Road to heaven
Ollague Travel Blog› entry 4 of 24 › view all entries
After a good night sleep in Chiuchiu we had another adventurious day ahead. Direction north to the Bolivian border! The entire road was dirth road. The first part after leaving the village was in good condition and our Bakliner did well over 100 km/h (don't try this with a economy rental car!). The road went straight and was well prepared. But soon there was a river bed to cross with a U bend and after this passage the road was in much worse condition. Washboards, big holes and bumps increased the concentration and decreased the velocity a lot. In the middle of a desolate landscape there was a railroad crossing. And yes we spotted a train!
As we were driving north the landscape turened rougher and rougher. The road lead through vaste salt plains.
In the meanwhile we were passing diverse vulcanoes. Our goal was the Aucanquilcha. This vulcano has a kind of path which is a challenge for 4x4 cars. The path ends on the top of the vulcano at an altitude of 6,200 meters. An easy and drugless way to get so high, many alpinists/mountaineers will envy you telling you've been that high. It wasn't that easy. To gain so much height in so little time asks for problems. By the time we reached the deserted mine at 5,300 m the body was already protesting with bad feelings in the stomache and head. The smell of petrol became penetrating. The engine was lacking oxygene and couldn't burn all the fuel anymore.
We reached the valley without further difficulty and turned left going further north. After a few kilometers we entered the small village of Ollague at the border of Bolivia. A few streets with primative houses, a church and a school fell into nothing compared to the barracks of the miltary and the big shunting-yard of cross-border trains. Still, it was impressive to be in this part of the world.