Trying out every possible sitting position; admiring the view; in-depth discussions on topics varying from the economic crisis in Argentina to the zombie craze that has taken over the world in the last few years; and singing along to random radio station songs; That’s how I spent the 3000 kms road trip I undertook on the last week of 2014.
It all started with a brief 400kms on December 25, the route was from Santiago de Chile to Mendoza in Argentina. Crossing the Andes mountain range is glorious, the different textures, colours and shapes of the mountains captivated me. The border control was very quick and efficient, well, I say border control but really you drive from one country to the other via a tunnel and immigration is done after you’ve been in Argentine soil for quite a while. In fact there is even a small town BEFORE you reach immigrations. So you could actually cross the border, have a meal in Argentine soil and go back to Chile all without stamping your passport!
After two days exploring the city of Mendoza and its surrounding wine regions we embarked on the second (and best) leg of the journey. This time we drove from Mendoza, a city in the center of the Argentine wine region, to San Carlos de Bariloche, a town in the Argentine Patagonia famous for its skiing and breathtaking views. A total of 1200kms in something like 19 hours… The roads were mainly empty, we did see a few other cars but unless we were near a big city they hardly amounted to a handful at a time. Driving across the Argentine Pampa and all its vast empty expanses, not seeing a soul for kms on end really helps you understand the size of Argentina, the 8th largest country by area in world!
Bariloche was as magnificent as I’d been led to believe, if not more, but after only 2 days there it was time to head back to Santiago if we wanted to make it back for NYE. So off we embarked on our third and last leg of the last road trip of 2014. This time it was 1400kms and it took us 24 hours, 3 hour nap and a traffic jam entering the city included, Oh, and it was raining most of the way…
Crossing the border from Argentina to Chile we used the southern pass of “Cardenal Samoré”. In this region the mountains aren’t so high (the pass itself is at a mere 1314 metres above sea level) but unlike the bare mountains in the north they are covered with vegetation, dense woods as far as the eye can see, not to mention the lakes spread across the area. Altogether the views are absurdly beautiful.
Why did I attempt such a long journey in such a short time interval? Why didn’t I just stick to Mendoza? Well, mainly because I’m leaving Chile in 3 weeks and I have no idea when I’ll be back but definitely not for another 3 or 4 years. And secondly because I’m not one to turn away from incredible travel opportunities!
What about you? Do enjoy road trips? And how long was your longest road trip?