The day started out cloudy with the threat of rain and we rode on the pavement north towards Tucuman and then southwest to Conception. This is where the pavement ended and the rain started. The first part of the dirt road was flat, but that was short lived and a steep switchback 1-lane road over the mountain was next.
What is surprising is there were a number of transport trucks on this “road”. One in particular wanted the entire road and we ended up having to squish by on the left. He actually touched my dry bag.
We were happy to hit the summit and the end of the rain for the descent on the other side to Penas Altas.
It was getting late when we finally arrived at Andalgala after only 257 km. We were all tired and Andi was starting with the flu so we voted to stay here instead of pushing on the last 85 km of which only the last 30 are paved. We managed to find a good cabana with super hot water and a kitchen to cook. Ellen as usual was industrious and was up early picking walnuts.
The next day was a short 55 km of good dirt with only the occasional sand pit and then 30 km of very new tarmac to Belen. Poor Andi was worse today so it was a good thing we had an easy day.
This gave us time to tour the town, Cathedral, and the local museum. The artifacts here are thousands of years old.