…. my trip so far has taken in a big chunk of the argentine andes… (they run all the way up to venezuela..) and the contrast from the south to the central region is immense… from the stark dark granite peaks of torres del paine to the softer more serene landscape around the lakes region… then you get to the central andes and it all gets a bit mad…. on numerous occasions on this trip i have found myself trying to dredge up my ‘o’ level geography from the darkest recesses of my memory..(..my ‘a’ level was worthless… i’d discovered boys by then and can’t remember any of it) … and here you get it all….tectonic plate movements and glacial valleys… volcanoes… but the most amazing thing is the cacophony of colours on show… it’s like an artists pallette has spilled over creating marble cake mountains of many mineral deposits….. or if you were a child of the seventies… something resembling those oil paint and turps pictures you used to create in the kitchen sink much to the horror of your mum….
..our journey to see Aconcagua ( at 6942m ..the highest peak in the Americas and the second highest outside of asia)… was filled with all manner of curiosities …. from the little bridge built by San Martin and his troops.. to the ‘Puente del Inca’ …. an ancient bridge and a vomit of sulphur deposits now surrounded by market stalls selling ‘authentic’ andean tat… (i’m sorry… but you could tell it was all mass produced)… also along the way was a visit to the graveyard of all the climbers who have lost their lives trying to conquer Aconcagua… which brings home to you just how powerful and unforgiving mother nature is and how all the goretex and technology in the world won’t save you if you get caught out…. as ever the scenery was something out of this world.. awesome, breathtaking… and very very big…! … there doesn’t seem to be a way of showing the scale… occasionally you capture it on a photo… but you have to look really hard to spot the teeny weeny road running through…..