Brazil 1 – Pantanal, Bonito and Iguazu

No border crossing is without its headaches. There’s always an element of an unknown going in – and for Brazil, it was the customs office lunch break. We got checked out of Bolivia quickly, received passport stamps for Brazil within minutes and headed over to get the TIP (Temporary Import Permit) for the car. We missed them by less than 5 minutes and had to wait 2 hours. On the plus side, no problems or hassles from authorities on either side.

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Bolivia

San Pedro de Atacama

We spent a few days around Backpackers Central in Northern Chile. Tourist towns offer higher prices but often good foods we miss. The highlight of the town was the French bakery with amazing Pan au Chocolat and baguette. We visited a few spots near the town, mainly a couple viewpoints and flamingos. Pretty much all the spots you could wild camp at years ago are now only accessible if you book a tour from the city so it was overall a bit of a dud. 

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Argentina 2 – Northern Patagonia and Lakes District

Torres del Paine was such a highlight that it was tough to head back north and backtrack through the Argentinian pampa. After the last few weeks, it was like coming off Cloud 9 and coming back reality.  To soften the blow, we made one last hop into Chile to retrace one of our favorite stretches of the Carratera Austral and visit a couple villages we missed on the way South. We got to see the beautiful mountain peaks covered in snow this time which made the detour worth the extra pages in our passports.

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Heart of Patagonia – Chile Part 3 & Argentina Part 1

Here we enter the border jumping portion of our trip! We now have pages of passport stamps from Chile and Argentina as well as a stack of export paperwork for Mitzi. Luckily, the border agents (with one minor exception) were all well trained and efficient.  We probably spent more time at the border of Honduras than we spent on all the jumps between Chile and Argentina combined.

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The Long Drive to Santiago Continues

The border crossing to Chile had us worried beforehand because of strict import rules regarding food and animals. We spent a full day preparing paperwork for Mitzi and cleaning the car. We made sure to eat all our produce and other restricted items like honey. The border was super busy with holiday traffic and the agents seemed exhausted, so in the end we only got a cursory look over and we were sent on our way!

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Peru 2 – Cordillera Blanca and a Change of Plans

While most people think of white sand beaches as their dream vacation getaway, we tend to see white mountain peaks as ours. It’s no surprise then that the Cordillera Blanca was front and center on our must see list in Peru. We arrived smack in the middle the rainy season, which lasts generally January through March. Generally mornings are dry, but evenings are rainy and the clouds are thick most of the day. In spite of the bad timing, we enjoyed this region and got to do some great hiking too!

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Peru North

Yumbilla and Gocta Waterfalls

The border crossing to Peru was simple and fast, and the road to our first destination pretty calm and eventless. The towns we drove through were drab compared to what we’re used to so far on this trip. But the landscape was pretty spectacular, as were our first two major stops!

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