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Habia una vez en los Andes…

Time October 15th, 2012 in College Study Abroad | 1 Comment by

(Once upon a time in the Andes…)


This entry is long overdue, because a) this is still one of my favorite things I’ve done in Argentina so far and b) it happened waaay back in August. Oops. But it’s alright—that just means I’ve been having too much fun to pause and write about it.


Today I’ll be talking about:

I. Manzano Historico de Tunuyan
II. The moral of the story
III. Musica de la semana
IV. Previous posts
V. Upcoming posts
VI. A special bonus video



I. Manzano Historico de Tunuyan


Our first long weekend in Mendoza, my friends and I had a panic trying to figure out what to do with ourselves. Jose finally recommended that we visit Manzano Historico, because there was going to be some sort of celebration for San Martin there.


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San Martin-related activities!


Last minute emailing and calling… STRESSMESS. Two tips on that front: 1) Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead! 2) Don’t be surprised if no one picks up when you call during siesta. Derp derp.


We finally rented a cabin here for $1500 pesos for 4 people for 2 nights = about $40 USD/person for the entire stay.


(For anyone wanting to make a trip up, you might like to know that you can fit up to 7 or 8 people in one of those cabins. We also went during the off-season—it’s cheaper in the summer.)


I’d say we got out money’s worth.


The most obviously cool thing we did was climb a waterfall called the Chorro de la Vieja, a hike guided by the owner of our cabin.

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Although there was no snow in town, there was definitely some up in the Andes. I couldn’t believe it was still summer in the US! In the summer apparently you can hike further up, past the waterfall. I smell a return trip in our near future!


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The views of the Andes were incredible. Dazzling every time. No matter what you do, the photos just do not do them justice.

the view from the cabin window


However, as cool as our waterfall adventure was, I think my favorite parts were just hanging around in the cabin. (Which is good, because we were all getting sick that weekend and didn’t have the energy to do too much adventuring.)


We did a lot of cooking, partly to save money and partly because we really, really, really wanted salad. We made stir fry one night, spaghetti another.


Our friend Lisa also taught us how to make chapatti, African fry bread, which she learned how to do in Kenya.



Possibly the best decision we made over the weekend was to pull the mattresses off the bed frames and put them all together on the floor so we could sleep in a pile.


The cuddle puddle


We were super warm and toasty.


Our adventures ended with meeting a new “friend” on the bus, the most attractive Argentine we’ve seen yet. He was enchanted by Lisa’s big blue eyes and ended up giving her a folklore dance lesson in the bus terminal. Hilarity ensued.

Bad photo, sorry–you’ll just have to take my word for it.


Ultimately, it wasn’t a weekend about traveling to anyplace in particular or doing anything in particular. It was about us. It was about spending time together. This was the weekend that really solidified our friendship. I feel like I’ve known these three girls my entire life, and I have no idea how I’ve survived 20 years without them! They were there the first time I was drunk and when I got my first kiss, and there are still countless adventures ahead of us. Argentina is a big & confusing country, and you never know what’s going to come at you next; but I know that no matter what these girls will be there to support and share the laughs. That right there has been the best part of my study abroad so far.



Here’s a little video about some of our shenanigans.



II.  The moral of the story


1: You don’t have to spend a lot of money or travel super far away to have fun adventures on study abroad. Tunuyan is very close to Mendoza and our trip was very tranquil overall, but it was still definitely one of the best experiences I’ve had so far. What matters is who you go with.


2: Don’t buy box wine. Just don’t. If you’re going to spend the money, spend it on the good stuff.


III. Musica de la semana



Ojos de cielo por Abel Pintos
Check out the letras (lyrics) here because it’s a beautiful song.


I’d also like to share this song with you, even though it’s not in Spanish, because I think it exemplifies the spirit of study abroad.

Here’s hoping you’re all laying the past and fears about the future to rest and being joyful about the present, wherever you are.


IV. Previous posts


1. Antes de que me voy (Before I Leave) 

2.  Host Families and Fun with Public Transportation 

3. “Are You the Girl with the Blog?” 

4. Playing Tourists in Buenos Aires 

5. Looking Good, Mendoza! 

6. A Detailed Guide on All Things Micro 

7. Trip to Las Termas 

8. Daily life if Mendoza 


V. Upcoming posts


-Road trip to San Juan

-Spring break in Chile

-Reunion in Neuquen

-Trabajo voluntario

-Life of a student

-Trip to Cordoba

-The Argentina/Uruguay soccer game


VI. A special bonus video


Shenanigans continued. (Embedded below.)


We ARE planning on making this a full-length movie, mostly as a record for ourselves. Each moment here has been so beautiful, and I don’t want to let it slip away. I don’t know whether we’ll decide to let it be publicly on the internet, but if we do I’ll post it here for sure as an example of a real experience studying abroad with IFSA.

Because study abroad is about LIFE.