We will be spending time at a Volunteering Project in Chile: 'Save The Wild Chinchillas' - Habitat Re-establishment

Saturday, 24 December 2011

'Route 40'

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Leaving our beloved Bariloche behind we headed down the famous Route 40 towards El Calafate. 

The airport in Bariloche was closed indefinitely, and we didn't really want to be spending on flying anyway, plus it's REALLY bad for the planet. So the only other way to get down there was by a bus that takes 3 days, with two nights stop over at hostels.

The famous 'Route 40'
Views on the way out of Bariloche at 6.30am

It wasn't so bad really, except there was a guy on the bus who just wouldn't stop whistling! I'm sure I developed a twitch by the end of the journey. It was one of those whistles that isn't too loud, but just loud enough to cement itself in the back of your mind, sending you slowly loopy. If he wasn't doing that he was eagerly tapping away on his knees with his hands to his music, or miming the words with FAR too much enthusiasm. He seemed a nice guy though, despite the constant annoyances.
Just dirt road ahead!

The journey gave us leg ache and we can no longer eat Croissants, as that's pretty much all we ate for three days, Croissants and biscuits and chocolate milk for me, Fanta for Jack. There was really NOTHING on the route, we stopped every few hours for toilet stops, but only the guys would tinker off behind a small mound of dirt to do the business (actually the less modest guys just did it right there for the whole bus to witness) It was us poor girls who had to wait for some kind of hostel or cafe, of which there were very few and far between. Even then just queing for the loo would take up the whole journey break anyway. 

We photographed these for Jacks Mum, who's called Dale! Jack said they're ironic as Dale hates Bananas  ;)
All in all it wasn't bad. The views on the first day were beyond monotonous, just dead, dry land as far as the eye could see. On the second leg of the journey the views got pretty interesting as we neared our night-time stop-off point of Chalten, a trekkers paradise. Mountains appeared along with lakes and trees! A wonderful sight after 24 hours of dust. I think the stop-offs were definitely needed too as the dirt-track made us feel like we were in a tumble drier, just jiggling alllllllllllllllllllllllllllll the way, even talking made our voices shake. 

Jack took this, I was very impressed :)

Milky aqua blue glacier water, looks good enough to drink :)

Signs at one of the random stops along the way
This is for my Dad who loves 2CV's. We've seen a few in fact!

The 3rd day was only 4 hours on the bus and it didn't jiggle, so we were fine, and very happy to touch down at our Christmas destination of El Calafate :) 

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