Cerro Aspero

To my mind one of the greatest things about a bicycle is the ease with which it enables new friendships and shared adventures. The weekend just past I took off to the sierras in the southwest of Córdoba province with new friends from the local biking community for a side-trip of a couple of days and nights. The area is fabulous for exploring on two wheels with plenty of empty space and steep terrain. It was well worth pedalling east, away from the Andes, to have a look at this less well known part of the country. What follows is something of a straightforward photo dump. Much fun was had.

The mountains here are not particularly high, up to around 2800m I think. Our route only took us up to around 2000m…
… however what the area lacks in outright altitude it makes up for with an abundance of steep climbing.
That also makes for some wicked descending too.
A few tiny, remote communities and residences offer refreshments to passing travellers.
Our route took us on a mix of quiet dirt roads…
Fun rocky trails…
..and occasionally entirely off-piste.
To keep things interesting there was also quite a lot of pushing/carrying… steep, rocky climbs, hot work in periods of sunshine, that also made for some terrific, challengingly technical descending.
Great trails.
Camp, night 2. Not much flat ground around but we managed to squeeze all three tents onto an ‘almost flat’ spot beneath some pines. I don’t have pics of camp 1.. we pitched up well after dark, and left first thing under heavy skies. It had been excitingly violent night of thunderstorms.
El cocinero.
Camp visitor.
This is Pueblo Escondido at Cerro Aspero; an old tungsten mine abandoned in the late ’60s. It’s now a popular destination for trekkers, bikers and so on… there is a small cafe with welcome beer and empanadas.
Pueblo Escondido
Fabulous area for biking.
I left my laptop and electronic clobber behind in Córdoba city. It was lovely to travel lighter.. and just as well too given the amount of hiking, lifting and so on.
High speed descending.
In spots the countryside reminded me of parts of Wales and Scotland.
Much drier however, this being the only stream in two days.
Extensive dry stone walls… and horses, lots of horses. Most of the land has been parcelled up into large estancias.
These trees remind me of Dartmoor.
More climbing.. a couple thousand meters of it in all.
… still climbing…
.. the views were pretty fabulous however.
Cloudy / hazy skies much of the time helped keep temperatures reasonably comfortable.
I’m quite happy journeying on my own, it was fabulous however to be able to ride in such good company for a change.
I’ll miss this place and its people when it’s time to move on.
My bike. The bags I made have held up really well over the past few months of abuse; not a single stitch has failed and they’ve proven to be really easy to live with. The only failures I’ve experienced have been commercial items…

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