Escorted again by the Caribineros, our Discover Our Earth Expedition team rode out of Santiago. After exiting the expressway, we knew we were in for something big. Avalanche tunnels and signs warning of steep drop offs guided us up the 23 switchback, serpentine climb to the Chile-Argentina border.
Soon after crossing the border, our final departure from Chile, a giant mountain appeared in a notch to the north. By its huge amount of snow compared to others in the area, we knew it was Aconcagua. I had incorrectly thought that Denali in Alaska is the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere. Wrong. Aconcagua, at 6959 meters, about 22,600 ft, is the highest mountain in the world outside of Asia.
A natural bridge provided a pleasing backdrop for lunch. We arrived at Uspallata, early enough to enjoy strolling through the town. Here is one of the beautiful Argentinian children enjoying her evening.
4-Feb Santiago, Chile – Uspallata, Argentina 150 mile
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