I left Mendoza by the back door. I did something I have a phobia against, I went back the way I came. Mainly to avoid a climb up to 3,000m.
Heading south out of Mendoza, I picked up Ruta 7 which climbs to Uspallata via Potrerillos. At Uspallata you can go west across to Chile. It is the main link between Santiago in Chile and Mendoza in Argentina.
I went north following the Uspallata valley with a little detour to Leoncito National Park before continuing through Barreal to Calingasta. I then headed east back to Ruta 40 at Talacasto (not a town….) before once more heading north to San Jose de Jachal.
Passing over into the adjacent valley I went through Guandacol and Villa Union before a more serious climb up to the Cuesta de Miranda. The road here was closed due to it having fallen down the mountainside but with the help of the construction workers I got my bike through and headed down to Chilecito.