Published: December 3rd 2007December 3rd 2007
First of all, I´m an IDIOT! You don´t just ´nip over´the Andes, cos they´re whoppers. So setting off at midday from Uspallata in the blithe confidence that after desert the mountains would be easy bit me in the proverbial. Needless to say, it was all uphill into the wind. Which was particularly pleasant in tunnels, which concentrated the wind into hurricanes. 8 hours and 67 km later, I limped into Los Penitentes hostel,
to be greeted by Janina from La Cumbre with a beer and an asado. I ate most of a cow and half an egg.
Dehydration, beer and most of a cow dont agree with me, as I found out next day by spending all of it in bed, unable to eat or drink anything, but squeezing liquid from my nether regions once every 2 hours. So I hung around the following day too, till i almost felt normal again. What a place though. 2500 metres up. Thats another thing. Only 40 km into the climb did I twig I was heading to a ski station. I really should read more carefully. So anyway, its tiny and almost deserted, but with a cracking little hut of a hostel. Its
the first time Ive properly seen twinkly stars too. Lots of the little beggars. Anyway, theres a nice bunch in the hostel and Danny shows up alternating between fluent Spanish and broad Yorkshire and sings eating food songs with guitar to a bemused little girl who shouts loco.
One last day in Argentina with a 20 km climb to 3,300 m whre it really is getting cold and another gem of a grungy hostel and, since ive now run out of money, I eat packet rice warm for lunch and cold for dinner, watching crappy USA tv in thick socks and woolly hat and I guess the villain, its the pretty girl who is pretending to be a psychic even before the telly does. No esta mal.
Downhill all the way today and Im in Los Andes town in Chile, without a guidebook, so Ill cycle into Santiago tomorrow (yuck) and try to find one
There are more photos below