Ruta 40 - travelling the spine of the Andes
Trip Start Jan 14, 2009
57Trip End May 2010
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The first strech of road that really makes up the Patagonian route 40 leaves the bustling tourist center of San Carlos de Bariloche (a mountain town similar to Banff or Jasper in the Canadian Rockies). El Bolson, a quaint town famous for its beers, chocolate and laid-back atmosphere. I can't help but draw the uncanny similarities between this area and the areas of the foothills to the Rockies in BC (Selkirk and Purcell mountain ranges) - the numerous clear lakes, lush forests of fir and pine, broad valleys with roaring rivers. Even the wood framed and log cabins seem the same! Commonalities aside, the landscape delivers and inspires and this part of the journey keeps me glued to the window, eyeing up new views around the next corner!
Shortly after leaving El Bolson, the route heas slightly East to the dry steppe which makes up so much of the Argentine Patagonia. This huge area is known as La Pampa; these constantly angulating hills of small shrubbery is home to a host of fauna and flora that must endure the constant winds from the West that cross the relatively narrow strip of land that makes up Chile and Argentina and joins the two massive oceans of the Pacific and Atlantic.
The Andes are never far away.
The hours drag on as we make progress on rough dirt roads with small, but heartening stretch of pavement interspersed here and there.
New pavement in the middle of nowhere! We can finally break 50 km/h!
Guanacos make common appearances along Ruta 40
Our trusty bus that will make the two day journey from Bariloche to El Chalten
Argentina flags must often be replaced due to the constant, fierce winds. Looks half mast, but it actually isn't.