It was one of the most breathtaking expanses of road I’d ever had the privilege of traveling on. The sun’s rays had underscored the mountains’ jagged yet fluid forms, and there was nothing but pristine landscape in every direction. I had cursed myself for being human and having the biological need to blink so often – it was time I could’ve spent drooling over this unbelievable place. The Andes typically do that to people. Appreciative people, anyways. You become overwhelmed with bliss and, in my case, unprecedented delirium from doing nothing but staring. Every 30 kilometers along Ruta 51, there are villages of about 40 people. Many of them stay there their entire lives, but not out of immobility or poverty or inconvenience. All…