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I crossed the border from Bolivia in La Quiaca and traveled south.  I have to say that the first month in Argentina wasn't the best, I think after 6 months of traveling I had enough and was feeling lonely.  I was getting stuck in one place for too long, without the will to move on.  I was traveling south from Salta, through Cachi, Cafachate, Tafi del Valle down to Mendoza.

One memorable experience was cycling to Cachi.  I went by bus to a pass high in the mountains and cycled down through great (desert and cactus) scenery to green valley with full view of 6300m mountain.  Then the next day I was supposed to go by bus back to the pass and cycle down the other side, which is totally different - green.  But there was no bus in the morning, so I had to pedal to get to the pass, 1000m higher, and then down, 160km in total.  Not a great achievement but I tell you, it hurts a lot the next day if you not used to it!  From Salta I went to Cafachate and forgetting the pain, went cycling again down a beautiful valley with great rocks around, then walked through a canyon up to 100m high and only a few meters wide, pushing and carrying my bike, hoping that I find the way out and will not have to go back.  Tafi was a nice village with pleasant climate, not as hot as other places, green mountains around and no mosquitoes!

Then Mendoza, clean city with streets lined with trees providing welcome shade. Water flows in canals along every street to make that possible.  I went trekking over Xmas in Cordon del Plata only 50 km from the city.  Mountains rise from 700m to 6000m in such a short distance!  One night I cant sleep because of heat, and the next I'm at 3200m and freezing.  There I met a Brazilian guy, an astronomer who knew every single star in the sky.  We went together to base camp at 4200m.  Next day we set off higher but he got altitude sickness at 4400m and had to go back to base camp.  Next day I went on but underestimated the force of the wind, and instead of climbing the highest (but not interesting) 6000m mountain I had to go up a rocky 5300m one which was closer.  The ridge has over 1000m drop on both sides, and the wind sucks out the heat from the body through all wind stopper clothes.

After greeting New Year in Mendoza I made my way to Buenos Aires. Incredibly hot, I went from one shop to another pretending to be a customer, only to cool down a little. As I couldn't get a ticket to the south for the next week, I went to Uruguay.

After 2 weeks in Uruguay I came back and went by bus to Ushuaia, the longest bus journey of my life, 50 hours, 2 days and 2 nights!  Don't even ask why I didn't fly since it costs less!  The only thing that happened during that trip was when a young girl (princess) sitting across tried to lower her seat.  The old woman (witch) sitting behind her started pushing the seat away, so they had this funny fight for a while.  Finally I couldn't stop myself and burst out laughing, the witch looked at me and the princess got her chance to push it all the way back, the seat clicked and the princess won!  So I finally got to Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia, end of the world.  Only 6°C in the middle of summer, Beagle Channel on one side and rocky mountains on the other.  I went trekking, of course, in this unspoiled virgin terrain.  One of the most difficult treks, fighting my way through forests with big fallen trees everywhere.  Bloody beavers built dams and flooded the whole valley.  In one place I fell in mud waist deep!  Beaver - enemy number one!  On another trek I met a great girl and her aunt, we went walking a few times, had fires, lamb, wine, before I knew I spent 10 great days in Ushuaia.

I went to Chile for 2 week and crossed into Argentina again. Argentinian side of Patagonia is amazing.  It has 2 gems: Glacier Perito Moreno and the beautiful mountain of Fitz Roy.  Perito Moreno is not the biggest glacier in the area but still 80m ice wall rising above the lake, huge chunks falling off, no wonder thousands of people come here to see this marvel.  Enormous amount of ice filling the whole valley seen from viewpoints right in front of it was very impressive. Than Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, again amazing rocky mountains.  Another sunrise and unforgettable views.  I can't describe this, check out the photos.

I crossed the Chile-Argentina border the last time around Bariloche.  There I went trekking also the last time.  The Nahuel Huapi traverse took 5 days and included some spectacular scenery.  This time of year (April) trees change colors, making whole mountainsides bright red.  Rocky mountains, red forest and blue lakes - what more could I ask?  It was going great until Refugio San Martin.  As it was a summer route, from there it climbed up a rocky mountain.  That day big clouds came and damped wet snow on it.  Fortunately I met Magnus from Norway, and we both decided to give it a try.  We made it of course, but it required some careful foot placements, carrying 30kg rucksack.  Back in Bariloche, I took a bus to Buenos Aires.  After spending a week in great company of other travelers, I carried on to Iguazu near Brazilian border.  Cataratas de Iguazu are one of the most spectacular waterfalls.  There are 273 of them in total, but Garganta del Diablo is the most impressive.  Amazing amounts of water drop 80m down making so much noise that I had to shout.  Unforgettable place.

I crossed into Brazil to see its side of the Falls, saying good bye to my favorite country.   photos