Bike travel, commuting and more


Argentina XVIII: Pituil-Chilecito

On the way

Enjoying the Ruta 40

Into the second biggest city in La Rioja

Today there was another 75 km of emptiness until the next town, so we decided, against our routine, to start as early as possible to cycle all in one day.

No chance of getting lost
Is this the way to Chilecito?

When we left the day was overcast and cold, but at least there was no wind, which was another benefit of starting early. Usually, the wind is stronger after midday. The first half of the route was uneventful, on flat or rolling hills, until our early lunch break.

Andes to our right
More mountains on our right

After that we had a 300 mts climb until the diversion to Famatina, then a downhill, and then another last climb into Chilecito, our destination. The first climb was not particularly steep, but it was relentless and the weather was cold, so we started to struggle a bit. Once on the top, we put clothes on and tried to make for the lost time with a quick downhill. The traffic was getting heavier as we got closer to Chilecito.

Cristo del Portezuelo
Cristo del Portezuelo

In the last climb, my strength abandoned me. I was pulling both kids, as it was a bit too cold for them, and I guess I had not eaten enough, or not often enough. So I really struggled the last 5 km to make it to Chilecito. Susanne was waiting at the entrance, and in a traffic light a woman was selling bread, churros, and other sweet delicacies, so she made a huge business with us, hungry cyclists.

Accommodation in Chilecito
Our cabana in Chilecito

We had been told about a famous camping for travelers in the city. But the family in Andolucas also told us the owner was not that friendly to kids in his property, and since the camping was slightly outside, and it was quite cold, we decided to look for roofed accommodation, which we found at a decent price.

Haircut in Chilecito
Thomas chatting to the locals

We stayed a couple of days in Chilecito to rest, let the bad weather pass, and do some errands like long overdue haircuts.

Cable car in Chilecito
Visiting the cable car bottom station

Chilecito is famous because they have the highest cable car in the world, used to bring the mineral from high up the mountains down to the town, where it would be shipped by train to Buenos Aires and from there to the world.

La Mejicana, Chilecito
The station is quite impressive. You can see the rail lines at the foreground

It is called La Mejicana, and was abandoned when the first world war started. Another highlight is the Famatina, a huge mountain overseeing the town, and provider of most of its water.

Cables going up the mountain
The cable car would climb up all the way up to 4000 mts

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  1. Katherine

    Chilecito? Interesante el nombre. Alguna relation con chile? Lo que si es que no me queda duda que por cada Lugar que pasan no se olvidan de europa. Ahora estan en Espana! ( la Rioja) 🙂

  2. Ricardo

    Bruno con el MAZO

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