19-01-2013 In to Argentina

It was still cloudy and quite cool when I left Concepción this morning. That did not last very long. After approximately 45 minutes, the sky turned blue and the sun was warm.
For an hour or so it was highway and toll roads, then the route went east. The 2 lane road was still fine quality and slowly rose in to the mountains. The landscape gradually changed to Alpine like with lush green meadows and trees and the occasional snow top in the background. What a scenery !!!! I loved it. Many campings were advertised along the roads; almost all with pool 🙂
The houses were a mixture of classic farmhouse (hacienda) style and more contemporary straightforward style. Slightly winding roads make this also a favourite motorcycle area. Some campings offered a lot of outdoors activity, like abseiling, rock climbing and cycling. In winter this must be a popular ski heaven too.

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When I reached the border just before the pass Paso Pino Hachado, the custom formalities at the Chilean side needed to be dealt with. That didn’t take long: in less than 30 minutes I was on my way across the pass to Argentina, 22 km further up the road.

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The border line between Chile and Argentina was instantly noticeable: the markings disappeared, the road deteriorated and there was even a part gravel road. On top of that, dark clouds were gathering above me but it was still dry when I reached the Argentinean border control. It took slightly longer but here too, I was done within the hour although the customs officer found it a little complicated to deal with a foreign motorcycle and the appropriate form. Nonetheless, there was no checking of luggage or anything; just the passport control and the temporary vehicle import: that was all. Yeah !!

When I left customs, the rain started. Fortunately it didn’t last, but the wind and the dark clouds did.

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Two more gravel bits, without warning, almost took me by surprise, but I slowed down in time. 112 km later I arrived in a town called Zapala. Looking for a fuel station I noticed long cues for both the fuel stations I found within the first kilometer …..
Would there be a shortage of fuel? Decent as I am, I waited my turn but there was no maximum quantity or anything, so I just filled up.
Next on the list, was finding accommodation. I asked around a few times, then decided to look in my Garmin. There it was: Points Of Interest -> Accommodation. A list of hotels hostals and campings. The hostal I chose was affordable, had WiFi and had parking space in a closed lot. The Lonely Planet will be my guide to decide where to go tomorrow.

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One thought on “19-01-2013 In to Argentina

  1. Anonymous

    Awww, pity you had to make the descision to alter your route. But then again: all the more adventure in Argentina!!! Hope you’ll enjoy your travels over there with nice winding, good quality roads with amazing views 🙂
    If you have time, don’t hasitate to take a tango lesson in Buenos Aires ;-). I know; that is quite a contrast to your motor-travel, but since you’re there, why wouldn’t you try? It will be some time before you return to B.A. (if that’s on your list for revisiting, that is?).

    Mum and I took care of your mail and plants today. All’s well over there!
    We had to jump over a pile of snow near your front-door hahaha (not really but it is snowing again!). It’s freezing and there’s been some speculating over when the Frysian Committee will announce the ‘it gaet on’ again… No such luck yet, but who knows?

    Take care, have fun, see ya!

    I. (and R. says: “Hi” 🙂

    Reply

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