Tuesday, March 10, 2009

7 Mar - Chile Chico, Chile
We finished off the last section of Route 40 this morning and I loved it- not sure everyone shared my enthusiasm. I was suspicious of yesterdays road, it seemed just a little too re-engineered to me because every so often you would see bits of old road, narrow bridges and the like. Well today we were pushed off onto a diversion that was clearly the old road. This one hugged the hills and valleys and followed the contours of the land, was mostly single lane and with narrow bridges. One of the poor old bridges showed the scars of many a confrontation with its customers. The surface was rutted, pot-holed, soft spots and lots of washboard surface. Wonderful. Unfortunately it was over almost as soon as it started. We were forced back onto the newly contoured road while the real route 40 wandered off into the distance and obscurity, alive only in the memory of aging adventures. Soon there will be no Ruta 40 left at all.
In general it is warming up so the winter woollies are being stowed at the bottom of the pack. We are also seeing more green which is a relief from the parched steppes of the past week or so. The poplars are showing the first signs of yellowing of autumn. In a couple of weeks the first snows will fall on Ushuaia.
I had hoped todays crossing back into Chile would be the end of Argentina. Unfortunately we have been advised of industrial strife up north and as a result there is no fuel to be had for hundreds of kilometers so we are going back into Argentina tomorrow for a major detour. Good news for me is there is a bit more route 40 but everyone here is trying to find a way around it. Soft sods.

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