Cristina Acuña, Founder and Director of Connecting Worlds, shares what she discovered during her most recent spiritual trip to the Traslasierra Valley last week. Where did you visit? During my last trip, I travelled across the area of Merlo, located in the extreme north-east of the San Luis province, and through the Traslasierra Valley, situated in province of Córdoba in Argentina — right on the border with Merlo. The entire region is famous for having one of the most effective microclimates in the world, with many people firmly believing in the idea that the zone’s climate is made up of special, healing qualities. There are direct buses which take you to Merlo from the Retiro Bus Terminal in Buenos Aires — a journey which lasts around ten to twelve hours. The service is comfortable, the buses are well looked-after, and most trips are timetabled overnight which makes the whole journey seem that much shorter. Why did you decide to make the trip? I took this trip specifically as a way of recharging from the positive energies found in this part of Argentina. I also took the opportunity to visit some friends of mine who live in the area, and to take part in a series of activities which allowed me to get back in touch with nature. Every time I return after visiting this part of Argentina, the feeling is incredible — I arrive home with endless energy and an improved vitality. Who did you travel with? I travelled with a friend of mine. I’d spoken to her endlessly about this part of the country and she wanted to make the trip with me. For a long time, she’d been looking to visit somewhere where the rhythm of daily life would be a lot more relaxed than that of the city. She was looking for a great climate, and a place in which she could learn about other ways of life. Almost immediately, it occurred to me to take her on a visit to this area, and I definitely made the right choice. She had a fantastic time and is already talking about returning as many times as she can — she was most struck by the unique bounties offered by the climate and the cordial nature of the people who live there. What kind of activities did you take part in? It’s the fifth time I’ve visited the area and so I can safely say that I know it very well. Having said that, each time I visit I take part in different therapies which have helped me to find harmony between my body and soul — therapies which have really helped to improve my general well-being. I’ve signed up to reconnecting therapies in an ancient healing carpentry camp, reiki, ayurveda massage, vegan cooking classes, sacred circular dance sessions, chakra harmony workshops, Mayan calendar sessions, holistic medicine teachings, aura readings, and natural revitalisation therapies for physical aches and pains, to name but a few. Every time I visit, I try a different kind of therapy. The huge variety of alternative therapies that can be experienced in the area is just incredible. Thanks to the help and advice of many friends who live in the zone, I’ve been able to meet some fascinating professionals who offer a wide range of truly healing therapies — for both the body and the soul. How has the trip helped you? I believe that every trip is different and has a particular purpose, but all the journeys I’ve taken have helped me in some way. For example, one of the best trips I’ve ever had — and that I have over and over again, every time I return — is when I visit the healing camp where they use ancient aboriginal therapies in order to “heal the soul”. From the moment I enter the camp, I feel an incredible energy. I think that being so close to nature, without internet, without television, and without reading the news, or looking at my mobile phone, means that I have to start considering other elements of life. In doing so, I naturally begin to re-order many things which have perhaps started to cause me some difficulties. In particular, I underwent a special reconnecting therapy at this camp in the exact moment in which I really needed to. It was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever lived through. In just a few days I was able to rediscover my particular mission in this world, and I was able to ask myself many personal questions which helped me greatly — not only in my personal life but also at work. I was able to remain centred on my personal axis, work out exactly what it was I wanted, set new goals, and build on new projects. I learned how to listen to my interior with more clarity and, more than anything else, how to guide myself through life not just using my head, but by also tuning in to what I feel. Why would you recommend the trip to others? What kind of person would benefit from a trip like this? I believe that everyone, when they travel, does so with a specific purpose in mind. This is especially true when one travels in search of a new vision of life. I fully recommend these experiences for anyone in search of their true self, who yearns to be in direct contact with nature, who are open to new ideas, who have respect for their surroundings and the people around them, and who don’t have any qualms about being without internet and mobile phone connection for a few days. I also believe that these experiences are best suited for anyone over the age of 21, with a basic knowledge of Spanish. Some of the therapists speak English very well, but not all. Which part of the trip did you enjoy the most and why? I enjoyed every single moment of the trip, but what I enjoyed more than anything else was the pure and simple contact with nature. At night, I found myself contemplating the stars and listening to the sounds of the vegetation around me — those which are impossible to hear when in the city. I also really enjoyed the contact with local people, and see the simplicity with which they find happiness in life. Perhaps many people might look at these local people and consider them to be “poor or servile”, because they spend no time worrying about mobile phones, or the latest car model, but I believe that they demonstrate a real warmth for life and transmit an incredible sense of peace that many people would love to be able to wield. Did you have to take many things with you, or were you given everything you needed? In the aboriginal healing camp, there was a cabin built to house six people and it was full of all the necessary comforts one might need. We only had to take food with us to cook during our stay. What I really liked was the super personal attention we were paid and the fact that we were the only group in the camp at the time. We were offered lots of books to read, and films to watch to encourage reflection. Even so, our main hobby naturally developed into looking at the beautiful sky. I think the sky, in this part of the world, is one of the prettiest I have ever seen. Which therapy helped you the most and why? All the therapies on offer have helped me in some way. For example, the ayurveda massage helped me to discover more about the type of body I have, and how I can regulate my body’s energies via various kinds of foods. As well as enjoying the effects of a good massage, it also helped me to relieve tensions The circular dances helped me to discover that it’s possible to express of feelings through movement. Dancing in a circle generates an incredible sensation. A very special energy is produced. The holistic medicine taught me how to treat the causes behind my health problems. The course also taught me a great deal about natural remedies. One of the most important natural medicine centres in Argentina is situated in the very centre of the Traslasierra Valley. Therapies including colonic cleansing, liver cleansings, purifications, and other treatments to help fight against a variety of illnesses. More than any other therapy, I think that the reconnecting therapy was the most important for me. It helped me greatly to start seeing my life from a different perspective and discover who I really am. When you return, which therapies would you choose to repeat and which place would you return to? If I were to return, I’d need a whole month to fit everything in! Even so, the aboriginal healing camp, the circular dancing, and the ayurveda massage would be at the top of my list. I’d also want to revisit the Traslasierra in order to experience another mountain trek. The waterfalls and landscapes are truly amazing. Do you think these trips have positively affected your day-to-day life? Yes! In fact, I haven’t stopped implementing what I’ve learned through these trips in my life every day. I think that my life philosophy has changed for the better thanks to these trips. I’ve made changes to what I eat, I meditate daily, I practice yoga, and I treat any kind of ailment through natural medicines. These trips have produced positive changes in both my body and my soul. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us? There are too many things I’d like to share, but nothing compares with being able to experience these things for yourself. Much of the region from Merlo to the Traslasierra in Córdoba isn’t promoted much to foreigners, which I think is a real shame. They’re losing out on the opportunity to get to know a very special place, where people still find the time to talk with each other, smile, and enjoy life, without the hurry which seems to loom over the large cities. I think it’s also important to say that whether you want to take part in a therapy or not, this part of Argentina is worth visiting just for travel purposes. There are activities on offer for people of all ages and tastes to enjoy. The only thing you have to decide is when to make your trip! If you are looking for Immersion programs or Responsible Tours in Argentina, visit our official website. Join our Facebook FAN PAGE to stay updated, interact with the other fans and much more!