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Snaking over the Andes


The Andes are pretty rugged mountains, and a major obstacle to land transport, but where there's a will, or a lot of trucks, there's a way. Not far from this mountain scene at Laguna Inca in Portillo, Chile, lies the main highway connecting the area with Mendoza, Argentina, on the other side of the mountains.


To get the highway, Chile's Route 60, up to the pass between the countries, engineers built a long series of switchbacks, which locals call 'Los Caracoles,' or The Snails. Whether that's because it reminds them of a snail's shell or driving at a snail's pace I cannot say.


On the Argentine side there was also a switchback section but since a tunnel through the mountains was completed not very far from Los Caracoles, the Argentine section hasn't been needed because the tunnel comes out below it.

It's just plain stunning when it isn't busy...but when it is, and viewed from below, it takes on the appearance of a model layout full of toy trucks!



Images (4)
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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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