Our last morning in La Paz we ate breakfast in the picnic area and chatted with the other overlanders, comparing the size of our vehicle and feeling as though perhaps we were coming up short…
I didn’t think Northern Argentina would be quite so memorable, but the scenery blew me away. From Cafayate we drove through the Quebrada de Cafayate which turned out to be a series of gorgeous canyons full of bright red rock formations.
Waking up to cloudy skies we felt even luckier that we’d caught the volcano on a perfect, sunny day for our climb the day before. We drove out of Pucon, on our way towards the border where we would leave Chile for the last time and enter Argentina for the last time. We’ve done a lot of back and forth across the border thus far and Chile has sort of felt like a home base and I felt a bit sad to be moving on.
We decided to take the crossing closest to Pucon, at Mamuil Malal. From a scenery perspective, it was amazing.
Friday morning the sky was a bit bluer. But it seemed the road south was no closer to opening. The gas station attendant told us that the police had asked her to let everyone know that the road was still closed and would likely remain closed until Monday. Monday… three full days away, which would put us pretty well behind schedule….
We had debated over breakfast that morning about how to tackle the day. There are exactly four ways to leave La Junta. The road south, continuing down the Carretera Austral was not an option until the road opened, hopefully by Monday. The road west and out to the coast would mean waiting a week for the next ferry – not really an option. Driving north would take us back the way we came, which didn’t seem to make much sense. To the east, about 100km down an unpaved road, was a border crossing into Argentina at Lago Verde. We weren’t excited about exiting the Carretera after only a day, but we really didn’t see any other options. Since the weather hadn’t improved and it was still raining, we weren’t convinced that the road would open by Monday. And waiting until then to come up with an alternate plan didn’t seem wise to us. So, we decided to try our luck with crossing to Argentina, hoping we could cross back into Chile at the next border crossing south of the landslide.
For me, day two at Iguazu Falls was the best day yet. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been; I’m so glad we decided to stay a second day.
The Iguazu River forms a border between Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, so you have lots of options in this area. We stayed on the Brazilian side, so the first day it was easy bopping around on the local buses to get to and from the national park. Day two we planned to travel to the Argentinian side which meant we had to take the international bus across the border.