The bus (another bus post) pulls up, we load our bags and present our tickets. ‘Tasa?’ the serviceman asks. He’s asking for confirmation that we paid the reciprocity fee for our Argentina visas. ‘Si!’ I reply – the receipts are in our travel wallet. Except that they aren’t. My memory flashes back to printing out the receipts and leaving it in a document folder…in my bag…in a box…in Perth. I remember that I emailed a copy to myself as well but the man shakes his head and tells me that he needs to see it on paper. I ask him where I can get it printed and he neither knows nor cares. He tells me that I have 10 minutes to get it or we get kicked off the bus. Mind you, this bus cost us $60AUD each so there was no way we were going to let that happen. I sprint and pray for a miracle. In the middle of the bus terminal is an Internet cafe with just one free computer. I am logged on, receipts are printed and I sprint back in 5 minutes flat. Zero problems! Lesson learned.

When we arrive in Mendoza, we find out that there is a siesta time between 1.30pm and 5.30pm every day where most businesses are shut. Daniel and I use the siesta time to walk to various parks and plazas with the intention of taking plenty of photos. We end up at Parque General San Martín and having a 1-hour nap on the grass – life is good. We walk a total of 18kms, take a grand total of 2 photos and plan a trek for the next day.

Trekking Aconcagua

We wake up at 5 am for the 6 am bus ride to Aconcagua. Daniel and I have never done anything like this before and not to mention at altitude so we aren’t sure what to expect. After 4 hours, we arrive and are locked in to hike from 2,800m to 3,200m and we have exactly 6.5 hours to do it (the bus home leaves at 4.30pm). The trek is tough for both of us – physically and mentally – but we soldier through and boy, was it worth it. Here is a summary of what it was like for us:

I can’t breathe (50m into the hike)
I can hear my heartbeat in my ears. Do you think this is normal?
Can we have lunch yet?
I’m tired.
I’m hungry.
Only 2 hours to base camp!
Why did we walk so much yesterday?
Maybe we should just stop here and turn back.
You can do it. We can do THIS!
My legs feel like jelly.
Maybe we should just stop here and turn back.
No, we have to keep going.
You know, we’re going to have to walk all the way back?!
Oh my gosh, there’s base camp!!
Praise Jesus, we made it!

Read more:
Guide To Overnight Argentina Buses
Mountains at sunset
Parque Provincial Aconcagua
Banco Hipotecario Nacional
We can’t get enough of mountains
Horcones Lagoon
Long way to go

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Mishaps from crossing the Chilean/Argentian border, spending time in Mendoza and trekking Aconcagua. Read about our time in Argentina.

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