Posted on December 21, 2013
This is the second part of my story. If you missed the first part, it’s here.
I have to admit that when I woke up on the 21 December 2012 – “the end of the world” – I double-checked if I was still alive and yes, I was ☺ All these crazy news that were popular in 2012 were not true!! I was just in the beginning of my South American travel, in Uspallata/Argentina. Me and my travel buddies Yamna, Rania, Benjamin and Henry, decided to go to the Aconcagua national park and do a one-day trek and come back for dinner.
We left the hostel before 8 am and managed to get on the bus to the national park. The journey was amazing and I couldn’t wait to see the highest peak outside of Himalaja – Aconcagua (6962m a.s.l.). The fee to enter the park was 10 ARP (which at that day was equivalent of 1,7 EUR) and we were allowed to walk in the park until the point where the “real trek” starts. That is the path to climb up the peak and the fees are much higher for this part. Actually, I found out that it takes at least 14 days to reach the peak of Aconcagua. The expeditions walk up and down to get used to the high altitude and then up again until they reach the top. We made it to a nice “mirrador” (view point) and got to see a great view of the massive Aconcagua. It was beautiful, amazing, fantastic!
Suddenly, there were hundreds of people walking in the park dressed in white. At the first sight it looked a bit scary, but soon I found out that they were here because of the 21 December 2012 and they came to meditate here. I decided to do the same. The energy of the mountains around was unbelievable. Later on we decided to walk to the Puente del Inca – an old bridge from the Inca times.
I have to mention that we were a perfect group of people – at least that day we seemed like people who like adrenalin. First we found a “magic bus”. This was an abandoned bus, that looked exactly like from the “Into the wild” movie. I had to think of Alexander Supertramp and I kind of understood his decision to go alone and discover the wild life in Alaska. We were all “photo supertramps”, everyone had a big camera and the magic bus photo shoot started!
After an extensive photo shoot ☺ we continued walking to the bridge. Suddenly we found another bridge, but not the Inca one. It was and old railway bridge that had to be out of order for many years. But yeah, as we were a group of adventurous people, we wanted to walk over the bridge that was approximately 20m above the river. In the beginning it seemed like fun, some parts of the bridge started slowly disappearing, there were more and more holes… until I had my heart in my pants (a Slovak expression 🙂 And because I was not the only one who was scared, we decided to return back. Only Henry proved his adventurous genes and made it to the other side of the bridge… Next time I will think twice what kind of bridge I want to walk on 🙂
Full of positive energy and high on adrenalin, we returned back to the Hostel International Uspallata and had a “21 December survivors” dinner. It was a magic day, with magic mountain, magic bus and a magic bridge that let us walk on it. And the most magic part of the day was when we made “el asado”, vegetables, pure de papas (mashed potatoes) and had lots of Argentinian wine by the camp fire. Thanks to Gabriel (the owner of the hostel) for his help and to all travellers who love to share beautiful moments that – at the end – make our trips worth it.
And a short joke to finish this magic “21 December” story. The following image is especially dedicated to my graphic designer friends and colleagues. Here is a photo instruction from the public toilet in the Aconcagua national park. Straight forward, don’t you think?
P.S. Don’t trust everything that media says.