Monday, 11 January 2010
After over two days of solid traveling,we have finally made it to Mendoza, Argentina!
Leaving the cold sub zero temperatures of the UK behind, and wearing pretty much all our cold weather gear, we were not ready for the 32 degrees that hit us as we stepped off the plane.
The flight from Santiago to Mendoza, if a little turbulent, provided us with a glimpse of the stunning scenery the Andes is infamous for. It was hard not to start to feel excited but that probably wasn’t a valid excuse for Andy pouring almost a whole beer over himself and Rich flashing at the customs officer for telling him that his passport photo did not match his current hairstyle. The dramas didn’t stop there for Rich, as he proceeded to lose his passport [which was later found in Matt’s pocket].
Mendoza is a beautiful city, much cleaner than you may think and absolutely full of life. There are street markets, a vibrant carnival atmosphere and some of the best food we’ve ever tasted. We had heard rumors of the steak dinners but I don’t think anything could have prepared us for what we got........AMAZING!
After some initial briefings, we have spent our time getting to know the rest of the guys on the team, preparing our kit and obtaining food supplies from the local supermarket. The entertainment value of watching the 20 of us walking around Argentina’s equivalent of Tesco, team shopping list in hand , trying to translate Spanish into English provided a good bonding experience!
We leave the luxury of the Grande Balbi Hotel on Monday afternoon for a 3 day trek up to Aconcagua base camp. With a Met. brief predicting 40 degree heat to contend with, it will by no means be an easy task.
We are all massively excited and ready to go!
Matt and Pete