|2013-10-16 click for more photo's|
16/10/2013 Stage 45 Juyuy to Salta
Getting out of Juyuy was the usual big city rush hour traffic madness with us on a three lane motorway trying to keep as close to the edge of the road as possible as there was no ridable hard shoulder. It didn't last long and we were quickly into the countryside again with such a sharp contrast from what we had experienced in the desert in Bolivia and entering into Argentina. It was green and lush in parts and the freshly fallen snow on the mountain tops reminded us of Scotland. The parrots flying overhead gave it away though . From Juyuy the main road joins a huge motorway all the way to Salta but we found a beautiful single track road over the mountains which was a 800 m gentle climb through forests and past some lakes. We met a French group of four cyclists, two of them on a tandem , who had started their journey of a month the day before and for once we felt that we were the experienced cyclists and not the newbies.
Into Salta was interesting as the 2 lane motorway quickly led to a busy road with “no cycles” signs along the road . There didn't seem to be anywhere else to go and we couldn't turn back. Two policemen on one moped passed us and ignored us and we then saw other cyclists similarly ignoring the signs. Can't imagine we would have got away with it in the UK.
Salta for me is probably the prettiest and most interesting city centre so far and we soon found a plush hotel with evening meal breakfast with air conditioning for not a lot [now that we had a grip on the exchange rate].
With a few hours to spare we explored and fortunately were able to find an Argentinian airline company office where we could plan the next stage which will entail a bit of a break and tourism time. A detour via Iguazu is on the cards. The falls are one of the South American wonders on the border between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay and we feel it would be a shame to miss them.