From Santiago, Chile to Mendoza, Argentina: Border Delays, Snow and Beautiful Andes Scenery

I planned to leave Santiago on the 1st of May and take a bus to Mendoza, Argentina. The only problem was the high altitude Andes Mountains border crossing’s exposure to snow storms, landslides and other road-closing events.

On the 1st I caught the metro and eventually found the correct bus station (Santiago has several). There I was told the border was closed. As I had bought my ticket online, I could not change it at the bus station and needed to telephone the website operator for a refund.

The next day the border remained closed.

The border reopened on the 3rd of May so I packed up again and took the metro with Noe and Santiago (the person) who were returning to Cordoba, Argentina. At the bus station we met Aivy, a Lithuanian materials scientist going home via Rio. Aivy had accepted a post-doctorate position in the USA researching adhesives for climbing robots on a project funded by NASA. Together the four of us bought tickets, visited a nearby supermarket and waited to catch our van.

From Santiago, Chile to Mendoza, Argentina

Andes Mountains on the Chilean side Continue reading

A Rainy, Flooding and Sunny Santiago, Chile

Santiago de Chile is a big city, several times larger than Chile’s next largest and thus dominates the country’s discourse. Although not a must-see tourist attraction in its own right, the city has enough culture and sites to entertain one for many days. In April Santiago hosted me for two weeks, with a trip to Valparaiso in the middle.

With a semi-arid climate, Santiago usually receives little to no April rainfall. 2016 was different. Substantial precipitation fell during my first days in the city causing significant consequences. Businesses and homes flooded and most of the city lost their water supply after it was contaminated by catchment area landslides.

Santiago, Chile

The fast-flowing Mapocho River in front of a mural depicting people attempting to cross a water course Continue reading