The Andes begin in the town of La Puerta, Venezuela. La Puerta means “The Door”.
The Andes Mountains are no joke! They extend from north to south through seven South American countries including Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. That’s the entire continent from top to bottom, which makes the Andes the longest mountain range in the world. It is over 5,000 miles long. It ranges in width from 120 to 430 miles and has an average height of over 13,000 ft!
Anyone driving the Pan American Highway will spend an extensive amount of time in this mountain range. But again, the mountains START in Venezuela. That means if you truly want to drive the entire stretch of the Andes, which we do, then you have to go into Venezuela to start, which we did!
Stevie – Yes my love, I know, it’s not a competition. I’m just giving them all the info.
And so we went to the little town of La Puerta, and from there we entered The Door into the Andes!
The temperature quickly dropped as we began climbing into the clouds. Our destination was the mountain town of Merida.
On our first pass we crested over 13,000 feet. The roads were extremely steep and narrow. In many places landslides had wiped them out and narrow dirt lanes were carved into the mountain side for passage. It took us 5.5 hours to drive 98 miles in excellent weather conditions. I guess its going to be a really long trip to the end of the Andes.
We made it to our destination safely. We plan to spend the next couple weeks exploring the Andes mountains from our new Posada in downtown Merida.
We’re still traveling with our friends, but we suspect they will be moving on soon. From here they will take a bus to Brazil. That’s class 5 hardcore just so you know.
Guillermo’s lesson the last couple days has been on changing our perspective about traveling…
He says that wherever we go, we should not view ourselves as visitors or travelers. Rather we should view that place as our home. We should care for it and the people as if they were our own, because they are.
What an interesting change in our perspective, and a powerful shift in how we view the world.
Cada dia es mejor. Cada dia estamos mejor!