We slept a little longer today and therefore our day stretched out more than it should with a few extra hours spent in the car. Our GPS made us hopeful for a moment as it stated that it will take us only 2 hours to get to our destination. It turned out that it picked the fast route instead of the right one – Ruta 40. Yet another attempt to use this contraption that ended with us throwing it to the glove compartment.
I took a paper road atlas and showed Ania where are we driving to today. The road was going to be more than 300 km, but except for one fragment it was supposed to be asphalt and indeed, it was. We were driving surprisingly fast and then – after 2 hours, when we had about 150 km ahead of us – we laughed remembering that during the last few days it took us a whole day to clear such distance. Even though the mileage isn’t the best indicator here, it’s the distance of 150-200 km a day we would like to stick to. That’s the route we planned, however we’re doing a lot of extra time since we come upon or hear about new amazing locations from the locals all the time. We don’t have to see everything but right now it’s not the time to give up on anything yet.
First 60 km pass quite quickly. Amelka is asleep all the time and we have time to talk about the days ahead and do some planning in peace. Second part is a bit more tiring than I thought since the distance to Chilecito turns out to be much bigger than I read in the road atlas and it takes us 90 minutes instead of 40.
We buy lunch in the city and after a moment of wandering, get back on Ruta 40 and prepare for a drive through Cuesta de Miranda. It’s a 10 km long part of the road, located by the Miranda river and town of the same name. It’s currently being renovated and they plan to put asphalt on it. Right now, there’s heavy construction work going on.
If you’re unlucky and come upon a car coming from the opposite direction, you will have to look for one of the places to reverse which are located every 3 km. The losing party has to reverse a bit and the road is very narrow and bumpy. Also, there are some iron reinforcement wires sticking out of the ground and on a few occasions we had the feeling that the moment when the car gets scratched finally came. But no, we nearly missed them. However, you can never be too sure about it.
It’s amazing that this 10 km long road has almost 300 turns! It’s like 250 more than during the whole day today. We drive up a little bit, leaving the river beneath and suddenly, astonishing views appear before our eyes. Many people sent us here and now we understand why. The cliffs are a real deal here, no gentle mountainsides similar to those we have seen in the beginning of our trip.
Red colour is dominant – from the light shade to the bloody one. We can also see beautiful blue sky, even though rainy clouds were hanging above our heads all day. Here, just a few kilometres before Miranda – the weather changes drastically. Our cameras couldn’t be happier that day.
The road is not easy, though. Up, down, right, left all the time. Car engine dies a few times and I’m becoming a pro at starting using the handbrake.
After an hour, we finally decide to leave the place. 10 kilometres in an hour because we stopped every now and then in order to enjoy the beauty of the valley. Red mixed with blue with a bit of white clouds and a little bit of greenness.
After that, there’s new, straight and asphalt road. We drive through it for another hour before we reach Villa Union where we stop for the night.