We continue the journey, leaving the Jesuit Route and again crossing a great distance, as the air is still heavy with smoke. Then we finally see the first hills, which announce the mighty Andes. We briefly consider staying at a hotel in the city of Yucomo at the foot of the mountains, but Leon is still asleep and Sara wants to take the opportunity and drive on. So the serpentines go up into the mountains. The roads are worse than before and the asphalt is often broken up.
In the iOverlander app I find a side street where I should be able to spend the night in peace.
I also find this small street in reality and explore the area as the slope gets very steep. Then a woman on a scooter comes to the car and asks us what our purpose is here. It turns out that she is the owner of the property. When I introduce our family and the nature of our trip, she immediately agrees that we can stay here. But there is a much nicer place right on the river that she wants to show us.
She drives ahead and I follow. After a few minutes, on another track, we actually come to a beautiful beach at the bottom of the small river Rio Quiquibey, surrounded by jungle. Children fish with nets and a man fishes until it gets dark.
I walk through the shallow water with Leon and the little one enthusiastically chases the tadpoles. We set up camp for the night and enjoy the idyll. Lots of birds and insects start a concert again.
The next morning we have to watch how a hummingbird flies against one of our panes and trembles on the ground. I think the poor bird is beyond help, but when Sara checks in, the hummingbird suddenly comes alive again, flies up, complains to Sara, and dashes off.
We also collect our things. A group of women pass us. They seem to be washing clothes in the river. Sara remembers that we still have Leon’s clothes that have become too small for him.
We bring a bag full of baby things to one of the women who is carrying a young baby. The woman is a bit irritated by the surprising gift and replies with a short “gracias”.
For us it is now further into the mountains and into the real Andes. Ahead are passes of over 4000 meters and the famous and infamous “Death Road”.