Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Hiking and Rappeling in the Andes

One cool thing about Mendoza is that even though it's in a valley, it has all these mountains around it. So, there are lots of tours and outdoor activities you can do.I looked around at the tourist agencies in town to find a hike in the nearby Andes mountains. Several had minimum people requirements or multiple activities. All I wanted was a ride to somewhere I could hike! But the closest "package" I could find included rappeling. So I figured, what the heck. Why not try it out.
 Here is some of the hiking. It was easy, not too steep at all. Lots of times crossing back and forth over this little stream.
 A little waterfall on the way up.

 The guides went up ahead to set up the ropes and equipment for rappeling. We left all our stuff at the bottom, and scrambled up to the top (it was a bit more gradual on the left). Then...time to rappel! I was one of the last ones to go. It is kind of unnerving, backing off a cliff backwards! It was okay but I didn't love it. Especially when you ended up going not quite straight down, and then swinging a bit! But I made it down all in one piece.

Here's a view of the surroundings on the way down. Beautiful, but very much a desert, and different from the mountains I'm used to, and the mountains I'd been in on the trip thus far. Luckily, there was plenty of free malbec waiting for me at the hotel after this adventure!

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