city.
|And would you look at the colors? How cool is this place?
|Even the lesser murals were still quite colorful.
|Some were just downright creepy.
|Speaking of creepy, this mural took the cake. I wasn't sure what the heck was going on or whether the original artist meant for the guy to have a Hitler 'stache.
|Uhmmmm. No words to describe this one. Colorful. Yes. Weird...yes.
|See the Hitler 'stache?
|Whoa! someone was taking some serious drugs when they painted this one.
|This wall was at the end of a long alley.
|and had this odd mural on one of the walls adjacent to that end piece.
|The entrance had this bit.
|and for some reason, I just really liked this mural.
|OK, this is the mural the guys I photographed early painted. This was to the far left on the wall....
|and here is the full wall with that left part omitted....
|and this is what the template was part of in the original picture. Cool, eh?
|More cool alleys.
|and great murals.
|A nice person took a shot of me. I was running out of steam.
|One last mural before I turned in for a pint.
|Ah, a pint at last.
Thanks for following along. Everest is my next stop. See you soon.