WEIGHT: 55 kg
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The surface between the pass and La Poma is a complete hodgepodge and would make climbing the pass from the South harder. On the descent the road was more rocky than sandy as well as being fairly narrow. Be prepared to get your feet wet crossing the many streams and muddy on the small sections currently being worked on. I cycled at a leisurely pace and clocked 7 hours and 45 minutes of actual cycling with m ascent and m descent.
La Poma to Cachi; less intense day of cycling and a very leafy municipal campsite awaits with a good supermarket just over the road. Cachi to Angastaco; initially the road follows the river through diminutive villages but soon it abandons the irrigated oasis in favour of the much drier canyon landscape inland which is almost devoid of any shade.
There are plenty of small shops in the more populated places and Molinos has a pleasant shady plaza where I lunched. Angastaco is one of those places that is always just round the corner, in this case over the next undulation. The last 10k were frustratingly tantalising. Be prepared for a series of steep climbs here just before Angastaco. Just where you want them.
Angastaco to Cafayate; the road is initially undulating and dry before leaving the canyons and dropping back to the river, idyllic villages and greenery. I would really recommend this cycle; the scenery was just stunning the whole length of the route and it could easily be split up. The prevailing headwinds at this time of year can add further challenge to the climb — and the descent! To confirm, there are plenty of supplies available in Molinos and La Poma.
La Poma is worth the detour to visit the old part of town, a couple of kilometres away from the main settlement. It can then be inked back to the main road via a footbridge. On the way down, the quality is more of a mixed bag — it looked like they were working on a few sections. There are plenty on the way up, including a shepherdess who has a house at around m, beyond the last of the river crossings. The air temperature stays degrees, higher at lower altitude. Cafayate to Molinos: Nothing has changed since the original route description, camping at Molinos Municipal Camping is 35 peso per person per night, strong hot shower, wifi at the plaza is not working but if you go to the hotel next to the Molinos church, they have free wifi and no password required.