We’ve all driven in the dark of night. On our way to college at the start of a school year, off to see relatives, or simply to catch the earliest flight out of a distant airport. Our companions are the radio and a cup of coffee – or the beverage of choice – as we hold on to the wheel and stare through glass at the expanse of road ahead. We do so with certain information in the back of our minds: that there will be exits off the expressway where food or fuel can be secured, rest areas at which we can close our eyes for a few minutes, and the security of calling a towing service if our vehicle should break down.
There are parts of the world, however, where driving is truly an adventure. Highways stretch though the emptiness for hundreds of miles, bereft of services, with only the moon providing the least bit of illumination. Drivers in some of these countries are necessarily mechanics, as the possibility of assistance is slim at best. Even the legendary Pan-American Highway, while fully paved and marked, traverses some of the most unforgiving landscapes on earth, from terrifying mountain heights to vast silent deserts like the Salar de Atacama in northern Chile.To read the rest of the article, click here.