Into Argentina

We’re utterly exhausted when we roll into San Pedro De Atacama, Chile, and searching around town to find a campground nearly finishes us off. Rob has endured the most by far, and is so throughly done he drops the Harley twice in ten minutes, before sitting on the ground, trying not to pass out.
The prices here are staggering. Literally jaw dropping. USD$8.40 camping for one night, $15-$20 for dinner in a restaurant and gas is around $1.45/liter ($5.50/gal). It doesn’t take long before we realize we need to get out of here, though a few beers and a pizza come first.
I spend more one night in Chile than I spent in a week in Bolivia – ouch.

Rob decides to rest for another day, so in the early afternoon myself, Warren & Sara roll up to Customs and are stamped out of Chile after only 24 hours. We drive back up over the same pass as the day before and come to the international border some 270km later, high in the mountains.
Rob & Sara have fallen behind, so I move inside, fill out another tourist card good for 90 days in Argentina, then get another sheet of paper for the Jeep based on the registration.
Again, no money, no copies, no worries.

chile argentina border 640x480

International border

I wait and wait, and start to get worried as the light fades. Warren’s been having a lot of trouble with his Toyota and I really don’t know what to do. I’m already stamped into Argentina and I don’t think I have enough gas to go back to find them. I leave a note at immigration and reluctantly move on, into my 16th and possibly final country. While driving a few more hours I think long and hard about the fact I’m now in Argentina and have essentially no more border crossings for my journey. Sure, I’ll cross Chile/Argentina/Chile a few more times, but those seem almost superficial and irrelevant.
So close now.

argentine sunset 640x480

Summer is coming...

At 8pm I watch the beautiful sunset wearing shorts, flip-flops and a T-shirt.
Roll on another summer of camping, hiking & gorgeous mountains!


12 Responses

  1. James says:

    Almost there Dan! Cant believe Summer is coming your way, I just got back from the Sierras where they just had their first snowfall of the year. Nights are hovering around 30-40F Winter is approaching fast in the states.

  2. Katrina says:

    Congratulations on approaching the end of your journey Dan! I’ve enjoyed reading your adventure, it’s been very inspiring and i’m excited to be going on my own this summer. I’m finally leaving the country for the first time and going to India!

  3. Lore says:

    Yeap, Chile is expensive compared to other countries, but believe me when I tell you that you must go to the lake district and the chilean patagonia :) If you go down to Mendoza in Argentina you can come again to Chile, to Santiago, and we’ll find you a place to stay one or two nights! don’t worry! And in the south I also have some friends and relatives, so if you need anything around here just write!

    Talking about Argentina, Córdoba is a very nice city, also Mendoza. You should go in some moment to Buenos Aires, one of my favorites cities in the world, and maybe at the end of the patagonian adventure, try to go to Brasil, another amazing country. Río is just awesome.

    In the last weeks I’ve been in Coyhaique (in the chilean patagonia) and in Valdivia (a city with german influence), you also should go to Chiloé a very big island in the south, and to the San Rafael Lake, and in Argentina to the Perito Moreno glaciar. Bariloche y Angostura are two beautiful cities in the south of Argentina, in El Bolsón you’ll meet some hippies I’m sure :)

    A big hug for you, the best of luck, and don’t get too scared for the prices, chilean people in the south are very very friendly, they will help you!


    • Dan says:

      Hey Lore,
      Thanks for all the awesome information. You’ve given me some great destinations to add to my list, and I’ll be spending a lot of time in that region of Southern Chile/Argentina for sure.
      I’m heading to BA for xmas with my family, and I’m getting really excited about it!

  4. Luis says:

    I am really glad you are almost near “the end” of this part of your journey. You sound very happy.

    We are planning on spending Christmas 2011 in BA… Where do you think you will be? :)

    • Dan says:

      Haha, hey Luis,
      I imagine one day we’ll actually meet, though I don’t think it’s going to be on this continent :)
      I don’t know exactly what the future holds, though I’ll be going somewhere new.
      Good luck & have fun!

  5. Arndt+Renate says:

    Hi Dan!

    I’m happy to read you again, so you survived the “base camp”, I had no real doubt you will 😉 We went in the meantime from Uspallata to the area of San Luis (i.e. Trapiche in the NE of it). Yes, the road is boring to there, but it is done very fast. Now we are really happy to see here, after a long time, a lot of green landscape again… Nice small gravel roads are also here to explore, not Bolivia for sure, but there some lonely spots with interesting views into (small) green mountains :-)

    On the further way to BA we drove up to the city Merlo and from there straight to the East over the mountains to the area of Santa Rosa/Belgrano. The 50km mud road trip from Merlo to the East, over and through the mountains, is really a pleasure for us mountain drivers, really think about if you also choose this direction towards BA!

    We hope to see you in BA for a last (german?) beer!

    • Dan says:

      Hey guys,
      Great to hear from you. I’m just short of Cordoba, about to venture into the ‘little’ mountains you speak of :)
      Thanks for all the trip advice, and with regards to that German beer, name the time and place and I’ll be there with bells on.

  6. BodesWell says:

    Enjoying reading about this part of your trip! We’ve done no research on this part of our own trip, so it’s really nice to get some first-hand information. We keep hearing that Chile and Argentina are the most expensive parts of the drive, so we hope you find some economical ways to stretch the budget!

    Jason, Angela, Bode

    • Dan says:

      Absolutely the most expensive. Argentina is just a little cheaper than countries I’ve lived in before (USA, Canada, Australia) and from what I hear, Chile is every bit as expensive as those countries.
      Good luck!

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