Pleasant riding as I come into more open and more desolate areas.
Cayafate was a nice little town. I believe the other cyclists may have taken a rest day there as I didn’t see anyone else on the road today. The first 15km out of town I passed many vineyards, some looking rather fancy and others plainer.
Tucuman was a town with vineyard, church and communications tower. As far as communications goes, Argentina doesn’t seem to do 3G as well as other countries so far, so I only rarely have a data signal with my phone.
Eventually it got drier and with more cactus.
I passed from Salta Province to Tucuman Province and then later Catamarca Province today.
Much of the route looked like this, a wide dry valley without much vegetation. I am on Ruta 40, one of the longest roads in Argentina as it goes from northern border to southern border. I’m still more than 4000km from that southern border.
The signs were too inviting to pass up. I stopped here for a lunch with empanadas.
Also llamas at this place.
At 52km the pavement stopped and I had gravel road for the next 13km and then intermittent after that. The first 5km were the most difficult with a lot of soft gravel.
It got better once they wet things down.
Nice to pass on to Catamarca Province.
One of the last little bits of riding before going into Santa Maria. The main town square was torn up for construction but otherwise looked like a reasonable town. First hotel was full but found one not far away.
Expect a more desolate stretch coming up in next days and hopefully mostly on pavement, but will see what the road brings.