Saturday, November 19, 2011

ARG by MTB Day 3: Molinos to Cafayate

Today was by far the best riding we've had in Argentina. The scenery was truly spectacular, as you'll see below! 

My day started at 9am. I went to the hotel dining room and was shocked to see two of my Argentine friends finishing their breakfast! I cannot believe an Argentine would be up so early. In fact, I am convinced they stayed up all night. 

Unfortunately, Gonzalo and Javier didn't ride today. Gonzalo has a sore back after yesterday's Tour de France-like effort and Javier came down with a slight fever.

Matias and I left Molinos at 10am for the 115km ride south to Cafayate. The first 90km was gravel and sand. To say it was hard work would be an understatement. I think 115km on a mountain bike with today's surface easily equates to 200km on a road bike. Plus, the winds kicked up in the afternoon putting dust everywhere. I found my front teeth caked with dust every 20 minutes or so.

Today's highlight was Quebrada de las Flechas, an area of rock and limestone formed 15-20 million years ago. The rock juts out of the ground at a 45 degree angle. Quebrada de las Flechas looks a lot like parts of the Negev Desert in Israel.

Sixty kilometers into the ride, we ran out of water. With the next town 30km away, the only option was to stop a passing car and ask for agua. The locals here are very kind. (At the time we didn't know where the next town was - it could've been 2km or 20km). 

Matias and I have each punctured twice in the last two days. Apparently, cactus pins are causing the punctures, according to our driver. 

Our hotel tonight is in a vineyard. We're looking forward to the wine tasting tomorrow at 10am.


A map of our route, the Ruta de Vino.

Entering Quebrada de las Flechas.

I mentioned in yesterday's post that our hotel in Molinos was the home of the last Spanish governor of the Salta area. These are photos of the hotel.

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