BRO is my friend! In case you are worried I’m channeling a HIP HOP artist – BRO stands for “Border Roads Organization”. These are the guys who have the herculean task of keeping these high altitude, mountain roads in working order.
The hand of man sits very lightly on these lands, until you look at the roads. They are carved out of the sides of mountains and cross innumerable streams, rivers and chasms. They traverse eskers, flat valleys, swamps, and sand, salt and sulphur plains. Three of the highest mountain passes in the entire world are part of their purview – and I’ve crossed all three now.
Some of the statistics are mind boggling – we descended from the second highest pass in the world, down the side of one mountain – a drop of 4200 m. (yes that is correct!) and 21 switchbacks. How my driver didn’t get dizzy I have no idea! (Sandra – you would have had some vertigo challenges here and Leesa don’t ever come to this part of the world without massive doses of dramamine for car sickness!)
Something else to be dealt with here is the weather. I kid you not when I say you can run the entire gamut in the course of one morning. We started one day with brilliant sunshine and about 20 c., drove up into a hail storm and wild winds where the temperature plummeted below zero in about 10 seconds; down into heavy fog draped over the low peaks and ended in chokingly thick dust with a relatively high 25 c.!
One of the things I love about BRO – somebody there has a quirky sense of humour. Instead of the usual generic roadside warnings, we get things like this:
- If you are married, divorce speed
- Life is short, don’t make it shorter
- Be gentle on my curves
- Darling I like you, but not so fast
- Be Mr. Late, not the Late Mr.
- After whisky, driving risky
- I am curvaceous, go slow
- Don’t gossip, let him drive (yes they are mostly chauvinistic)
- Life is a limited co., with unlimited dreams
A little humour, a little philosophy in your daily drive!