Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ride Report #11: Santiago, Chile to Mendoza, Argentina

Santiago reminded me a bit of LA because of how arid, brown and hidden by smog the hills where. As I left the valley I found myself in wine country again, but without time for tasting. I was extremely tired and felt a cold coming on so I drank as much coffee and redbull as my liver could handle. Just had to make it to Mendoza.

Getting closer to the town of Los Andes, the REAL mountains began to appear. And as I was not expecting them at the moment I was, once again, surprised at their height.

This pass is the most intense and sensational mountain pass I have yet to cross. The sheer height and slope of these mountains is remarkable. The road was being repaired and I had time at each stop to look around and admire the natural power or my surroundings.

The section of road above is like something out of a motorcyclists fantasy. The road climbs so high, so quickly with forceful wind requiring all the energy and focus available to stay on the pavement. This view had me speechless!

At the top of the pass just before the tunnel was the Chilean exit.

They were constructing this part of the road to be protected from heavy winter snow fall.

Now in Argentina and approaching Aconcagua!

At 22,841 feet above sea level, Aconcagua is the highest peak in the western hemisphere.

In the parking lot I met two other guys also riding Suzuki V Stroms. One from Buenos Aires and the other from Santa Barbara. After going through customs I met with them and rode back to town.

I arrived in Mendoza just as the sun was setting following another superb day of riding through the Andes mountains. I am completely at peace and thankful for this experience!

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