When I was 10 my parents and I went to Mendoza on holidays. It was the first time in my life I saw The Andes. I still remember how marveled I was at the sight of those huge mountains. As my mother had mountain sickness, she remained in the hotel and my father and I went to a place called “Puente del Inca” (Inca´s bridge, 8990 ft above sea level).
Puente del Inca is a natural bridge that was formed by the ice that covered the river and acted as support for avalanches of snow, ice and rocks. There are hot springs of sulfurous waters and it seems that this bridge of ice was petrified by the sulfur and when the ice melted, the bridge remained.
There is an abandoned hotel under this bridge and there is a market that sells petrified objects. I was very curious and I wanted to see it all, springs included. My father told me to stay away from the sulfurous springs because I could be petrified. I didn´t believe him so he took a little kettle, tied it with a string, immersed it into the water, waited some minutes and when he pulled it out, the kettle was petrified.
I was really impressed!!!
Twenty nine years later, I came back to Puente del Inca. I was very excited about showing my friend such a wonderful location and that magic effect of the water. I said I was gonna petrify her Converses 🙂
We were wandering around when I saw the market and I invited my friend to see where the objects got petrified in no time. I was telling her the story when a man overheard us and got into our conversation.
– “your father must have fooled you around”
– “why” I asked
– “because it takes months for an object to be petrified”
– “no way” I said “I saw it with my own eyes”
– “really? like this?” and he immersed an object in the spring and removed it after some minutes, completely petrified.
– “yes, just like that” I replied.
The man laughed and showed me how he had fooled me with two identical objects, one petrified and the other not.
– “it´s a trick for the kids” he said “we do it all the time”
The three of us ended up laughing. Because my father had fooled me and I had been a gullible child and believe it true. All those years …
Once home I paid my father a visit and repeated him exactly what had happened. He barely remembered the story. He said he never expected me to believe it for the rest of my life. He just wanted to keep me safe, far from the springs.
Over the years, I had told that story to whoever wanted to hear it. And it was just about a gullible child who turned into a gullible grown up who was now totally embarrassed thinking of all the times she had repeated that story over the course of the years, believing blindly in her father´s word as if she were still a child.
Here some pictures from that trip in 2001.