Halo Suramerica – Aconconcagua 2016

Expedition Aconcagua 2016 is well and truly underway. Day one & two…. Departing my home town of letterkenny in Ireland on Sunday morning 03-01- 2016 the long haul planes trains & automobile transatlantic crossing seen me arrive into buenos Aires in Argentina South America Monday morning. Jet lagged but with time to kill before flying onwards to Mendoza ,i decided downtown buenos Aires was a must visit – to one of the world most iconic cities. Arriving in i was floored by the vastness & scale of the city. Instantly i could see like all large multi cultural cities it had the elements that has allowed it earn its reputation as a strong European feel to it yet still holding strong to its Latin American culture & values. With a population of 3.147.638 almost 14.000 inhabitants per square kilometre it was a maze. On walking around i couldn’t but notice a huge multi ethnic and religious genre driven by European Asia and Latin American’s and in passing the several languages spoken beyond the common language of Spanish, it was truly a wonderful melting pot. What is wonderful and very noticeable about the city is the protection and migration of the old historical and modern architecture blended seamlessly as a modern business like commercial city yet culturally welcoming to the vast tourist that pass through it daily. In fact it’s the most visited city in South America ahead of Rio de Janerio. Famous for its cuisine and renowned for the finest meat in the world i set about asking some of the locals “in my very poor Spanish ” where to dine local style the Argentinian steak. After many hand signals and rolled eyes i finally found down a back street this small typically Argentine diner/restaurant, met with a puzzled smile and handed a Spanish menu ” which was double dutch” out came half a cow ,I’ll swear the horns were still on it …. Simply Devine i tucked into the most incredible piece of meat ,no sauces and with a simple side salad i have to say it was possibly the best steak I’ve ever tasted …knowing it was possibly the only real food I’ll have for several weeks ,i enjoyed every mouthful. Flight onwards to Mendoza famous for it Malbec wines and with an early 5am depart and a four hour bus journey and a helicopter flight I’m finally in Aconcagua basecamp “plaza Argentina” at 4.200mtr above sea level. Situated perfectly at the base of this wonderful mountain ” highest in America and second in the seven summits” it is simply breathtaking. Unusually the mountain has experienced a huge amount of snow for 2016 but it only paints for this beautiful whale backed shaped ascent. For now it’s an opportunity to acclimatise before we start to climb to camp one at 4.900mtr in height . On arrival at base came the pre-aclimatisation seams to be working in my favour, avoiding sore or light heads or shortness of breath. For now it’s a vast intake of water to help continue with the acclimatisation process ,catch up on missed sleep and refuel for the expedition ahead over the next few days. Weather just now at basecamp is low winds with temps hovering around freezing dropping below zero tonight. #supermotivated #excited2016 Jason