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Bec & Simon

The Andes, Chile/Argentina

ARGENTINA | Saturday, 24 January 2009 | Views [1807]

You'd think that seven hours on a bus would be pretty painful...I don't think I've had a more interesting trip than this (plus the seats were very big and comfortable compared to aeroplane seats)! We spent the seven hours glued to the bus windows. Our trip through the Andes began in Santiago after a quick breakfast from a local bakery. I don't think Chileans believe in bread, just pastry. So after a quick breakfast of empanada queso (a kind of cheese filled pastry) for Simon and some sort of pastry, filled with what I thought was jam but could have been chocolate of caramel, for me we were on our way. About an hour into our trip we were out of Santiago and on the winding road through the Andes. The road pretty much followed the river throught the mountains, with mountains rising above us on either side, so there were lots of twists and turns. At several points the road rose up above the river, so that there was a sheer 50m drop right beside us down to the river, with no guard rails. Fear is obviously not in the nature of Chilean bus drivers though, because there was definitely no slowly down for corners. About halfway through the Andes the road began to climb up into the mountains, although we could still see the river. The road wound back and forward on itselkf in a series of switchbacks since the mountain was so steep (again no guardrails and no slowing down!). The views were absolutely amazing, I have never seen anything like it. We started to see some taller mountains that still had snow on them, and waterfalls from the melting snow, and wild horses that had somehow managed to climb up onto cliffs that rockclimbers would have trouble with. There was even an inland lake, complete with windsurfers, that was an absolutely beautiful bright blue in the middle of all this. By far the best thing we have done so far!!

Tags: andes, mountains


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