Who cares that it was the third half of June and the river was around 8 degrees – the sky showed us what the colour blue really is and the water reminded us of how exhilarated we can feel.
Deciding to book a rafting and trekking tour at Rio Adventure in Mendoza was a bloody fantastic idea! And as someone who’s anxious about a lot, and not a lover of being freezing, Si was a little surprised at my enthusiasm to book this little excursion. None the less, we booked and went, and it’s a day we won’t forget.
We got picked up at our hostel, somewhere between 9 – 9.30am in a little minibus and proceeded to pick up other travellers at a couple of other places. After that we headed about 1.5 hours into the glorious Andes Mountains, wow.
I can only try and do this landscape justice with our pictures, but it’s only upon seeing the Andes in real life, that you can experience the gravity and presence of this great natural wonder. At a beck to its call, we were but a spec, wedged between it’s heights and lost within their mercy – and this was just the beginning…
Rio Adventure is nestled amongst the Andes peaks, and what feels a world away from anything I’m familiar with – nice. Upon arriving, one of the first characters we met was Kevin – what a top guy. In an instant, we got the vibes that this day was going to be great.
After filling in forms and signing our lives over into these guys hands, we were ready to get to the good stuff. Trekking around one of the nearby ‘little’ peaks, Si and I were lucky enough to have a tour with Kevin all to ourselves. Climbing over unsteady terrain and into a water pipe, we were lead up a pretty steep peak, where I realised how unfit I was. Kevin explained to us about the plants and landscape, but we also just chatted about ‘life’ – nice and personable.
We were showed the peak that resembled a crocodile, boasting a nobly, dry and cracked spine that curved against the warmth from the sun – naturally real. The flora showed the origins of absinthe and the smell mimicked lavender after a rub between the fingers. We were told, when brewed in boiled water and drank as a tea, we would feel the higher state of mind. Reminder – this isn’t a ‘souvenir ‘ that can be taken across the Argentinian border into Chile, nor is feathers from Don Silvano’s Ranch in Argentina – neither are lemons, or any fruit for that matter.
Trekking in the Andes is surreal
Anyway – the trek was awesome and the landscape was everything you could hope for presented into a beautiful scene. After a little downtime, some snacks and picture-taking, we were kitted out into our very sexy looking rafting gear. Our minicab driver piled us back in, along with Kevin and Oso, our rafting teachers, and we drove 7km up the river, to make a winding 12k descent back down.
Oso gave us, as well as another couple a very humorous, yet practical demonstration in how to raft and then we were on our way! Having never done this before I was excited to be trying something new.
Rafting in the Andes is incredible!
Oso is a fantastic instructor with a brilliant sense of humour and made our experience even better. Paddling down the river, we had an hour’s worth of breathtaking scenery where we were nestled between the mountains and away from the world as we know it. With three notable rapids throughout our journey, a Go-Pro that was attached to the front of the raft captured our joy and shock at the big splashes from the freezing river. Even with numb fingers and soaking wet to the core, nothing could diminish the thrill of this ride.
Words and pictures can only give an essence of the beauty and fun of this excursion, so if you ever get the chance to go to Menzoza then rafting and trekking at Rio Adventure is a necessity! I simply can’t rate this place enough, so, so ‘Bueno’.