Cable car (cablecarril) museum in Chilecito - a cable car constructed by an joint english/german venture pre WW1 in 1904 that brought minerals from high in the Cordillera from Minera 'La Mejicana' at 4600m down to Chilecito at 1075m elevation over only 35km.
Minera 'La Mejicana' some 3500m higher in the cordillera. The 'cablecarril' had 9 stations over the 35km route some with steam powered engines driving the cable on its journey to the mountains. An amazing engineering project for its time!
'falta poco!' only 4000 clicks to Ushuaia apparently...well the direct way anyway. For us probably much more still!
Roadside shrines to 'Guachito Gil' provide a nice shady spot for a break with picnic tables and all. Gracias a Guachito Gil!
'Facturas' an Argentinian pastry that we love. Three for breakfast and another Three for second breakfast! They come in all sorts of varieties but most commonly with a creamy custard filling with/or without jam and others are filled with the sweet dulce de leche
'La Cuesta de Miranda'...perfect riding: minimal traffic, one lane curving road cut into the rock wall, canyons and this view...!
Ali near the top of 'La Cuesta de Miranda' and a beautiful steep canyon carved through grey rock on the left
A prickly proposition. Flowering cactus in our desert camp
More crumpled red and white rock just out of Huaco, Anna is actually holding her helmet on with one hand to stop it blowing away as the winds were ferocious on this day
'Cuesta de Huaco' leaving before sunrise to beat the heat
el rio Jachal, the road to Rodeo
El Rio de Jachal on the road to Rodeo
'El Dique Cuesta del Viento'
Apparently it gets windy around here! Like every afternoon up to 100km per hour
Windsurfers on 'el Dique Cuesta del Viento' at 1800m with the snowcapped Andes on one side and eroded red and cream sandstone mountains on the other and on the turquoise blue waters of the man made reservoir of glacial melt waters...brrr chilly!. like a cool blend of the Andes, Utah and the coast to go windsurfing.
Another break in the rack, this time near San Jose de Jachal. Looks slightly nasty, but this time reinforced with 'reo' rod inside. Juan from the municipalidad in Rodeo spent over an hour on this project of welding but didn't want anything in return for his time and work. gracias amigo! that's Argentina for you
(sorry for the blurry pic) Ali, Rolando and Anna relaxed and wrinkly after our soak in the Pismanta hot baths. Rolando is the father of Ivana another biketraveller and offered us some great Argentinian hospitality in Rodeo
Valle de Iglesia
Meeting the dutchies Celia and Frank in Iglesia coming from Mendoza the same route as we were taking...sweet couple, some good info exchanged and then in our own directions
Two cars in two days on this lonely stretch of bad ripio, and bad winds between Iglesia and Calingasta but spectacular views of the polychrome cordillera
Folded polychrome hills of the pre-cordillera near Calingasta
After Barreal the scenery cranked up a notch or two
More 'scenic Andean butter' and beautiful riding alongside the snowcapped cordillera
"cookie time?" and Mendoza is on the road signs
Puna wildcamp between Barreal and Uspallata...bad ripio, worse headwinds meant a tough day but we still managed to get a little shelter from the wind
Feeding the 'mate' addiciton
A vast smear of scenic Andean butter
Men in Bike - four French lads on a 10 month journey on bike, the South American leg: Buenos Aires to Lima, so about to cross the Andes for the first time. We camped together in Uspallata and had a good night of some beer and stories with them.
Climbing out from the valley of Uspallata...'7 Years in Tibet' country (the film was made around here)
'Cerro Aconcagua' (peak in the centre) at 6962m, the roof of the Americas and the highest peak in the world outside of the Himalayas seen here from the east
Still climbing, in fact very steeply to the very end at 2900m
..and then the descent
Guanaco wonderland in the pre-cordillera
'los caracoles de Villavicencio' dropping us down to the historic hotspring resort of Villavicencio
A climbing boys dream...pity I don't climb...well i'll just enjoy my mate then! 'La Palestra' at Guillermo and Ligia's home in Mendoza
Anna, Guillermo, Juan Cristobal and the climbing girls working the 'woodie' on a friday afternoon