Ruta 5: Arica to Iquique Road, Chile
Chile's Atacama Desert is one of the driest in the world. It's said that in some areas, the average annual rainfall is zero and it's been that way for centuries. Although the desert stretches Bolivia, Peru and Argentina, the central part belongs to Chile. A national highway, Ruta 5, crosses the desert from north to south, with gas stations very few and far between. Wind is certainly an issue here. And we're not talking a bit of a breeze. The area is known for gusts so strong they'll blow you off the road and throw you down a valley. But the main danger factor here is the monotony: hundreds of miles through endless, empty lines leading to numerous accidents. On the gutters there are small mausoleum in memory of those who gave their lives to the road.
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