• Steve Marks

Days 90 to 92: Uspallata to Calingasta, as the Searing Heat Continued

The searing heat continued unabated, and it was normally already mid-20s by the time I was setting off and mid-30s by early afternoon.

Day 90 was a windy ride up a mountain-lined valley to Barreal. Barreal is a stunner of a wee village on the banks of a river, with towering green trees everywhere and epic views of the Andes. Definitely a great place for a day off the bike, so that’s exactly what I did. The highlight was being down at the riverbank at sunset, as the sun slowly dropped below the Andes mountains which towered up over the far side of the river. 

Since then I’ve drifted further north up to Calingasta and stopped for a vineyard visit in the way up. Entre Tapias is a small organic winery that only produces about 5000 bottles a year but they had some tasty goods, especially their Pinot Gris. The owner, Rafael, spent a while showing me around and letting taste several. My Spanish seems to be holding up pretty well.

The heat continued to be pervasive, but yesterday I found a small countryside hotel with a swimming pool and lots of shady trees so that’s where I stopped.  There were a bunch of friendly locals there making some Argentine version of sangria by the bucketload so helped them get through it all. Interesting tradition I noticed 3 years ago still applies here, in that they just make one huge glass and it gets passed around in a circle, rather than each person having their own glass.



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