Monday (Lunes) 3rd May, 2010
Day 416

Santiago, Chile
Santiago, Chile
Miles: 42,614
S 33.42860°
W 70.78211°

The weather gods were good to us. When we first woke, the morning was crystal clear affording us some good views of the mountain. This really is a big mountain, we stood at the lookout at 2900m looking upwards another 4000m to the summit - that's almost like having Mt Rainier starting at 10,000ft.

As we climbed towards the high point of the road and the border crossing the road deteriorated and we encountered large scale road works - the work crews were installing long stretches of snow sheds to protect the roadway from snow and rock falls.

The border crossing was a relatively straightforward affair. The Argentine and Chilean officials share a common building and seem to work very closely together making it very easy to get all the necessary stamps. The search of our vehicle by Chilean customs was probably the most energetic we have experienced - at one point we had 3 or 4 officials ratting through drawers and boxes as if there was a time limit on the exercise. But no problems and we were soon on our way. The first stage of the descent was another stunning South American mountain road with 30 switch-backs that dropped us nearly 1000m in a couple of miles.

The drive into Santiago was uneventful and we arrived at the Salfa Chevrolet dealer about 2:00 pm (we had called in on these guys previously when we were in Santiago so knew where they were). It did not take long to communicate our needs - change all fluids and filters, 2 new tires, and adjust the e-brake. We made an appointment for 8:30 the next day and then headed off to find a mall and super market and a hotel for the night.


We took a room at the Diego Almagro near the airport. Quite expensive, but we needed access to internet to talk to our children. It's a while since we had been in touch.