Whew did not get memo this am about late start due to people in hotels and such so I was up at 5:30 yet in the dark. Finally depart for a good day of cycling but as feared it was going to be hot. Taxi driver taking Hardy back to our camp told him Salta was supposed to be 36 today. This afternoon bike computers were reading 45 to 49. Very little shade and could not get fluid in fast enough. Stopped once at a roadside stand and chugged a 1500 ml fruit juice and an ice cream still thirsty. Stopped in another 5 k and split 3 beers for four of us. Each is a liter. Had to check 45-49 Celsius for Fahrenheit. 114 to 119 degrees. No wonder it felt warm.
But the cycling was good, 97 kilometer of gentle hills, covering it in just over 4 hours plus 3 hours of breaks. As noted by several, the Andes Trail is not every day an exquisite delight or exceptional scenery, but it was pleasant. Just cruising along, watching grape fields, alfalfa crops, and the passing hills, plus beautiful trees some in bloom of purple, red, yellow.
Arrived at bush camp beside the road dry with some beautiful saguaro cactus, acacia trees, with their thorns which grab anything. On dinner duty tonite set the table, deliver food, clean up and wash. Dinner of pasta, with vegetables, and pork. Very good and tasty with a great wine, followed by a pear tart. Now under the rain fly as did not set up tent just the fly on arrival for shade. This way a bit of a breeze blows through. Probably too hot for sleeping bag so just the sleep sheet tonight.
And glad 21 days of trip have gone by as having a great time. But as I learned on the divide I am thinking one day at a time. Of course thinking of the sights yet to come, mostly in Patagonia, but that is a few thousand kilometers away. I did today and despite the heat had a good time now I am reviewing tomorrow’s route. We shall see.
17 October 2014
bush camp near Talapampa to Cafayate 91 kilometers cooler as cloudy today only in high 30’s. Left earlier which was nice as got in at 1:30. Was riding along thinking wow it is cooler today then realized it was only 11:30. It is the little things. But it was cooler. Currently after dinner and temp only in high 30s. ( upper 90s)
But a good day. Rode a canyon reminding me of grand canyon with a bit of Yosemite and Death Valley thrown in. Beautiful. Slot canyons, heat, pinnacles, erosion, layers of rocks going in a variety of directions, variety of colors. And I got to ride my bike through it.
Now in wine country. Several wineries today reminded me of napa valley in California. But difference is these are not immaculate with every blade of grass at its precise height. But the wine is good. Tomorrow being a short day 78 kilometer goes through more wine country. May stop for rehydration.
And at a municipal campground again outside of Yafacate. A cute town of artisans, tourists, and wine. Hence lots of junk shops, restaurants and wine. With several ice cream shops thrown in. Reminds me of Santa Fe New Mexico and napa, California combined. Walked into town to try a wine ice cream but alas siesta and closed for afternoon. I am not walking in again this evening.