After our pig out we were bound for Chile as we had booked a trip to Easter Island leaving from Santiago. The good road from Mendoza goes up through Uspallata (the town used in the filming of the Brad Pitt vehicle 7 Years in Tibet) and then follows a train line up over a pass (fairly low level at under 3500m) and then into Chile.
On the way up to the pass there are a couple of ski resorts next to the road – but nothing to get too excited about – and then looming on the right hand side of the road is Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America and indeed the Western Hemisphere at 6962m.
Unfortunately without paying for a trekking permit, it is only possible to go on a short 2 km walk around 3 small but very pretty lakes with views of the mountain in the distance. The Trekking permits are seriously expensive as are the Climbing permits.
Just down from the mountain itself is the climber’s cemetery which is a sobering and very interesting location to visit. There are at least 200 graves here of climber’s who have died on Aconcagua.
Also in this area is a natural bridge spanning a small river, the Inca Bridge, which has been formed by deposits from a geothermal spring.
We stayed the night, along with Mike and The Remotelys, in a ski resort that was closed for the winter and offered free camping. The wind was fairly ferocious but thankfully died down substantially at night. In the morning we were ready to drive down to Santiago.