Sunday, November 15, 2015

Crossing back into Chile

This is Mike...
We started off with the best of intentions to camp at some hot springs outside of Maipu, Argentina but the GPS mislead us and we found ourselves 50 kilometers away and on our way to the highland border between Argentina and Chile. We did some research in the car and figured out which hotel we were going to stay at near the border. As it turned out, the hotel that was supposed to be opened year round, was closed. We opted to continue the few remaining kilometers to Chile rather than backtrack back to Argentina. The border crossing was hectic as it was a Friday evening. After the long lines and paperwork we went to the inspection station where the guy who checked our car said the kitten could not go to Chile without an Argentine vets approval. Our girls balled hysterically at the thought of losing their kitten in the mountains. The guard left for his office and eventually came back. He said under no circumstances are we to stop for the next 10 kilometers as the kitten was contraband and proceeded to let us go. The girls were beyond appreciative of his nice gesture but we still had to leave quickly per his instructions. This was the first border crossing where I wasn't the only one stressed out and doing the kabuki dance, here we were all doing the kabuki dance.
Outside of the unplanned border crossing and the stress of potentially losing our kitten, the scenery was phenomenal. We went to the base of the highest mountain in all of the Americas which was breathtaking.

It had snowed just the day before we crossed of the Andes.

The landscape is without end.

The colors of the earth are amazing in this part of the world.

The highway had little traffic on it.

One valley after the another of natural beauty.

Though we were at a higher elevation the temperatures were warm with the sun shining on us.

We took a ski lift to the top of the mountain and Sierra took our kitten for the ride.

Zoe loved playing in the snow.

Though there was only a little snow remaining, the girls still had fun.

I loved the scenery here.

An abandoned spa being taken over buy the Puente del Inca hot springs.

Puente del Inca hot springs has a river running through it.

I loved the way the train tracks went off into the horizon.

Elise standing in front of Aconagua peak which is almost 23,000 feet (6,900 meters) high.

Pumpkin liked the snow too.

Aconagua is the beautiful mountain peak to the left.

The peaks and valleys are among the most beautiful we have seen in the Andes.

The Chilean border crossing.

A nice highland lake reminiscent of the glacier lakes in Canada and Alaska.

The girls playing with llamas mowing the park :)

We stayed at this lovely location after crossing the border.


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