Last week I told you a little about a tour into the Andes Mountains in Argentina that took us almost to the border with Chile. This week I'll show you some of the other things we stopped to see on that drive. We had hired a driver and guide to take us from our base in Mendoza into the mountains. The above photo is of Puente del Inca (The Inca Bridge), a natural arch that has formed over the Vacas River. It was formed by hot springs rich in sulfuric waters that have caused that sort of rust-like sediment.
At one time there was a spa and resort located here that was used for curing illnesses. The remains of parts of the spa can be seen sort of fused into the mountain by the sediment and water from the spring.
While we were stopped to see the natural bridge, I saw this mountain guide with his pack mules headed out. I wondered if he was joining a climbing team who were going to attempt their own somewhat riskier Andes adventure.
Another stop we made was at the Andinistas Cemetery sometimes called the Climbers Cemetery.
It is the final resting place for many mountain climbers, some who died trying to reach the top of Aconcagua, the tallest peak in both the southern and western hemisphere. Other graves here were climbers who just wanted their final resting place to be here in this beautiful and remote location close to the mountain they loved.
I do have to admit, the views from the cemetery were pretty spectacular.
In every direction we were surrounded by breathtaking vistas.
The last stop before returning to Mendoza was to see the Uspallata Vaults which date from colonial times. They are dome-shaped structures that were used at one time for melting gold and silver that was mined in the nearby mountains.
The trip into the Andes Mountains was an adventure full of historical sightings but most of all sublime beauty in every direction!