Switchback heaven

27 03 2010

After a nice relaxing day at the International Hostel Uspallata we took a bus to Santiago de Chile which should have departed at 9.00 o’clock. At 11.00 the bus arrived at Uspallata. But this was really the first time that they were far from punctual. To travel by bus in Argentina and Chile is super comfortable and quite cheap.  The five hour distance to Santiago (including a time and paper consuming border crossing) costs around 20 USS.

250 km to Santiago means a 5 hours roadshow with panoramic views.

Besides you have a 180 degree panoramic view of the landscape – if you are lucky like us and can book the front row in the upper compartment. You also can see some nearly crashes and blood pressure rising manoeuvres of other drivers overtaking the bus.

Panoramic view from the first row in the overland bus.

Switchbacks for 2000 vertical meters downhill

The route from Mendoza to Santiago is amazing. You drive by the Aconcagua which you can spot from the road and after the border to Chile the road is winding down in inumerable switchbacks. A dream for every cyclist or motorcycle rider. The route passes through a ski resort with limited capacities and how it looked with unlimited freeskiing possibilities. We herad that they have up to four to five meters snow for two to three months in winter  and that the road is closed at this time. A little bit tricky to go there (especially when arriving from Europe) and the chairlifts looked quite old – but definitely worth remembering if you are looking for unusual scenery while skiing and good snow conditions. But that is another topic…