Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1319, Pie de Medano – Cafayate: Wine Country

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Jun - 05 - 2014

Distance: 132.31 km
Ride time: 7:39:02
Average: 17.30 km/h
Total: 26695 km

After two days of ascending I was very much enjoying the downhill cycling today. The roads around here are not steep, but when it goes up for 100 km straight you start to look forward to some downhills.

I was quickly making my way into Santa Maria, the next small town on Ruta 40. I have been cycling without cash for a few days now. It doesn’t really matter as I have plenty of food in my cycling bags, and the water I find is always free. I could have gone to an ATM in Santa Maria to get more pesos, but I prefer to wait until I reach Salta where I can change the money at a much better rate. The only problem is that when I pass a restaurant or a bakery and can smell the food I really want to buy some. The things you can’t get are always so much more desirable than the things you already have.

As I got a bit lost cycling out of town I ended up on a very small road to get back on track on Ruta 40. I passed a couple of very simple villages with houses made of mud. What a huge difference life is like in these small villages compared to Buenos Aires.

I was somewhat pressed on time if I wanted to make it to Cafayate for the night. I wouldn’t have minded to spend another night in my tent, but the timing turned out to be perfect. With the last light I was cycling into the central square. Everything in Cafayate is about wine. Earlier in the day the landscapes had been very dry, but now I was on fertile land again. It’s amazing how everything can change in 30 km.

Fertile land obviously means more money. I was surprised to enter a town that might as well have been in a wealthy part of France. Suddenly the mud huts I had passed earlier seemed far away.

As I was looking for a place to stay an American girl came over to say hi. It turned out she was a cycle tourer as well, although the bicycle she was riding now was just rented for the day to check out the wine yards. Sometimes (think India) riding a bicycle brings more attention than I want – but when the girls come over to say hi I don’t mind 🙂

Categories: Argentina
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