Guanacos in a Very Windy Pampa. Gregores to El Chalten.

“Viento en contra o al favor?”. Notably off-colour with some kind of fever, I was doubting whether I should head off into the desert at all. “Oh you’ll have a strong tailwind, definitely a tailwind”, replied the farmer. Not twenty minutes later I was experiencing the strongest headwind of my life.

Paso Rio Mayer in Winter – the Carretera Austral alternate exit from Villa O’Higgins

“Todos los pasos están deshabilitados (All the passes are closed)….It’s very complicated here in winter my friend.”, the Villa O’Higgins carabinero officer explained. “The river can be up 100 metres wide and 3 or 4 metres deep.”  After days of strangely warm weather and high rainfall in Villa O’Higgins, his words made some sense.  Maybe it was impassable?  After all he should know what he’s talking about, right?

Effing Hot Ruta 40 – Cafayate to Jachal, North Argentina

“Why?” Endless stretches of paved road disappearing into infinity. At times hours would go by and it was hard to tell if I had actually progressed.  The death of my phone and thereby podcasts and various educational audio literature I like to listen to compounded the boredom to ‘hard to bear’ levels. All the while…

The Sirens of North Argentina – Irresistible Salta and Jujuy

Mate, malavares, fiambre, ice cream, high quality beef, Malvinas, Maradona are all mainstream Argentinian experiences but one thing stands out above the rest for me: Of all the Latin American countries I’ve visited (there are a lot of them), Argentina can safely claim the nocturnal noise and sleep deprivation award by a considerable margin. No matter what…

Wild Desert Donkeys – San Antonio to Cafayate

After accidentally timing Paso Sico and San Antonio de Los Cobres perfectly with the busiest days of the year (or possibly ever), due to peak tourist season and flooding roads, it was a relief to finally leave.  My route continued via the famous Ruta 40 and after climbing up a pass of nearly 5000 metres it descended for 260km down to world famous vineyards through dry rugged cactus terrain intermittently following a divine river oasis. It was spiced up further by crazy wild donkeys, beautiful shaded plazas, leeches (!) and incredible rock formations.