The first long drive: lots of traffic, no traffic at all and our first snow

Getting the car was our first challenge. The guy was supposed to call me the day before the official day of the handover but as always we didn’t hear anything. I knew that there was no reason for panicking because this is Argentina but we already paid a 3000 pesos deposit and the chance that it was all a fake was still there. Finally after some hours of waiting and one day too late we got our baby that should accompany us for the next 75 days – we were now ready to load the car. Lots of passing puzzled stares, some 15 bags, 4 pairs of skis and a lot of stoke later we were just ready to leave the city in the friday evening rush hour and start the long first drive. The title already describes it very adequately: tonnes of traffic and a lot of passing at first, followed by a calm drive in the never ending Pampa at high speed with almost nobody else and finally the sudden onset of our first snow! We spent the last two hours of our 1000km drive in a heavy snow storm trying not to drift off the road and find the direction and eventually arrived at around 5.30 in the morning in San Rafael. Barely awake, we rolled into the first YPF parking lot and took a two hour nap, tucked in our new puffy down jackets and using our sleeping bags as pillows, curled up and dying for a rest. After some hot coffee our journey continued over the Rincon del Atuel pass on unplowed roads and in 30cm of snow. The friendly police assisted us along with everybody else in putting on the overpriced medieval snow chains we had purchased just an hour ago. A warm, humble ciabatta complete with delicious jamon crudo and queso at the summit topped off the adventurous last leg of our journey. The long drive and the sketchy road conditions were definitely an experience for the Swiss guys!
We settled into a cozy cabaña in snowy Malargüe and called it a day.

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