We managed to get front seats up top, on our bus from Valparaiso to Mendoza, Argentina and what a great choice. It’s not quite the same as driving yourself, stopping as you please, but the next best thing I guess for this 8 hour journey.
Crawling up undulating, twisting and turning roads in our bus to the peak, or rather through the peaks of this amazingly breathtaking mountain range, Los Andes, was quite special and memorable. But it would not quite be the same without the stereotypical crazy bus driver, who drives at warp speed 3, overtakes on double lines, drives on the wrong side of the road on blind bends and we had ours! Yippee! Box ticked! Stress levels…hmm stress no way!
The mountains in this crossing are so different from what we have seen in Asia and New Zealand, they are very jagged and rise quickly, dark volcanic-like colours at the bottom and transforming into a white carpet of snow the higher you get.
Stepping out at the peak to go through the border crossing and you can feel the cold hit you hard and the thinness of the air when you speak. The border crossing itself is all quite amiable and unremarkable as the bus waits while you queue and get your exit stamp from Chile and the passport is handed across the desk to the Argentinian immigration officer who stamps it and hands it back to you, off you go and stand with the bus passengers and open your hand luggage, watch as your hold luggage is passed through a security check then reloaded and all embark and off you go. Bienvenide Argentina!
I still think that the road through the mountains was designed by some lunatic ex-bus driver who had a love for rollercoasters, then went out one night, got drunk drunk and then designed this road……there must be an easier way than this!