Time on the road

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tampalaya to Salta

Tampalaya canyon is definitely worth the visit, I couldn’t ride up as it is a very well protected national park, so you go in this converted truck and sit on the roof, but the scenery is amazing with rock paintings dating back to the Incas. The colors and rock formations were incredible.
After leaving Valle Union, I stopped to get gas and met this couple on a bike who told me about some hot springs nearby and they had a reservation they weren’t using, so off I went and a quick 60km detour and another big wow. The town is called Fiambala and they have about 20 separate pools all different temperatures, right in the middle of the mountains. I soaked for hours and felt great afterwards.
Then it was off to Cafayate, a little wine region. Its funny how when you throw wine growing into the mix, how the town cleans up and becomes a very nice place to visit, everyone sitting around the central plaza sipping wine to local music, even out of season. I was quite happy to stay there a few days. For a fantastic meal, Restaurant Colorado, order anything on the menu and you will be blown away, this place belongs on Ft Lauderdale beach, Charlie, the owner, will be more than happy to point you in the right direction for good wineries.
I brought 2 tires with me from the States, that Johannes so kindly bought for me, thank you again my friend, but didn’t put them on the bike because I still had a lot of tread left for my little journey so I left them in BA, well I had no idea that I was going to end up where I am now, so I went to Salta to get 2 new tires, but the ride there was another treat with more weird rock formations. The Amphitheater and Devils throat were the 2 that I stopped at, enormous. Salta wasn’t much so I got the tires, put them on spent the night, met a great guy Costa from Germany, we will meet on the road soon, and left, back to Cafayate as I wanted to do the rest of Ruta 40.
A good early start and of on a nice ride about 130kms of gravel and sand, fantastic, past the highest vineyards in the world at 3002 meters and to a little town called Cachi, also a wine influence so its clean mellow and tranquil. One night in Cachi is enough so of along a highly recommended road back to Salta and recommended for good reason, probably one of the best stretches of asphalt I have ever been on and I got it all on video. When I get that up and running Ill share.
I had no idea that Argentina had such a scenic wonderful area. I will be riding around this part of the world for at least another 2 weeks before I decide to change direction, the beauty here is truly inspirational.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Leaving Buenos Aires

Oh yea, back on the road again Jack.
Aiming for a town called Rosario, for no particular reason, and hooked up along the road with 4 guys on a V-Strom weekend, Philippe you would have loved it, they invited me to join them, so off we go to a little town outside of Cordoba called Santa Rosa and check in to some cabanas with 40 other bikers, all Argentinian and all there for a good time, meat, beer and bikes, thought I had died and gone to heaven. Could have been BMW’s, but let’s not get fussy. Saturday was spent riding around the area alomg windy roads, dirt roads and taking over small towns and at night a big meal and a raffle at which I won a bunch of Suzuki stuff, very funny.
I got a route from one of the guys on where to go in a northerly direction and so on Monday morning the trek north continued. Some lovely scenery and 350 kms later I arrived at a little dump of a town called Chamical, it had a crappy hotel and one restaurant, but I didn’t want to go any further, so an early night and early start and off to the Valle de Luna, now that was spectacular, as you can see by the pics, well worth the trip. Next was a little town called Valle Union not fantastic but close to another park, Talampaya or something like that, a canyon that is red and stunning. You sit on the roof of the truck and up the canyon you go, also a worth while stop.I cant express how good it feels to be back on the road again. Big Betty is going great after her service, my new clothing is great and the fresh air of the mountains is breathing fresh life into my soul.