33. Colombia - The AndesSeptember 26, 2019 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 79 °F
This was the 4th day out of the last 6 that we would be in the car for 6-9 hours, and I was starting to get a little cranky. But Colombia is a big country, we knew this, and you've got to drive through it to get to the Ecuadorian border.
Our ride from La Plata to Popayan required us to cross the Andes. The majority of our travel was on jutted, rocky, gravely dirt roads, filled with monster potholes. The roads were narrow with almost no traffic, but our pace was about 10-15 mph because of road quality. A tough and somewhat physically uncomfortable ride.
But the scenery was nothing short of spectacular.
The Andes is the longest continental mountain range in the world, running 4300 miles from Venezuela down the western side of South America through Argentina. Its highest elevation peak is 22,838 feet (located in Argentina), second only to the Himalayas. Something else I learned: The peak of Mt Chimborazo in Ecuador (part of the Andes), is actually the furthest point from the earth's surface to its core, due to the "equatorial bulge". So, Mt. Everest, put that in your pipe and smoke it!
In the end, the ruggedness of our drive was completely offset by the stunning beauty of the environment through which we were truly privileged to travel. It was overpowering in its unspoiled, breathtaking magnificence.Read more