After almost 18 month I reach the 16th and last country: Argentina

Amidst the desert: I was out of myself for joy.

The desert continues. Salar del Bincon at the back

Rest in the border control station: Thank you guys for your precious hospitality.

Paso Sico, one of the greatest passes

The day after, the first miles in Argentina, Province of Salta

Sometimes you are pretty alone out there.

So much about the road conditions. - Bikes seem to be stronger. :-)

One of the days when at the end of the water there was still road left. - An awkward situation.

Argentinean part of Atacama Desert, almost no end.

Last pass before reaching the eastern side of the Andes: Alto Chorrillo, 4560m

The view towards San Antonio de los Cobres

San Antonio de los Cobres, 3750m, for me the beginning of Ruta 40

Of course I don't want to miss Argentina's highest pass: Abra del Acay ahead

The lamas are not shy at all, curiously they came closer and closer.

Last camp before the climb up to the road top of Argentina

Close to the clouds:

Done, Abra el Acay, GPS measurement says 4969m.

Start to a long downhill into valle Calchaquíes

... with water of all colours...

... and interesting passages to cross.

Finally, the valley opens and the first trees and fields show up.

The coloured beauty of Northern Argentina

These red rocks give the valley an unforgettable shape.

Some of the most special kilometers, South of La Poma.

I enjoyed it.

As you see, I loved the countryside and took a lot of fotos.

Sometimes I felt being decades before our time.

Cachi, a pearl I recommend to visit.

Fortunately I found shade as the heat was tough.

The vine groves in the courtyards are typical for the local houses.

Best illumination in the evening

That day ended with a flat tire in Angastaco.

Northern part of Ruta 40, absolutely recommendable.

Quebrada de las flechas ahead:

The valley cuts a mountain range.

Another unforgettable passage

The rocks pop up like arrows.

The other side, the valley continues in the normal way.

Hidden treasures: I found many houses with pillars in front.

What's going on there?

This: No chance to cross by car, the people have to walk.

My track, at least I can go on pushing.

The front wheel

Continuing got worse and worse:

This is still Ruta 40. - It resembles more a river after this thunderstorm.

Pushing here washes at least the shoes. :-)

The 40 eats everything.

Finally I managed to escape the bad conditions.

It needed an emergency wash for the bike in a creek, ...

... but the brake pads were gone.

The happy ending of a hard pushing day, ahead of Cafayate the pavement starts.

Cloud cap beside San Carlos

I enjoyed this part of the route especially.

Cafayate: a huge vineyard seams its surroundings.

My friend Tomas with the locals, a lovely week of rest.

The young dog bit us all the time...

... we put it into jail.

Continuing South, towards Tolombón

Lovely guys on a Friday evening, nevertheless I rejected to camp here, they were too drunk.

I enjoyed every day on Northern Ruta 40.

The 40 as it lives.

Mountains, poplars and vine - this is Northern Argentina.

The critical joke says: Here also, the miners pollute.

At the end of Belen the road gets boring:

Endless straight roads have to be conquered.

Cuesta de Miranda

Another spectacular passage

Rest in the shadow of an eucalyptus tree

Towards Villa Union...

... you could think you were in the US.

Another endless straight distance, I was often bored.

The local green parrots were always a diversion.

In San Juan de Jachal I met by coincidence the Swiss couple Nadine and Gaets. What a lovely encounter.

Getting ready to climb the last time over 4000m: Paso Agua Negra ahead

Indigenous stone painting beside the road

Encounter with Argentine mountain climbers. Foto C.Grillo

Everybody is thirsty. Foto C. Grillo

Hasta luego. - Leaving the Andinista's house. Foto A.Rojas

The tent, my house for the last 19 months.

Drying the equipment before climbing up to the top.

Agua Negra - does not honor much the colour of the water.

On 4100m - there are plans to build a tunnel to avoid the last climb.

From now on, an Argentine flag accompanies me. Thanks Argentine mountaineers.

Higher and higher, ...

... I felt the altitude more than up North.

Close to the top...

...there are still walls of snow.

Done, top and border to Chile. Paso Agua Negra, 4750m