IMG 0226A good nights sleep, at least until the bus pulled up next door at 5:30, then the truck loading and belching black fumes.

The ride to the pass is another incredible one. Words and photos fail to capture the sheer scale of the place. 

The stop at a natural "Inca" bridge where there used to be an English hotel where people would come to take the waters. Facinating.

The queue at the border crossing into Chile ws deceptively short but took us an hour or mores wait to get into the processing part. Again four counters with a new form at counter 4 which had to be stamped at counter 3 then reuurned to counter 4 as a bonus. 

The whole border crossing rigamarole is just such a total waste of time and money. All so a few people have jobs every journey is delayed by hours. Madness.

IMG 0228Escaping the border with papers there's an extra 10km of roadworks which are first one way then the other. Most of us only had a 15 minute wait but luckly last got the full hour thirty minutes while they waited for the uphill traffic.

Perhaps the saddest sight is the disused railway. It looks like some South American verion of Dr. Beeching axed the railway across the Andies some years ago. A great shame as it would have gotten the trucks off the road and been one of the great tourist attractions on then world.

The rest of the journey was uneventful but the roadworks prevented any photographs of the incredible downhill switchback ride.

IMG 0227Vina del Mar is confirmed as a kind of Surfers Paradise but way bigger!

Later. A steak dinner at El Goucho over the road was excellent. As we left (at 10pm) there was a long queue to get in!