Whew! We finally hit tarmac after over 4 weeks on dirt road. Who knew there could be so much joy associated with asphalt! Before I touch on the highlights of being in the “big” city, let me go over the details of getting here…
We left San Antonio de los Cobres last Monday. We knew we had a long day and a high pass ahead of us. Although we knew we wouldn’t make it over the pass in one day, we didn’t sweat it to much because we read that we would pass a stream along the way on day two. That means we could get away with just carring enough water for one and a half days. A huge relief both physically and psychologically. After all, the young Jedi apprentices on the website, “Andes by Bike” wrote that they had ridden over the entire pass AND arrived in the next town in under eight hours. Surely, us Jedi masters were confident that we could do the same if we wanted to. But, alas, as masters we have matured beyond the ways of the reckless novices!
Two hours into the ride, I was swearing like a truck driver. WTF? Those Jedi possers set us up! And then, seemingly out of nowhere, two Obi-Wan Kenobis disguised as Swiss nationals swooped down in their jeep/truck rental and offered us a ride! Of course, Dana was to proud to accept outright, but not me. I was in that truck before they could finish asking me if I wanted a ride. From there we went up, up, up for what seemed eons. We did not pass water, we did not pass anywhere we could have gotten water (for at least three days)and we didn’t pass anywhere we could have possibly camped even if we had wanted to. In fact, we found out that this pass, this “one-day” ride is one of the highest navigatable passes in the world…what??
Abra de Acay
Needless to say, the force was with us as we sat in the back seat of the truck for over 3 hours on our way to the blessed town of Cachi. We were delivered from evil for the moment, but our foes sand, rock, hills and heat still needed to be slayed. Fearlessly, we continued to ride on to Molinos, Angastaco, and finally San Carlos, the beginning of tarmac. Cafayate, the start of wine country, was now within reach. The kingdom was ours!
Cafayate is all about wine, craft beer, specialty ice-cream, empanadas and being lazy! The good life!