Mission Mendoza – Salta complete!

Inspired by Incas petroglifs, walls of many buildings were nicely decorated. In some places you can find straight forward translations of the meaning for each sign.

In Hualfin Barbi felt quite home sick, but eventually found her inspiration to continue the journey.

A road from Hualfin went unpaved for about 30 km. Up and down, sandy and bumpy, it made us laugh histerically, cry bitterly and cry out in desperation. On this hard to forget part of highway 40: my metal bottle holder broke into pieces, sleeping bags went flying from the bike submitting to the pressure, Barbi had her first fall going down the sandy hill instantly chased by a bright laughter, front tire of Barbi’s bike went flat… – we were fully exhausted and ready for some smoother grounds. And then it came! Thanks heavens. Newly put, freshly painted, terrific road – with not a single car passing for hours. We did not complain!

Still being quite high in the mountains, we enjoyed picturesque view of the snowy tops. What we did not enjoy though was a coming night, during which our panniers were covered with ice, we froze and so did our water.

But the morning came and so did the sun. The mist disappeared and we finally could stop our hands shaking. As we went along, we met a lot of domesticated animals: horses, cows, goats, donkeys – which greeted us right on the road, following our vehicals with some open curiosity.

And another pleasing event took place – we reached a 1,000 km of biking. Our first thousand, so special, so memorable, so filled, so magnificent! Finding a great camping spot in a backyard of a Punta de Balaso’s kind lady, we opened Sergio’s present – a wonderful bottle of wine (thank you Sergio!), sat down the table (thank you Graselita!) and celebrated our personal achievement, accompanied by 6 very curious eyes.

As we passed Amaiche city, we visited a Pachamama museum – so gorgeously arranged, we were deeply impressed and inspired by the stonework. We got very creative ourselves with the stones at our camping place afterwords. Barbi even lightened us up with some fire works.

And finally, we got to the wonderful route to Salta – “Ruta del Vino”. Multitude of wineries opened their doors for our exploration and we finished the day tipsy, happy, and adventurous. Leaving Cafayate with the sunset, we rode in the dark and only when the face wind was so strong that we could not even bike downhill, we put the tent up, fighting with the sand storm.

When we woke up however, we found ourselves in a gorgeous spot – beautiful red grounds, friendly hills, no wind and the most picturesque way to Salta! Salta la linda! The prettiest city on our way. Mandoza – Salta part is now officially complete!

About Barbi & Ira