Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1277, Paso Los Libertadores – Uspallata: Red and Rough

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Mar - 22 - 2014

Distance: 96.76 km
Ride time: 5:00:35
Average: 19.35 km/h
Altitude: 2039 m
Total: 24924 km

After our night sleeping under the stars, it was quite a sight to wake up to the sun rising over Laguna del Inca right in front of us. Petter and I both agreed that this place would make it into our top 5 wild camp spots.

When I checked my phone to see what time it was, I noticed that we even had free Wifi – probably from the hotel behind us. Petter could now Skype to his girlfriend back in Sweden without leaving his sleeping bag. Good stuff!

We took our time cooking a slow breakfast and enjoying the place before finally getting back on the bike for the last 400 meters of climbing. I was still able to cycle in shorts and t-shirt, but as soon as I stopped I had to put on a jacket to keep warm.

At the top of the pass at 3300 meters we were once again stopped before entering a tunnel and told it was not possible to cycle through. We loaded our bikes into a truck and got another lift the 3 kilometers through.

On the other side we were now in Argentina! It’s amazing how the landscape can change so much after 3 km through a tunnel. In Argentina the mountains seemed more red and more rough. Before leaving Santiago I hadn’t expected too much of this stretch of road, but I was really positively surprised. This was World class cycling!

As we free-wheeled down we got some nice views of the beautiful Aconcagua mountain.

At 6962 m it is the highest mountain in South America and the highest outside Himalaya. I have been reading books about climbing the mountain, and it was a special moment for me to see it with my own eyes. This time I just rolled past…

The wind sometimes played a few tricks on us, but we were rapidly losing altitude and didn’t need to put much power into the pedals.

When we reached Uspallata we were very much surprised to see that everything was green again – it was exactly like arriving in an oasis. We checked into a camp site and enjoyed a bit of civilization again including electricity and internet. This is always a good feeling after spending some time out on the road.

Tomorrow we should make it to Mendoza!

Categories: Argentina, Chile
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6 Responses so far.

  1. Hi Thomas. Thanks for the great updates! It really feels like being back in this ridiculously beautiful Chilean/Argentinian border region. Happy memories. Suck it all in!

    /Nicolai

  2. Will do Nicolai đŸ™‚ When you take the landscapes around here and mix it with good cycling company, a few steaks and red wine, perfect weather, and nice local people… then it’s hard to imagine that things can get much better.

  3. Marie says:

    Looks amazing!!! (and I am writing this from beautiful NZ)

  4. Thomas says:

    Thanks Marie! It certainly gives some extra credit that you are writing the comment from NZ haha. How long time do you stay there? Greetings from Argentina! Thomas

  5. 9w2occ Sham says:

    speechless with the scenery,,,
    especially on the 2nd picture,,,
    hope 1 day i’ll be able to see it with my own eyes,,,

  6. Thomas says:

    Thanks Sham! Yes, this was really a beautiful part of the world. Hope you will make it one day!