Before we carried on with our journey, towards Mendoza in Argentina, we spent a comfortable week in Santiago de Chile, we played tennis on clay courts surrounded by motorways on both sides (to breathe nice fresh air :-)), splashed ourselves in an outdoor pool on top of Parque Metropolitano, Viktor got rid of some hair. After the week we were refreshed and ready for new adventures!
Btw, Mote con huesillo is a traditional Chilean summer-time non-alcoholic drink made from cooked wheat (mote) and dried peaches (huesillo), and this is soaked in a sweet clear nectar like liquid. It was usually sold for 500 CLP on the street. Well, even for such a little money, we were not able to finish… 🙂 We found it quite disgusting 🙂
It seemed that with leaving Patagonia one part of our holiday (exactly 3 months long part) ended and a new era was beginning.
The bus trip from Santiago to Mendoza was interesting not only because of the impressive views on the way but also because we were filmed by local news when boarding the bus. To our questions the bus driver just replied jokingly that the cameras were there because he was a movie star. Later we found the real reason. There was a completely smashed bus wreck by the Chilean and Argentine border. The driver was apparently driving like mad, many people, including children, died in the accident and it was massive news both in Chile and Argentina. Luckily our trip was without any problems, perhaps apart from 4 hour wait on the border.
The border control of Paso Internacional Los Libertadores is in the altitude of 3207 meters above sea level in beautiful surroundings… on the Chilean side the road rises through 29 switchbacks, so called Los Caracoles (the snails). It passes very close to Aconcagua, the highest mountain of South America (6961 meters above sea level). Although we did not know which of the imposing peaks was the actual Aconcagua :).