BootsnAll Travel Network

Day 318 Upsallata, Argentina: Camino del Cruces walk.


Did I say it was cold at night. I am kind of thinking I made a mistake by getting only the 0 degree sleeping bag as I froze my ass off. I mean maybe that was too extreme, but I did have to wake up and rub my feet to get feeling back into them. The bag is a little smaller which I liked because it packed up small, but this causes restriction when I move and which in turn compresses the down, which turns it into a thin polyester blanket. I am thinking of picking up a sleeping bag liner or even a light duty bag and use them both. Otherwise, I might have to pitch this bag and get a lot heavier duty one. Shit.

With a full day and not much to do I decided to ask about some walking routes. The lady at the tour office suggested a walk to the mirador about two kilometers from the city. That sounded good so I packed a lunch and headed out. It was a pretty straight forward route that left the city boundries and headed out into the desert valley. Basically, they had a small hill in front of the beginnings of the mountains. There was another trail with a sign for the Camino del Cruces or Trail of the Crosses. I went straight up to the top of the mirador where there were some excellent views of the city and the Himalayanesque mountains in the background. I took a break and had my lunch just checking out the view. The town was very uniquely situated in a desert valley that stretched on farther than you could see. It was super tree lined running along what must have been a river bed.

After lunch, I dropped back down and took the Cruses trail which basically just wrapped around the mirador hill and was dotted with these big iron crosses with inscriptions painted on the rocks below. The whole trek was nothing more than a leisurely walk, but it was a good way to spend the afternoon.

Back in town, I stopped by the agency to get info on trekking in the Aconcagua park where Mountain Aconcagua was located. It is the second tallest mountain outside the Himalayan range and the highest in all of the Americas. I had heard you could do some trekking to the base camps to get up close, but it was off season so I wasn’t sure. They gave me a good map and I had a basic plan.

When I got back to the campsite, it was deserted. There was only one other tent there. Everybody had left as it was Sunday and vacations were over. I met a group of Argentinian backpackers who stayed the night in the campsite and had just moved closer to the river just on the outside of the camp. There was also a Belgium guy and then a few other Belgians passed by who were staying at the other camp site. I hung around with them for a while as they were trying to make some pasta.

That night, I was the only person in the camp. It was both nice and a bit worrysome as it felt like I was a easy target just sitting out there. Once again I froze my ass off, but it was a little better as I switched over to my heavy duty trekking socks.


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