Day 5 adventure continues.
Poplar trees lined Route 13, the road leading out of Uspallata, it was a dirt road, I thought nothing of it 😉
As I continue the poplar trees soon become non existant along the road, there are a bunch of buildings that all look the same, they look like tourist villas but seem abandoned, its very odd, all the while parts of the Andes mountain range are forever in the background.
Soon enough the road opens up to probably 15m wide and the images below are what I see, an abandoned home? shop? I really don’t know, but its in the middle of nothing, no other building, for the brief 15min I am there the traffic continues to drive past, the occasional honk of the horn as if to say are you ok, the occasional stare like ‘what is this tourist doing’, it was quite surreal, it felt like this area had been lived on at some point, and now nothing.
I continued on Route 13, the further I went the worse the road became and the further away it seemed from the Andes I went, at one point about 20km in I did consider going back the road traveled, but that thought lasted all of a few seconds.
The road continued to get worse, very tight in some places which also meant I really couldn’t stop or take photos while driving, however it is all captured on the Go Pro footage.
This road looks like it was an old trade route before the new road was built, perhaps to coinside with the Dam’s construction, I did manage to stop and grab a shot of this, mining? anyone? I really dont know.
I had been gone almost an hour I guess maybe slightly more, I had traveled maybe 30km, I noticed up ahead what looked like a cross and some sort of monument and people standing around looking at it, all the while still passing plenty of people driving towards Uspallata, this gave me confidence I was definitely going in the right direction and the road didn’t just end up ahead. As I came to the top of the hill I was met by the most amazing sight I had seen, out of nowhere the rocky scrub type terrain disappeared and I was blessed by the sight below. It looked like Tuscany, rolling green hills, out of nowhere, hills that went as far as the eye could see, and in the distance to my left looked like a building and a road, guess where i went next 🙂
I am pretty sure the building is a weather tower, looks very abandoned though, broken glass, cobwebs on the door handles, and nobody around, not to mention gates open for anyone to come visit. My GPS said I was 3257m high, wow I am standing almost a km higher than Mount Kosciuszko back home, it was crazy cold as well, -2 according to my thermometer.
What followed can only be described as breathtaking, I have never driven a road like it, 15km an hour at best, I have i think it was 75km to Mendoza so I was in for a long night.
Ill let the pictures do the talking.
This is a hotel in the first sign of civilisation, Villavicencio.
By the time I got to a little bit of civilization and off the dirt road it was almost 8pm, then what followed was extremely bizarre, seems this area is where locals go, for close to 30min all along this one bit of straight road locals and their families gathered to have barbeques, it seemed like most of them only just arrived as well, its one of these things you just don’t see at home, by night fall families are packing up and going home, it seems here its quite the opposite.
What an amazing drive and what an amazing day, by the time i arrived at my hotel it was 9:30pm and I was starving, I had read about a really good restaurant in town called La Barra, i needed to have a good steak in Argentina, so many people raved on about the steaks here and so far I had one and it was OK at best.
The staff at La Barra were extremely friendly and even posed for me for my photos :).