Location/distance:
Walk finished at Puente del Inca but my current location is Mendoza
26km

Thought of the day:
Take the path less travelled, it will reward you.

What I learnt:
Smuggling across borders is fun!

Song of the day:
Pearl Jam, dissident

Thankyous:
Ok this is a big one today because I have completed half of my goal
-mum and dad
-Amy Nathan and Luke, jonny and fi (siblings represent)
-nana, grandad, uncles aunties (especially auntie b)
-all the rosehill crew and their sweet mrs’s
-chris from bivouac Sylvia park (go buy sh$t from them!)
-dick jb tim and rob
-my manager Ryan, not possible without him
-ally x
-everyone else following this trip
-peeps that came to snapdragon on the 3rd
-cooks beach
-cartwrights (2nd family)
-Raleigh street
– and of course god
Heaps more Thankyous to come in 2nd part so stay tuned 🙂

Notes:
Objective one complete, walk to the base of the mountain. I’m really stoked with myself to be writing this, there were some tough times involved and I know I didn’t make it easy but coming in 3 days early is quite satisfying. Enough gooey crap for now, I had an interesting day which was not entirely legal, so if anyone who looks important asks you I’m still in chile ok? I’ll explain…
I didn’t exactly get away early, my room was pretty hard to leave, but I was walking at 10am. It seemed like no time at all I was at the tunnel that takes you under the ridge and across the border. The problem is that the tunnel going towards Argentina is only open during the evening from 7pm till 7am, then it switches over. I had heard of people trying to walk through but not being allowed so I came up with a plan 😉 I walked behind the immigration building and jumped off a retaining wall into the tunnel entrance and ran to the first service alcove. When the policia drove past I knew I was in the clear to continue walking. 3 km of dark tunnel only to pop out the other side and walk past all check points, and no one stamped me so I guess I’m still in chile? Rich I wish you were with me then!
I still had another 13km to walk from here and I was pretty over it at this stage and afternoon sun sucks! But I pushed on and made it to the start of the mountain climb, cha hoo! Because I was pretty tired it was strangely anticlimactic, but it sunk in later. I now have to go to Mendoza for two days to organise my climbing permit and compare Chilean and Argentinian beers.
There was a bus waiting to go straight to Mendoza which would have been perfect timing but I didn’t organise argentinian cash so I couldn’t catch it haha. So I had to walk another 3km to the town to change some money and book a bus. Think everything happens for a reason because I met an American guide, finally had an English conversation!! And he gave me a great indication of what I’m in for. So I am really clued up with what I need to organise here in Mendoza, climbing permits, mules to portage extra food and water etc. I will post a detailed explanation of what my plan of attack for the climb is tomorrow for you to check out if your interested.
Its 1am so, buenos noche

p.s. I’m sure I’ll have to edit this post later but I thought I would chuck it up raw first
P.s.s I would compare south American borders, to the white plastic tape fence that subdues the touch line crowd at a secondary school rugby game

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