Upon leaving Chilecito I followed ruta 40 north through more inhospitable land, passing Londres (yes London) amongst other places. The Argentine version is somewhat smaller than the English one.
One particular desolate valley showed up on my map as being part of the 2014 Dakar rally. Thankfully I had a gorgeous tailwind so was soon across it. Not a place you would want to get stuck in.
Upon reaching the next valley and the towns of Santa Maria and Cafayate the scenery changed once more, back to rolling vineyards similar to the area around Mendoza. This is the other wine growing region in Argentina.
Taking ruta 68 out of Cafayate, I crossed east once more into another valley where the weather became cold and damp. Then through the capital of the north, Salta, passed Jujuy and started climbing the Humahuaca valley.
The altitude steadily increased from around 1,200m topping out at 3,780m. The night time/morning temperature dropping the higher I went. Well below freezing up high, a novel camping experience.
The Argentine road finishes at La Quiaca, cross the bridge and you are in Bolivia and Villazon.
This was the furthest north I went, apart from spending around an hour and a half in Bolivia procuring cash (a much more favourable exchange rate) and renewing my Argentine visa by re-entering the country.
It wasn’t the end of the cycling as after a rest I turned round, pointed my wheels at the roads less travelled and went south. More photos to come.