I found a dog-sitting gig on the coast of Chile just three hours north of Santiago. So, we decided to cut our time in Mendoza a bit short and head back to Chile. The little boys are super excited about our new job. I love that we have the flexibility to take advantage of opportunities such as this one.
Since we were heading to Chile on Saturday I tried to cram as many activities as I could into our week. We didn’t end up doing as much as I had planned to in Mendoza since I thought we would be here longer. Also, this week Israel ended up going on a four day trek up Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America. More on that in another post.
On the way here from Santiago we passed a picturesque, sparkling green man-made lake about an hour outside of Mendoza. We knew when we passed by that we would have to return to check it out. We decided to go on Wednesday. We took an hour long bus ride from the main bus terminal in Mendoza to the town of Potrerillos. I wasn’t sure exactly what we would do when we got there, but I knew we were going to enjoy some time on the water. It has been really hot in Mendoza lately and water time is exactly what we needed. When we walked down from the bus stop towards the lake and saw kayaks, immediately I knew how we were going to spend the afternoon. Joaquin of course, wanted nothing to do with kayaking, so I decided to take the little boys one at a time while Joaquin stayed with the other boy and our backpack. We had a wonderful time on the water paddling in and out of the sunken trees. I thought about bringing my phone with me to take pictures, but since my whole life is on that phone, I made the smarter choice to leave it on shore.
Jovani is starting to be a pretty good kayaker, but he still needs some practice paddling tandem since he doesn’t quite have a grasp of the timing. Despite that he paddles really well and is enormously helpful. Judah, not so much. We had a great time exploring in between sunken trees and admiring the crystalline water. We spent an hour kayaking and the rest of the afternoon the boys just played on the shore. It was a relaxing day by the water and a fine time spent outside of the city.
Las Termas de Cacheuta are thermal pools about an hour away and a must see when in Mendoza. I hate having two big days in a row, but I didn’t want to miss them and we were running out of time in Argentina, so Thursday morning we found ourselves back at the bus station and once again heading out of town.
The town of Cacheuta is not much of a town, it seems to consist only of restaurants, stands with tourist trinkets, and Las Termas. We skipped the thermals in Banos, Ecuador because I’m not much of a crowded, hot pool person and we went to a thermal pool in Cuenca that was rather underwhelming. It was a hot, cloudy pool with no visibility (the lifeguard instincts in me were not happy about that). That was a fun day out for the little boys and but I was a little grossed out and in no hurry to repeat that experience.
This place was much different. The town itself is set above an emerald green rushing river and the whole town exists due to the tourism from the thermal pools. This place had almost a water park feel to it. There were more than ten pools all at different temperatures ranging from scalding hot to super chilly. There were two water slides, a lazy river, and a kiddie park area. The entire place was built onto a hillside overlooking the mountains and river below. They incorporated rocks and native cacti into the design which made for a fabulous view.
Once again Joaquin wanted nothing to do with the water, so he stayed with the backpack while the boys and I had fun. Sometimes there are benefits to having a fourteen year old curmudgeon. I’m so glad we did not miss out on such a fun place. I was still grossed out by the amount of people and lack of chlorine, but I worked through my issues and had a good time. I also must mention that the only lifeguards in the entire park were at the water slides, so I really could not help my constant vigilance, but it was nice to not have someone always blowing a whistle for some minor infraction.
We were reunited with Israel on Friday, and Saturday we made the awe inspiring trek over the Andes and back to Chile. Our new place is incredibly beautiful, but the internet is a bit sketchy, so I don’t know when the next post will be.