North of Santiago, there are about a dozen places to cross the border between Chile and Argentina and all require some high altitude driving over the Andes. No more so than at the point we chose! Paso Agua Negra takes you up to almost 4800 metres and although some of our drives to date have been spectacular and fun, this one tops all so far! The skill and daring of the road builders and grader drivers has to be admired as you creep around switchbacks with enormous drop-offs, trying to keep your eyes on the road, surrounded by stunning mountain scenery.
The high altitude does interesting things to the engine – thankfully this is where the turbo really comes into play. The thin air also tests the body – it’s not a place to get out and try to run around, that’s for sure!
We crossed the pass without problems and the run into Argentina was a careful drive, dropping about three and a half thousand metres in an hour or so and then a fast run to the border crossing. A slow check by the border officers who, as usual, were more interested in the vehicles than they were in any contraband we might be carrying! Another great day on the road.
Hope you’re drinking your Mate de Coca tea!
Time to get some. That pass was a tough one. We’ll be ready next week with the mate etc when we go ‘up’ again.