Photo Gallery: Argentina around Uspallata

More photos from the region around Uspallata in Argentina – to go with my last update .
Considering it was mid August and winter, I was blessed by sunshine and warm weather, which made the trip very enjoyable.

The entire area is beautiful, and worth spending more time in than just passing through on your way to Chile! In 1996/7 these mountains provided the setting for the Hollywood blockbuster “Seven Years in Tibet” , chosen for its similarity with the Tibetan highlands.

First I drove Ruta 13 (which is a lucky number, Yasha says) past some really colourful mountains (probably due to mineral sediments), an area where tourists are regularly taken. I slept nearby for 2 nights. Although Argentinos drive this road with normal pick-up trucks and dirt bikes, the further along you go, the rougher and narrower it gets. Unfortunately our Berta is too fat, so I decided to turn around. Maps show this as the most direct route between Uspallata and Mendoza but, when asked, locals told me it is no longer maintained towards Mendoza. After almost 40 kilometers the road reaches a farm gate straight ahead where one has to turn left. From this point on I was hitting sharp rocks with both sides of the truck, at the same time! I stopped, and next morning I turned around.

Later that day I drove Ruta 7 (one of the major national highways) to Mendoza to do some shopping, and returned along Ruta 52. You can read all about this adventure in my recent blog entry Maps can be so deceiving! .

In my opinion, all these roads can be driven with a normal high clearance car or van. The wider your vehicle, the more difficult it will be! For some heavy RVs these roads might get a little too rough, so your interior could suffer – at least your cupboards will get re-arranged…

[Excuse the image quality of some, as they appear to be almost smudged! I think I had to over-compress them, because most images were originally over 300kb each, some almost 400kb in file size. That’s too big for a normal website and certainly for our hosting account. There is so much detailed colour in these mountains that photos contain a lot of pixel information. I have learned from this, and in future I will upload smaller images – may be back to some 800×600 pixel photos.]


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13 Responses

  1. Anda says:

    Very interesting scenery indeed. I didn’t know these mountains were used for filming “Seven Years in Tibet”, so thank you for this trivia. We’ve been in Argentina several years ago but stopped only in Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls. Judging from your beautiful pictures I would say it is well worth spending a few days visiting this area.

  2. Lily Lau says:

    Argentina, always so beautiful… thanks for these photos, I hope you don’t mind I take some to have an awesome wallpaper in my laptop, guys! :)

  3. That first photo with the bus is crazy! How interesting that they used this area for the film 7 Years in Tibet. It looks a bit rugged for me, but good luck with your trip and Berta. I hope she is good to you!

  4. This terrain is not my cup of tea. I liked your “open road” last image the best.

  5. Donna Janke says:

    I like the lines of colour and shading in the mountains. Upsallata looks pretty rugged. Like Betsy, some of the photos reminded me of the southwest USA.

  6. That’s one tough truck you’ve got! Sure gets you into some interesting places.

    • Juergen says:

      Or gets me stuck because she’s too wide or heavy… Anyhow: we are looking forward to using “Berta” more in the coming year, test her capabilities and enjoy the comfort she offers. Right now my wife is committed to work as an English teacher in Santiago de Chile.

  7. I had no idea Chile substituted for Tibet in Seven Years in Tibet but I can see how it could have. What dramatic scenery! What a driving adventure you’re having.

  8. The roads seem quite desolate. Were they?

    • Juergen says:

      The Ruta 13 looked maintained for the first 20+ kilometers, after that it deteriorated, which made me turn around. Ruta 52 (the “Death Road”) looked like the uphill section, coming from Mendoza, was fairly recently graded, probably within the last month. The western side was a bit rougher, but nothing too serious. And everywhere there was traffic, so no real problem in case of an emergency. I’m used to more desolate places from Australia ;)

  9. Wow, this would be an incredible experience in remote wilderness driving. I can see why the 7 Years in Tibet folks selected the site for filming. Except for the vicuñas, it reminds me of southwest USA.

  10. noel says:

    It looks like rugged terrain, what a drive that would be, thanks for sharing it.

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