All good intentions for an early start today were slightly hampered by the usual problem of finding a working fuel station. Our experience so far is that there is a 20% probability of finding the servo forecourt roped off while a tanker unloads fuel and there is a queue of a dozen or so cars waiting until this finishes. Zzzzt…. A few kms up the road is another servo where the queues are a little shorter so we wait patiently. While we are waiting, a contender for the most battered Ford F100 Ute parks nearby. These Utes seem to be almost bulletproof and along with Peugeot 504s fill the motoring needs for many Argentinians. Falcons are up there too and we liked this one. Nice to see a man who takes so the trouble to make sure the tyres are nice and black..
The border crossing went nicely to plan despite some of the scary predictions we had read. Mike had taken a lot of trouble to weed out the rubbish on the internet and find a blog which made sense. The first three steps were easy with guys who were patient with our poor Spanish. The final one, Bolivian customs, was a bit of a laugh with a young lady who spent most of time chatting with her colleagues about anything other than work in between picking her nose. Meanwhile the queue became longer and longer… The other entertainment was watching the human ant-trail running across the adjacent high level bridge pushing barrows of everything from beer to bags of cement. Pretty clear they were being paid by the barrow.
It took more than 2 hours to get everyone through the border so we headed off immediately for the 300 km drive to our overnight stop at Potosi. An excellent highway winding its way through landscape similar to Northern Argentina and countless small communities with mud-brick houses and shops right on the road. It reminded us of parts of Africa where everyone lives on the street but fortunately the road sense of people and animals was much better. Didn’t manage to capture any images of these but here are a couple from the drive to give an impression.