Outside the little town of Toconao is an oasis within Quebrada de Jefe. It’s a canyon cutting though Cerro Colachi that makes a worthwhile little stop in the middle of the desert.
It’s definitely popular with the locals, who all bring a picnic. Within the canyon are little plots of land that have been planted with figs and pears and other fruits you wouldn’t expect to grow out here.
I wouldn’t say we’re killing time, but we’ve certainly been taking it easy the past few days. More time to debate our next direction. We originally thought we would head into Argentina from here, but the pass has been closed due to all the snow. The information around town varies – maybe it will open mañana, maybe not. Each day starts with a debate about whether or not to just drive down the Chilean coast instead (Chile was a surprisingly unpopular choice, according to our Facebook buddies).
The other consideration is that ALL of the passes south of here are closed. It’s a long way down. Once we commit to one country, there’s no going back until the snow melts. At least today, anyway. Regardless, we can’t lose. Golden worries.