Mai Perso - Travel adventures

Uyuni to San Salvador de Jujuy – Day 6

February 2, 2012
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We are leaving the salt lakes and heading back to the border, this time planning to cross from Bolivia to Argentina mid day. We have 600km route planned for the day, starting with 200km dirt, the Argentinian border at the midpoint and a smooth ride to our destination in Jujuy.

The 200km of dirt was great. fun long stretches of packed dirt road, culminating with a beautiful canyon similar to the Sedona area with red rock and a river flowing next to us. The river bed was green probably from a Copper ore that was flowing in it.¬†The last 20kn of the ride was particularly spectacular. The group spread out a bit as we were enjoying the mountainous road and the views. Once again, we had several fun water crossings and some narrow passages, additionally challenging due to the trucks and busses that were sharing the dirt road with us. We were hundreds of miles from the famous Death road in La Paz, but at times, this route felt pretty deadly to us… Regardless, we had a blast. we gathered at the foot of the mountain, breaking under 10,000ft altitude for the first time since we got on the bikes in Ollantayatambo a week ago. Getting on paved road after 200km of dirt felt good even though the morning was once again an amazing combination of good riding terrain and amazing views.

Off we go to the Argentinian border. Nacho described it as an easy pass, since the bikes were going back into Argentina.¬†Famous last words…

Apparently, an oil truckers strike closed all neighboring border crossings, funneling all traffic through the crossing we were at. The border turned circus, was great source for jokes at this point. An estimated crossing of 30-45 minutes, was well into the fourth hour before we cleared both Argentinian and Bolivian customer and passport control.

The team was getting anxious as we were heading for a second long trip down the mountain through the night. Fortunately as we were in lower elevation, the temperatures were more amicable and road conditions in Argentina much better then in Bolivia. Still, as dark settled, our speed was reduced and the hotel seamed more elusive as the hours went by.

The gas stations we stopped at were empty and at some point we had to put a gallon of gas in aech bike from a reserve tank we had, since we all were running on empty. That was the second time the border truckers strike hit us in one day. At around 11pm, we rolled into the hotel. Showered and went down for drinks and dinner. Dinner was remarkable. We had flakey tamales with beef and a slightly hot chimichurri sauce, followed by Goat ribs and shanks in the oven. Crunchy, luscious, yummy Argentinian cuisine. (More about the food on the trip, in dedicated future posts)

By 1am we went back to our rooms for a short night sleep. Tomorrow we have the longest and last day of riding for this trip, heading to Cordoba.