So I cried today on the Andesmar bus. I’m known to cry often and for no particular reason! This morning it was simply because I was happy. Lengthy electric guitar riffs were playing in my ears – I had set my music to ‘shuffle all’ on the genre prog rock and my eyes were wide open looking out over the awesome scenic panoramic views as we crossed from Argentina to Chile. The sky was bright blue behind the snowy topped Andean mountain peaks, the orange and red coloured rocks were warming up in the morning sunshine, it was a joy to look at. We forget this world that we share together is a such a beautiful place and my eyes just filled up. I was feeling incredibly lucky and thankful to be taking this journey.
With winter ski season over, the melted snow from the mountains becomes streams and rivers of dirty brown water that will eventually make its way downhill and Eastwards to feed the vineyards and leafy green trees of Mendoza.
As we approached the Chilean border, we could see a very long line of vehicles ahead of us, our bus driver skillfully overtook the line and whizzed ahead. After 20 minutes of driving past many queuing cars, we reached the border control. We then found out it was an Argentinian public holiday and we were likely to be in the lineup for about 3 hours. I immediately felt sorry for the car drivers we had nipped past, their delay could be into the late night hours!
At 1.20pm our second driver provided us with a salty sandwich and a cup of Coca Cola then we waited for our turn to clear customs, we waited…took some photos in the cold crisp air…waited some more and then at 4.20pm we lined up in order of our bus seat numbers. At the first customs window you are stamped out of Argentina then at the adjacent window you are stamped into Chile. Easy!
3 hours closer to entering Chile and I was still relatively happy especially after chomping a tasty empanadas snack, well there are worst places to be stuck and the view was still amazing.
Back on the bus to queue for bag check..15 minutes later we’re all off the bus again and the luggage is taken out of the hold to go through customs inspection clearance. Then there was the best part of the border crossing – a happy looking golden labrador dog, complete with his customs vest hopped onto the tables, sniffed the hand luggage for any contraband fruit and vegetables being illegally taken into Chile, it’s all clear and we’re away at 5.10pm. Our expected arrival time into Santiago de Chile was 4.30pm.
Our bus driver then descended the mountain road by a series of hairpin turns, it’s a road made for Top Gear! While on the twisting road we’re offered a hot beverage and wonder why we didn’t get this when we were sat still for 3 hours!
Hurray, we’re in Chile and it looks different already as we descended down The Andes, the mountain rivers are clear water and is cascading rapidly down to the west and to its final destination the Pacific. The landscape looks more lush and our driver is making up some lost time.
As we head nearer to Santiago, bright green grapevines are growing in the foothills and up the sides of the mountains.
We finally make it through the busy Friday night traffic and into Santiago de Chile by 8pm. Even with the delay I’m still feeling happy and thankful our bus drivers delivered us comfortably and safely across the Andes.
Another reminder to be thankful everyday!