The Hobbit Road to Salta, Argentina
It was a pretty long, straight road to Salta, but there were some nice views, and lots of llamas.
We all rode our own pace, and so I found myself riding alone for long stretches, then would see one of the gang pulled over, we’d have a chat, and then back to riding alone.
At one point I saw quite a few bikers on the side of the road ahead. It was Arun, Alan and Andre with three Argentinian bikers. When I asked them about where to get a good exchange rate for dollars, they offered to exchange some right there. This was great for me, as I hadn’t exchanged any at the border, and so I cashed up right there on the side of the road. They, like everyone else, offered better rates for hundred dollar bills than for twenties and made me wish, not for the last time, that I had exchanged all my twenties for bigger bills.
It turned out that we hadn’t left all the rain behind in Bolivia, and it started raining pretty hard. I stopped with Andre for a while in a shelter, but the rain continued on, so we got back on our bikes. We met up with Arun and Alan, and we all decided to stop for gas at the next station, and lunch at the same time. Somehow we lost Arun and Andre, so Alan and I stopped for gas and lunch together.
Lunch was nice, but incredibly slow. There was a misunderstanding with the waiter, and he brought my food, but none for Alan! He hadn’t realised that Alan wanted a coffee and his lunch together. He had brought the coffee, and was waiting for Alan to finish it before he brought him food. Sometimes I think I will never understand these Latinos!
After spending more than an hour at lunch, we were on the final stretch to Salta. Argentina had a great road in store for us. Ruta 9 is a sweet, narrow hobbit road that winds through the forest on the side of a mountain. It is quite possibly my favourite road of the trip so far.
It is something like a bike path back home in Canada. Just a bit wider than a car, but it has two way traffic! There wasn’t much traffic on it however, as buses and trucks would never make it, and it was really fun riding!
Unfortunately I was having too much fun to take any pictures of the hobbit road. I’ll add one in if any of the rest of the gang has one.
We finally pulled into the Loki Hacienda hostel late in the afternoon. It’s pretty far out of town, but that was okay for those of us with our own wheels. TThe “countryside” location meant there was plenty of room, and even a pool!
Alan and I were the last to arrive, probably because of our long lunch and a side trip Alan took us on to explore a little village off the side of the road at one point.
We were booked to stay in Salta for a few days, the hostel was free because they had had some bad reviews lately and were trying to build up their reputation.
Jordon and his bike Frank had made it by taking a bus to the border and then hitching a ride with a man with a truck. Jordon paid the man to drive him all the way to Salta, even though that wasn’t where the guy lived!
The sun was shining, we’d all made it to Salta, and the hostel had a bar. All was well with the world.