Chilling out in the Andes

In the lobby of our hotel in Catamarca we saw breath-taking pictures in one of the promotional brochures. After multiple inquires, finger pointing and exciting phone conversation in Spanish, we were introduced to a travel agency that took people to “those places”. These magnificant places turned out to be high in the Andes, where our bikes, our gear, our vacation time and our physical condition could not dream of taking us to. Thus, tempted by the beauty, we decided to give ourselves a joint birthday present and take a 3-day detour on a 4×4 track – together with our bikes but not on them.

We were riding through Andes non-stop for all 3 days, mainly unpaved roads, swinging between 3,500 to 5,000 meters altitude. We departed from Catamarca – back to Aimogasta, to Belen, to Antofagasta de la Sierra. From there we went to Incahuasi and around. We made over 1,700 km and saw high dunes, mountains of all possible colors and shapes, llamas and vicunas (of which 1 kilo wool costs over 1,000 US dollars), old and current mines, volcanoes and white rock formation. We are excited to share some of the pictures on these blog but believe us – it is 1,000 times better live.

Extremely happy, as well as car-sick, frozen and dizzy from high altitude, we were returned back to Hualfin where we resumed our biking journey. Our eyes were delighted with the treat and bodies were grateful for the break. We hope you share this joy with us too!

About Barbi & Ira