The Panamericana road trip started in December 2011. A car trip through South America with 83 classic Volvo's. In 35 days and 16,000 kilometres, these Volvo enthusiasts drove from Buenos Aires in Argentina, via the south to Cartagena de Indias in Colombia. On our blog we will share memories of this memorable journey in the near future.
“ Chile is an elongated country: we’re driving from the south to the north ”Team 21
Day 16: Temuco - Santiago
We’re still blaring across the Ruta 5. We have an iPod in the car and it’s full of heavy metal. When I put it on (on the car radio) people protest: ‘this music sounds as if the car is falling apart!’ This calls for a different approach. Last week I started with a very light category: Bon Jovi, followed by the quieter Guns & Roses albums. The essential part is not to turn the volume up too high.
We’re driving to Santiago. To our right we constantly have the Andes with its snow-capped mountains. The temperature rises, it’s 30 degrees Celsius by now.
Day 17: Santiago
Chile is an elongated country: we’re driving from the south to the north. Below Santiago the landscape is mostly green and sloping, above Santiago it’s mostly dry and barren. Santiago has a turbulent past. We walked to the government building where Pinochet staged his coup and where Allende killed himself to keep Pinochet from taking him prisoner. A statue has been erected for Allende on the plaza. It’s remarkable that the Chileans have two ways of seeing this period. A youth we were talking to confirmed our impressions. Dubious despots usually give their county an enormous economic boost, that’s probably why opinions are so divided. We saw something along the same lines in Russia. Stalin was regularly praised there.
Day 18: Santiago - Caldera
In the Netherlands we’d just call it the A5 but here it’s called the ‘Ruta cinco el norte Pan Americana’. And today we’re back on this ‘A5’. Next stop is Caldera, 920 km farther.
It’s a highway and the shoulder is being used very efficiently: you can ride your bicycle, there are stalls with food, there are people with wheelbarrows, horse and carriage, etc... And stray dogs in all sorts and sizes: big, small, standing, lying down, backed over. I wonder if those stalls sell hot-dogs.
Book Panamericana roadtrip
As a reminder of this memorable journey, the book 'Panamericana Roadtrip' has been published. The story is told with the stunning photographs from travel photographer Thijs Heslenfeld, supported by a selection of some of the many stories written by the heroes of this journey. For everyone that did not participate in this journey, it is a wonderful book to dream away with. The proceeds of this book go to the special projects of the HoPe Foundation. This organisation - founded by Walter Meekes - is involved in developing education in the remote mountain villages around the Peruvian city of Cuzco.
Would you like to join us on one of these exclusive car trips? Then take a look at our page of LatinAmeriCar. Do you have questions about a unique and round trip in Latin America, would you like a tailor-made travel proposal or would you like to make an appointment at our office? Feel free to contact us. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +31 73 610 62 04.