Wednesday (Miercoles) 5th May, 2010
Day 418

The Andes, Argentina
The Andes, Argentina
Miles: 42,762
S 32.78298°
W 69.61299°

We woke to an overcast sky and mist, the weather forecast I had seen yesterday turned out to be correct, today was not as warm as yesterday.

We got a good demonstration of South American consumerism this morning. Note that last night we stayed at a truck stop on one of the major freeways circling Santiago and that this mornings traffic was thick on that freeway, yet at 7:30, I went to the McDonalds to get coffee, it was closed - can you believe that. So coffee was from the gas station shop.

The drive back to the Argentine-Chile border was a treat despite the less than perfect weather, huge mountains, steep valleys, lots of trucks and amazing road construction.

The border process was different on this return journey. At the border post where we got the paper work done a couple of days back they simply stamped our vehicle document and told us to call in at another complex 20 km down the road. So somewhat later we did just that. The complex was a huge building processing buses and private vehicles, no trucks. There were 5 lanes being processed, one for buses and 4 for private vehicles. However the private vehicle lines had a height restriction that was too low for the Tiger - what to do? Eventually one of the customs officials grabbed our paperwork and spent 20 minutes going to and fro between various offices getting it stamped and signed. When all was done they got one of the soldiers guarding the station to take us back out the entrance and show us how to find our way back onto the highway.

We took a quick photographic stop at Puente Del Inca to get shots of the yellow minerals on the rocks, a quick visit to the Cementario Alpinista - a cemetery for climbers killed on Aconcagua - and then headed down hill looking for a place to pull off and stay the night.


On the Argentine side of the border on the road between Mendoza and Santiago there were many rough tracks leading off the highway into river beds or river banks. We picked one that would get us a a good distance from the road and make us a little less obvious.