We headed out of town the next day which was planned as our longest in the car yet, up to 13 hours for our last day on the famous Ruta Cuarenta. We made the decision to drive along the mountains which were very pretty, lots of neat geology; it was also important to get to Mendoza because John was coming the next day.
We had our first tire blow out (the others were slow punctures) near the town called Malargue; we also we didn’t realize there was a huge stretch of road that didn’t have any gas stations that were open, so we were running on fumes when we pulled into town. We did have to sit in a half an hour long line, likely due to being the first gas station in many miles. Someone ahead of us actually had run out of gas and was pushing themselves along. Once we got gas Maddy got dinner for the girls while I got our tire replaced, it was not repairable as there were at least 5 large holes. I did quickly find a tire service station that had a replacement that for that exact firestone tire, it didn’t take us more than an hour total delay. I am beginning to understand that these South American towns are very prepared for damage to tires due to somewhat poor quality roads.
The will say though that the flat tires were so worth the aggravation to see this incredible section of the world. As we arrived into Mendoza after night fall and fully tired of driving after our 14 hour day (plus one waiting for the tire) it brought to a close a huge part of our trip not only finishing our time on the Ruta Cuarenta but we had officially left the Patagonia region and entered wine country and the next phase of our trip.