Getting up at 8 after 5 hours sleep was not easy, but we only have 3 days to get the 1300 km to Rosario for the start of the Dakar 2014. Today it’s just the border and 400 km to Mendoza Argentina.
There is a gas stop in the mountains before the border to which we added our sticker to their large collection.
Then you head UP hill including the 21 switchbacks to the snow sheds and the ski resort.
After this you will see a “thanks for visiting Chile sign” and then a border control building on the left. Don’t stop here (everyone does) this is the Chile Immigration.
Just keep going thru the mega long snow shed and then the Cristo Redenor Tunnel.
After this there is a small control building in the middle of the road. Stop here and give your plate number to the police officer and receive a very official scrap of paper with an aduana stamp on it.
Then proceed to the Argentina customs on the left about 15 km up the road. This guy in the truck stopped us to make sure we were going to Argentina, and not Chile, because there is no signage to tell you when to stop and everyone gets confused.
Enter the metal roofed building and get in line with the cars. When you get to the first booth give them your passport, tourist card (that you got when you entered Chile), and your Reciprocity Fee receipt. This must be paid on line and PRINTED before you come to the border. You can NOT buy it at the border. For Canadians it is currently 75$ for 3 months multiple entry from bordering countries or 150$ for 5 years unlimited entry from all countries.
They will give you a new tourist card to fill out for Argentina.
Insurance is mandatory for Argentina, but you cannot buy it at the border. We tried 3 companies in Santiago and none would sell it to foreigners. There is 1 small shack on the way to the border that says “Seguros” or Insurance, but it did not look functional. We were not asked for ours. Others have been recently and turned away. They returned the next day with a photo shopped document, but were not asked for it. We purchased ours online from an agent in La Falda. It is 12$ per month and covers Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, and Uruguay. Next you are directed to the aduana. They want your title and Temporary import papers for Chile. The agent did all the work for us. The entry and exit stamps for us and the new temporary import permits.
Unlike our 4 hours to get into Chile with the strike here we were out of Chile and into Argentina with the bikes in 45 minutes.
Then we had some great scenery to enjoy on the way to Mendoza.
We had a night here and then we were on our way 483 km to Rio Cuarto mostly using the secondary roads.
Getting up a bit late today our first order of business was getting Argentinean Pesos. The guys headed to the Cambio office to try and find some black market moneychangers. The official rate here is 6.48 Pesos to 1 USD. The unofficial rate varies from 8-9.5. Asking the rate just for fun at the cambio office the staff openly told us that we should go see the guys on the corner for a much better rate. We did and were offered 9.5 with out question. Now we can stop for a coffee and a toasted sandwich for breakfast.
Driving thru the wine country on the 7 we arrived at out fist toll and were thrilled to find motos are free in Argentina!
There were these crazy rainbow clouds in the sky today.
Rio Cuarto is a nice town with a good hotel on the square and with a view of the church. We created quite a crown out front.
The “tree” in the fountain was made of plastic bags filled with water and was light up at night.
We enjoyed our first Argentinean beer, but did not enjoy another local favorite Fernet Branca, which the Swedes drink straight, but the locals mix with coke.
Heading out from here we stayed on the back roads the 392 km to Rosario and stopped in a few of the small towns.
We met some very friendly locals. Juan Pablo in the white spoke perfect English and all his friends wanted pictures of the bikes.
At 4 we were starved, but could not find a restaurant until the coyote bar where we had “tostadas” again.
We were also a big hit when we stopped for gas. Dan had this same bike when he was a kid.
We had finally arrived to Rosario late at 5 pm, and decided on the local place for dinner with fellow travelers Trevor and Nick (rideoverland.com)