IMG 0169Todays trip is again a reasonably late start (10am) which is just as well as it's my turn for a rotten knight for some reason. No matter the breakfast is ok and the coffee is strong. 

South out of Cafayate we passed through a very large wine area with what must have been thousands of acres of grapes.

At Amaicha del Valle we visited the Pachamama Museum which in part describes the geology and history of the Santa Maria valley (that we have been passing through for the past day or so)  and in part is an art gallery.

We had a guided tour, translated by Gerardo, and were told that the entire museum is the work of one man, Cruz. He still lives there and has created the entire place and the art within. We thought it excellent and bought a couple of small objects and a T shirt for me.

Climbing from here over the Paso Abra del Infinillo where the road is sealed but just unbelievably bumpy, the patches have patches have patches. The temperature dropped to 6C at one point until we entered the cloud near the summit (over 3000m). This is of course where things got interesting with wandering stock, both supervised and unsupervised and of course traffic invisible until the last moment. I got photos of goats, cows, horses and pigs. The hazard lights were on and my new dayglow rain jacket was put to good use.

IMG 0168After lunch in a little cafe at Tafi del Valle (another cheese and salami toasted bun which seems to be a staple). we descended from the pass down a long long series of hairpins in persistent rain. Much less than  ideal and we needed to take it slowly.

Finally getting into the city of San Miguel de Tucuman about 5pm. The parking is a bit of a mission and we end up going around the block two or three times to get the bikes tucked up for the night. The first room was very small with a nasty smelly bathroom, hopeless for drying our kit so Mary went and complained and "hey presto"  we are in a larger, non smelly room. Good on the Hotel Premier.

IMG 0167First impressions of San Miguel de Tucuman are not favorable but we shall see.

Later. First impressions seem to have been confirmed as San Miguel de Tucuman looks pretty down at heel. We went into the Plaza to find dinner after discovering that the hotel only sells 1L bottles of Heineken or small bottles of Bud. No local beer at all. 

 

We tried to find one of Tripadvisors suggested resturants in the rain only to discover it had been converted to something called a "Rock and Bowl". The cafe we did find was not too bad in the end.IMG 0176