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Oct 29, 2008 - Crossing the Andes Mountains
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Mount Aconcagua The Andes Mountains Entering the Pass of the Liberators Tunnel 
The Andes - what can we say but BIG! And COLD! Before we left Paraguay we were wondering where we could cross the Andes and chose the Pass of the Liberators. It is named for San Martin, a Spanish general, who trained his army in Argentina. He then took them over the Andes at this point, in order to liberate Chile. Hence the name in Spanish is Paso de Los Libertadores. The tunnel is about 3 km long (about 2 miles), and you exit into Chile.

The Chile immigration went quickly, but the Chilean customs agents were puzzled. Again, why did we have Paraguayan license plates, US passports, and International driver's license? They all had to come talk to us about what we were doing - in a friendly manner. In fact they were so friendly they hardly searched the truck at all! We did have some raisins for snacks they confiscated, apparently you can't bring into Chile any plant or vegetable product. But they were very apologetic and friendly.

Once into Chile, we passed the highest mountain in the Americas and the highest mountain outside of Asia. It's Mount Aconcagua and is 6,962 metres (22,841 ft) high!

We also passed an Inca Bridge that was covered in deposits of sulphur from the springs of mineral water.

Now that we're in Chile, we have to drive down the "other" side of the Andes. Talk about switch backs - check out the photo.

Once over the Andes, we headed to La Calera, Chile. Here we stayed with some new friends, Ivan and Silvia Quero. They are friends of a friend in Paraguay, and Ivan is a pastor at a Baptist church. We attended their prayer service, where we both shared about our lives as missionaries. It was a blessing to stay in a home for a change.


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