If you cut the map of the world at the equator and you put Argentina over Africa and Europe, you see that Argentina has the same length as from South Libya to Denmark.
So in the coming months we will actually be cycling from Libya to the Mediterranean Sea, crossing it to Greece, from where we will cycle through former Yugoslavia, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany to finally arrive in Denmark. 😀
We created an upside down map to make this story clear, hopefully. If not... whatever, it's a long way south 😉
We always thought that the south of Patagonia was very deep south, but it is actually just as far too the south as Denmark is to the north, seen from the equator.
Because it is quite a long piece, we will divide the blogs from Argentina and Chile into several stories. This blog is about Northern Argentina where we will pick up the famous Ruta 40 and tells till city of Mendoza.
Up to country number 15 of this trip. Argentina 🙂
It was already getting dark when we entered the migration office. They where still open so we pushed all our stuff through an X-ray machine, got our passports stamped and here we are... Argentina.
Because it was already late we checked in at a nearby cheap hostel. The entrance was through a small shop. The room was freezing cold, the TV in the room only showed some grey contours from what a movie or show could be but the shower where hot.
Buckle up again to hit the first Argentinian highway.
Just out of town we start off at route 9. The year is 1970 and we are counting down in time.
It's hard to find good wildcamp spots along Route 9 because it's all fenced so we camp along it.
It's the year 1886, time for a pee.
Empty roads but big smiles.
Still in the 19the century, we keep on moving in time.
The highest point of this part of the route, 3780 above sealevel. Can't remember the exact year but is was definitely time for cookies.
Wierd mountains on the left side of the road.
When we checked our map before we started this road we saw also a traintrack. But this track had big gaps in it on certain places . Now we know why; the traintrack just stops so now and than.
Rail just hanging 10m above the ground
Extreme colours in the mountains.
Kim patching her sleeping mattrass. Dahm cacti 🙁
The whole railway bridge came down. The water washed the sidewalls of the river away.
Sergio, a trucker from Brazil. Drives between Southern Brazil and Northern Chile in a week time. He asked us if we needed fresh water from Brazil. How can we say no?
Small boys can also drive big toys.
The wide landscape changed to mountains with jungle forrest.
In the year 1650 we find a hidden campspot in the bushes.
Many sanctuaries to pray along the road.
The upper bird defends it's nest against the attacker who didn't give a s**t about the maneuvers.
We guess we are on the right track down to Patagonia. Cheers...
In a ditch on the side of the road drinking wine and waiting for the sun going down so we can put up our tent in the dark, hidden for the traffic.
Next morning. We had a safe night, not seen by anybody. We think 😀
Rusty bridge to enter the next town. The town was just nothing, not even a store to buy some food.
Hard to see but these cows are climbing the rocks as they are mountain goats.
A closer look to the mountain cows. Wierd to see cows so high up in the steep mountains.
Here are the real mountain goats
Anne and Sergio from Brazil with 3 year old Jamil in the trailer. They are cycling from Brazil to Mexico.
And we thought we have hard times sometimes. Pffff... this is really hardcore, deep respect on these steep mountain passes.
Bird eating the fox.
Horses and farmers at the river in a postcard landscape.
At the campground in downtown Cafayate.
When we leave Cafayate again the campsite owner gives us thumps up.
Cafayate is one of the epicenters for growing wine grapes in Argentina.
Wine, give me more wine!
The first kilometers on the famous Route 40. One of the longest roads in the world. We "just" have to cycle 4338km to hit the border of Tierra del Fuego from where it's another 600km to Ushuaia.
Max speed on Route 40 is... 40 😀
Some upcoming cyclists from Germany and Brazil.
We love the warm weather again.....
.... Big smile and thumbs up.
How empty can a road be?
Kim looking for wildlife along the road.
Wildlife??? Jup, wild donkeys.
Nice huge campers everywhere in Argentina.
The road to nowhere.
40 40 at the 40.
No towns at all in the area, no light pollution so millions of stars at night. @ ISO3200 | 10mm | f/4.0 | 30sec
"E.T. Phone Home"
Looking south. @ ISO3200 | 10mm | f/4.0 | 30sec
Looking north. @ ISO3200 | 10mm | f/4.0 | 30sec
Looking straight up. @ ISO3200 | 10mm | f/4.0 | 30sec
Local cyclists did share some dates with us... Jummy!
Most funny guy we met on the road so far. We bumped into him at a gasstation and had a fascinating conversation about the Big Bang, The end of the universe and everything in between.
Sun and Wine.... Make my day 😀
Looking over the edge.
Looking into the deep valley where we are climbing out.
Big climb for breakfast.
At the top we met Veronica from Chile. Cycling just by her own around South America, making money by being a street artist.
Yes, we may go down again.
Wanna play Angry Birds?
Hummmm..... A good start for this beautiful day in paradise.
We were running out of food and the next town for buckle up food again was a few days cycling ahead of us. We were thinking what to eat at night, a car stopped, a guy jumped out and did give us two huge sandwiches with schnitzels and fresh veggies. Is that karma out what? 😂
Wurst und Käse by night.
Ruta 40 @ Belen
This endless freedom makes me happy.
Campsite close to San Juan, along a lake. Looks very promising.
The campsite was at a lake but it was not no allowed to swim... bummer...
Update some stuff.
We couldn't find petrol for our stove nearby so we tried it with alcohol but our MSR stove didn't burn on it. So we build our own stove out of two Coca Cola cans. The cooking was much slower than usual but it worked 🙂
The lake we camped on.
Cycling gets even better with wine in our cycling bottles 😉
Okay, one more flat.
Leaving the campsite. Like the trees.
We asked for water at a small shop along the hot road. All they got was this.
Dry ground to camp on.
Ezequiel is cycling with his dog Mancha around South America.
The last part into Mendoza.
Into the big city of Mendoza.
HEY, what are you looking at?
Our home for a few days. Break in Mendoza.
Mendoza: Hotdogs with beer.
After a few days Mendoza we cycled further to the south to cross the border into Chile, a bit south of San Martin de Los Andes. The next blog will show hard winds, long gravel roads and beautiful National Parks.
Kim & Arjan