January 10, 2006 - Enjoying the Cities of Santiago and Mendoza

Our rooms at the Four Points Sheraton in Santiago could not be better.  There is a mountaineering shop a few doors down, and many excellent restaurants in the area.

Niki and Marriott staff member work on Wally's ToughbookAnd of course the internet – Andreas who works here and Niki had my Panasonic Tough book on line within minutes after we reached the lobby.  We were able to view the same dispatch pages about our adventure that others had been watching for days.

We enjoyed a late lunch at an Italian restaurant, and then said goodbye to Bob, who had come only to climb Ojos.  Leila had helped him check his bags through to Phoenix before we left the airport, so he was able to enjoy a few more hours with the team.  Bob’s sunburned lips which showed definite signs of having been to 6900m (22,638 ft) two days ago, only slightly diminished his enjoyment of lunch.

Now it is the morning of the 10th.  We are off the airport again for our short flight to Mendoza Argentina.  Oswaldo and Juancho went over there by bus yesterday, with many of our big duffel bags.

Brian decides to stay in Santiago for a few days before

Brian will remain in Chile for a few more days, relaxing and visiting friends.  Ken, Roger, Niki, Leila and I are off to climb another mountain: Aconcagua.  We will send you reports from Argentina.

* * *

We’ve arrived in Mendoza!

The flight from Santiago only takes about 35 minutes.  Our Lan Chile flight went south of the massive bulk of Aconcagua and we got a great view of our mountain out of the left side of the plane.

The team enjoys lunch at a café in MendozaAt the Mendoza Airport, we were met by our friend Eduardo and transferred to our hotel near the Plaza Independencia. 

As I write this little report Leila is out with the guys looking for a place to get our laundry done.  Each member of the team is saying that they will not mind going without showers on Aconcagua but they at least want to start with clean clothes!

I expect lunch at one of the lovely sidewalk restaurants that Mendoza is famous for will be happening soon. Eduardo told us that the temperature here got to 42 degrees C yesterday!  We will certainly be appreciating the large trees that provide shade to the streets in this beautiful city.  The high cold winds of Aconcagua seem a long way off right now, but our little team will be ready after some more time relaxing in Mendoza.  At 5:00pm this afternoon we are going to get our permits to climb the mountain and tomorrow we will be on the way!

22,841 feet
6962 meters

22,637 feet
6900 meters