Dave spent Wed, Wed night and Thursday climbing at Frey, a famous trad climbing site very close to us with our friend Maria´s boyfriend Jorge. They had an awesome time and exhausted themselves climbing as many hours of daylight as they could! Poor guy returned home at 11pm Thursday night to find the family had big plans for the following day! (see below). While he was gone the kids had 2 more spanish lessons with Mariana which they just love! They want class everyday, maybe just to get away from us! They also both went to the bi-lingual school our teachers work at and hung out in kindergarten and first grade for about an hour. It was good for them to have some kid time and Toby got to use some of his new spanish words in conversation.
Yesterday, Friday, we rented a car and drove down to the base of Mount Tronador, the biggest mountain around these parts that towers over everything with its massive glaciers visible from above the lake here. It is about 40 minutes south on the pavement and then 40 km of rough slow dirt road up into the Andes almost to the border with Chile. The road is only open for upgoing traffic in the morning and down travel in the afternoon which makes it a lot less scary. You travel alongside Lago Mascardi which is an amazing greenish blue because of the glacial runoff. We stopped at the end of the lake to hike into a waterfall which was incredibly tall and surprised all of us. Then we continued up the road to the village of Pampa Linda which means Beautiful Plains, which they really were. Cassidy explained that she knew what linda meant because that is what everyone always says to her! Yikes!! Our little red Fiat Sienna did us proud and made it up the steep rocky road (though much slower than all the Argentines in there similar little cars) to the Black Glacier. The kids were very disappointed they couldnt touch the glacier but it was very impressive to look at with a lagoon below with icebergs floating in it. Then we hiked up to the Devil´s throat, a set of waterfalls that drop hundreds of feet down from the hanging glaciers. Some of them freefall for so long that the water never touches the earth but just disaptes in the air. At the end of our hike we found the quintessential Argentinian Confiteria at the trail head with amazing homemade chocolate tort (cake) which of course we could not pass up. A far cry from what you´d find a national park service concessionaires in the states!! We intended to stop at a restaurant on the way home but as soon as the bumpy drive started both kids fell fast asleep. It was great for making the ride go quickly but then they were awake until midnight!!
We have decided to stay here another week to celebrate Toby´s birthday with friends and continue with all the fun and lessons we have settled into here. We will head to our cattle ranch destination March 29th and be there until the end of April.
Love to all!!