CRUISING SOUTH

Salta > Coronel Moldes > Alemania > Cafeyate > Santa María > Punta de Balasto > Hualfín > Belén > Salicas > Chilecito > San José de Jáchal > Rodeo > Calingasta > Uspallata > Mendoza

After several days of rest and recuperation in Salta, extended when climactic conditions caused an unfamiliar phenomenon where water droplets fall from the sky in considerable quantities and after contracting the now obligatory bout of food poisoning, I headed off out of the city on the first stage of what promised to be a rapid progression South, given the relative flatness of the route. Despite leaving a few hours after Thomas and Tina (due to the aforementioned dodgy stomach), they had taken it pretty easy and I caught up with them in time for lunch.

Together we headed off at a gentle pace, me perhaps understandably lacking much energy, and eventually found a camp spot under cover next to the municipal camping in the town of Coronel Moldes.

The next day we continued, rolling over gentle hills, through, at times, somewhat English-like countryside. Our destination, however, was more appropriate for my riding companions, the aptly-named village of Alemania which boasts a well-maintained train station that lies at the end of long-abandoned tracks. We found a perfect spot to pitch up in the warehouse opposite and, with water and toilets at the train station, it made for an excellent campsite! There was even a small kiosk to pick up some supplies…

Alemania lies at the foot of the valley leading up to the Quebrada de Las Conchas so we had a fairly small climb the next day on our way to Cafayate. Not having done too much research on the route, I was thankfully in for a superb surprise to discover quite how stunningly beautiful this area was – the road simply got better and better…

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