Our driver and support vehicle met us at Salta airport. We had a three hour drive up to Piedra del Molino at 3500 meters altitude. We planned to ride the 50km descent to Cachi but unfortunately rain was coming down way too hard near the summit. So we drove 10km or so to 3100 meters altitude and then jumped on the bikes.
We had some fast downhills and long flats. The terrain changed quickly from lush green to dry desert as we moved west. Most of the distance was open road, but we also saw a couple of small towns.
We got to Cachi around 8pm. Cachi is a small colonial town (2,000 people) of adobe homes located at 2,280 meters. We have a very nice colonial-ranch style hotel just outside of town. We found a good restaurant for dinner with locals playing Argentine style Tango music on guitar. Dinner was typical food from the area: empenadas, tamales, humita, pinchos de cabrito (goat), cazuela, and llama (similar to camel). We definitely over-ate, as we didn't burn many calories on the descent (all we did was sit and steer).
|Matias in Salta.|
|The drive from Salta (1400 meters) to Piedra del Molino (3500 meters).|
|The summit at 3500 meters. Unfortunately, it was too wet to ride the descent from here.|
|Changing roadside at 3100 meters.|
|And we're off!|
|Musicians at the restaurant in Cachi.|