Travelling in the Andes is a different experience every time because of the cloud layer. Sometimes it's thick and you wonder when you'll ever climb (or descend) out of it, other times it's very thin and you're on the other side of it in no time, and yet other times (though rare) it's clear and sunny the entire way. This time, I was through the cloud layer in the lower levels, so all the upper driving was crystal clear and OHHHHHH what scenery!! You can't help but be redundant in your reactions while driving. Turn a corner 'OMG'. Around another bend 'OMG!' And, you find yourself re-positioning your jaw from open to closed over and over.
What ticks me off is 'they' haven't developed a 3D digital camera for the average Joe/Jane yet. The pictures forthcoming just don't do it justice. What I saw and what is displayed here are waaaaay different. The impact of the scale of heights as well as the depth of valleys and ridges just don't convey. So, look deeply at the photos and look for the teeny tiny spots that are houses to give you a perspective of the true grandeur. If your software has it, use the Zoom feature (sometimes a slider down at the bottom) and scroll the photo back and forth, up and down.
Oh, almost forgot. The cop. Wellllll....on my way TO Salinas, I got pulled over right out of a toll station because I idiotically picked up my cell phone, (following instructions of the people I was swapping houses with), to inform them I was at that junction. Woops. After checking all my paperwork, he let me go. Whew!!
That was TO Salinas. On the way FROM Salinas, I got motioned over by a cop parked on the shoulder because I did a U-turn to get to the other side to enter a gas station. The U-turn area across from the gas station was closed off due to re-paving so I used the next one nearby...even though it had a No U-turn sign. But, geez, I would've had to travel another mile or two before I could turn around. How silly. Woops. After checking all my paperwork, he let me go, too. WHEW!!! And, I didn't even have to fork over any payola!!
On to the photo's......
|Taken from about 10,000 ft at a roadside cafe perched at the edge of the world, looking down a few thousand feet. Note the white speck out there is a house.|
|Note the clusetr of homes down below. The green tinted glass on the left is where the dining area of the cafe is. Talk about a view of the world!!|
|See that dot to the right of center in this photo? A small house.|
|The line you see horizontally slicing through the hill is the highway I'm on.|
|Whoopsee. He must've been coming down too fast and oversteered in order to flip this way!|
|Nearing the summit at nearly 13,000 ft things get more scrub-brushy and big rock outcrops.|