Bike travel, commuting and more


Argentina IV: Tilcara-Yala-Jujuy

Leon river

Crossing the river before Leon

We make it to the first province capital

From Tilcara there were still quite a few narrow passages in the mountains, although it was not as enjoyable as in previous days as the traffic had increased a lot.

Pucará in Tilcara
Pucará of Tilcara on the middle left of the picture
Downhill in Quebrada de Humahuaca
Downhill in the Quebrada de Humahuaca

Slowly, the valley would open up and the dry landscape of the altiplano would swap to lush forests and green hills.

A river valley in Humahuaca
Rivers here make massive valleys
Quebrada de Humahuaca
Still Quebrada de Humahuaca

The National Road 9 then took us on an unexpected and nasty climb, with continuous truck traffic from the nearby mine, before an exhilarating downhill to the proper valley bottom where Jujuy city lies.

Unexpected climb before Leon
This climb was not in the plans
Downhill towards Leon
Downhill on the other side with massive mine in the background

On the way we passed a village called Leon, where I wanted to take a picture as it has the same name as my hometown in Spain. Unfortunately, it must be one of the few villages in Argentina with no name sign. Oh, well…

Cactus in a wineyard
Cactus grow among the vineyards, and they don’t do anything about it

We would not make it to the capital, so we stopped with about 30 km to go in Yala, a small village, with a nice and cheap camping.

Yala Camping
Playing before bed

There we met Eric and Yanina, two Argentinian cyclists that were doing the opposite way, going north. They will have a tough time as they will arrive in Bolivia in full winter, but I’m sure they will find a way. Funnily enough, months later, we would stay in the same Casa Ciclista in General Alvear (Mendoza) where they had spent most of the pandemic.

Eric & Yanina in Yala
With Eric & Yanina, fellow cyclists

The last bit to Jujuy was quite uncomfortable with a big highway and too fast traffic.

Entry to Jujuy
Stressful entry to Jujuy

Luckily we found a side road that would take us to the city on quieter streets. Jujuy itself has nothing special, other than a nicely done river margin with cycle lanes, parks and many trees.

Riverside in Jujuy
Nice park, although the cycle lane is too narrow

The city has a nice size, and it lies in an area with moderate climate most of the year, so it would be a pleasant place to live.

in Jujuy!

We stayed another night, and we took the chance to get an Argentinian SIM card (it was hard anywhere else if you don’t have an Argentinian ID), replace some spokes in the trailer, and do a bit of shopping.

Sightseeing Jujuy
Sightseeing in Jujuy

The next day we would cycle to Salta. There are two options, either following the RN9 through “la cornisa”, a tiny and hilly road in the mountains, or the flatter but busier 66 across General Güemes.

Exit of Jujuy
Stressful exit of Jujuy

We took the first one, despite some negative advice from a guy in Tilcara, and we were happy with our choice.

Road towards La Cienaga
Nice road towards La Cienaga

We met an Argentinian cyclist going the other way, and after a hectic exit of Jujuy the road was quite nice all the way to the Cienaga dam, a place were many people from the city come here to chill on the weekends.

Cycletourist Ignacio
Meeting Ignacio, on the way to La Quiaca

We went to a nice fish restaurant at the other side of the dam, recommended by Eric and Yanina, and had some nice Argentinian style “fish and chips”.

Cyclelane in El Carmen
Short bit of cyclelane around El Carmen village
Way to the fish restaurant in La Cienaga
On the way to the restaurant, big change in greenery from the altiplano

We camped in a nearby and empty camping, where I realized one of my panniers had burst open in one of the seams.

Fish eating in La Cienaga
Food festival!!

I transferred most of the load to the other panniers, put tape on this one to hold everything together, and made many pictures to make a warranty claim to the manufacturer. We’ll see what happens.

Broken pannier in La Cienaga
Now what?

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1 Comment

  1. Katherine

    Yujujuuuuuy. Hace tiempos q no veia Las letras gigantes. Son un clasico!

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