Argentina Archive

Mostly Buenos Aires

Some street photography from Buenos Aires and Villa Mercedes to wrap up seven months of bicycle travel from Peru.

The End of the Road

A medium-sized provincial town deep in the heart of Argentina, about 700km west of Buenos Aires, may seem like an odd place to end a bicycle journey. Ten years ago however, on my very first day in Argentina, having crossed the border from Chile all the way down south in Patagonia, I met a couple of friends, Juan and Elisa, who were also travelling the area, albeit not by bike. It is in large part …

Córdoba Streets

Thought I’d sling up a few impressions of Córdoba city. It’s alright; colourful, busy, good icecream. I’ll say goodbye to friends here this evening over beers, and will set sail for the final few hundred km to my other friends in Villa Mercedes on Monday. It looks like it could be a damp affair; winters here are cool and dry but the summer season is hot and very rainy with lots of thunderstorms. It would …

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 …

To Córdoba

There will always be more to do in the Andes but having comprehensively ridden my bike all over from the north to the far south it seemed like a good idea, when thinking about this journey, to head east away from the Andes and have a look at the sierras of Córdoba province; for a number of years it has been a spot on the map that left me wondering how it would be to …

The Green Room

The change in riding environment has been so rapid, and so profound that I still have not fully rationalised it. The memories of the months spent on the high, cold, austere altiplano amongst the volcanos and salt pans feel as if they belong to a different life. The transition from parched desert to dripping cloud forest happened within the space of a mere 40km or so. Sitting in the perpetual sunshine of Cafayate it was …

Cafayate

Cafayate is the point at which my route intersects that of ten years ago. It was a lovely place to spend some time then, and remains a lovely place to enjoy the same today. The only difference I can see on this occasion is the almost complete absence of foreign tourists, particularly the backpacking crowd. I’m not certain why that would be; perhaps the economic and political turmoil is putting people off, but it seems …

Cactus Country

The high puna/altiplano can be a punishing place to ride a bicycle, and inevitably at times when battling the wind, the cold, the altitude it is impossible on occasion not to want to be somewhere else. The moment it is left behind however it is missed; the landscapes, the quality of light, and the sheer emptiness of the place. It is something of a drug in that respect. Having descended from the puna all the …

Pampa to Puna – La Quiaca to San Antonio de los Cobres

The winds of the high puna of northern Argentina and Chile are infamous amongst touring cyclists. They are to be expected but every so often, as with weather anywhere, the winds can reach an intensity somewhat greater than might normally be expected. One of those days turned into one of the most testing days on two wheels I can remember, far more intense than anything I recall  experiencing in ‘windy season’ down in Patagonia, probably …

Patagonia

I’ve been  thinking about Patagonia an awful lot recently, and not just because it’s a damp, grey January… There is a little place inside my heart that has Patagonia in it.. I can feel a tug there every time I think about the place. In 2016 I feel as if I must deal with some unfinished riding business in Central Asia .. so I think that’s what I’ll do this year by way of a …

I see dead people…

“I see dead people“…. sadly if you asked me to come up with a movie quotation off the top of my head then that would probably be it… nothing so special as “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine…”.. or even, hehe, “search your feelings Luke, you know them to be true….“. It was those words whispered by Cole in the Sixth Sense that were …

las calles de Buenos Aires…

…late summer in Buenos Aires, a time for whiling away the afternoon heat with a cold beer in a dark, smokey bar while watching life pass by on the cracked and crumbling pavements outside… My flight left Ushuaia much later than scheduled… on a scale of 0 to 5 for punctuality, where 5 rates always on time and 0 rates total failure, Aerolineas Argentina sits somewhere around a 0.4.. at least it does for Ushuaia. …

gasoline….

“it’s really gasoline? You know, like gasoline gasoline..?” “yep, it is definitely gasoline” “so not alcohol or anything, definitely gasoline?” “yep, definitely gasoline, it came out of a Petrobras pump in Puerto Natales” “oh cool, I’ll have it then, pour it in there….” I packed up my tent for the last time this morning ready to move to a hostal in town for a couple of nights prior to my flight… mainly to make it …

Ushuaia…

You know those vaguely damp looking patches of fur you see on the road sometimes… that may once have been a rabbit or fox but reduced to anonymous flatness by passing traffic… I felt kind of like that once the satisfaction of arriving had worn off, hehe, although Nina’s BBQ innovation of bananas cooked in their skins but slit and filled with dark chocolate went some way to alleviating that.. or perhaps it was the …

the bottom of a continent & the end of the road…

I was hoping the girl in reception would offer me a free night in a 5-star suite for my trouble. She didn’t… must have been fully booked – I cannot imagine any other reason why she would not have wanted a somewhat scruffy but otherwise excellent quality cyclist to stay in her hotel. I thought my hint of “oh I am looking for somewhere to stay the night….. could you perhaps tell me where I …