September 29, 2009 GMT
Over Jama

We are still moving, just been awhile since the last entry due to my computer being down and maybe out. so will be no pictures this time but will update with pictures when I can.
We were told that the drive belt would not get to Loreto till Wed. or Thur. so on Monday we took public transport to Santiago Del Estero, big city about 60 k north. We walked through the park and to a couple of Museums then hiked to a car rental place and drove back to Loreto for the night.
On Tus. we drove to Termas de Rio Hondo (tourist spot with 160 hotels). Got a real nice room for 690 pesos that included all meals, drinks and all the hot springs minneral water you could soak in. Not use to this fancy of a place real fancy food, truly a place for the wealthy to come. But we could not afford to spend too long there and drove back to Loreto on Wed.
Belt was there when we got in so I walked to the bus station, picked up the belt and had it on in about two hours. We are mobel again.
From Loreto we rode to Salta. The landscape changes dramatically as we travel through this area. To the south much is just waste land, very dry, and what is farmed is subsistance farming with very poor inhabitants. To the north we started seeing some very nice farms and signs of prosperity.
Salta is a large city where we were able to find someone to work on fixing my computer so I can get back on the internet and fix my pictues for the web. We also bought Martha a ticket bact to BA on the 29th so she can get her filght home.
Next we decide to ride to San Padro Chile, looks like a day ride. Took 10 hours and I was exausted and cold by the time we got there. Paso Jama is at 4200 mt. Then we traveled the Alto Plano (high plain) for 400 K at 4200 to 4835 mt. (mulitply by 3.28 to get feet). The wind was brutal at m/l 100 with gusts as you changed directions or came around a hill or road cut. Temp was close to 0C with ice on some springs. Went past severl salt flats some where they were mining the salt. Got to San Pedro at a little after 8 in the dark. took the first hotel we found and colapsed.
The next day we got to see San Pedro. The town is a tourist town where they are trying to keep it like it was in the past. Many shops selling tourist stuff and many restaurants and hotels. Cost were high as the dollar has fallen against the Chilean peso. We did the tourest thing and went for a horse ride, if Martha has any pains when she gets back it is because her horse through her off. That night we went to restrante Blanco for the best salmon I have ever had, it had a sugar glace.
The next morning we headed out a little earlier in hope that the winds on the pass back to Salta were in the afternoon. False hope as the winds were more intence on the way back but we were a little better prepared for the cold. Did not try to go all the way to Salta this time and stopped in Pamamarca where there were many hotels and clearly a tourist stop. Was a beautiful hotel that had just opened with a good view of the valley from the deck.
From there was an easy 200 k to Salta. When we came up road signs told us to take Ruta 34 north yet the map shows staying on Ruta 9 to be the shortest way. Ok I found another goat path. Was paved all the way but about 60 k was one lane and twisted through the mountains with some very steep drop offs. Average speed was around 20 mph. Very beautiful ride but it was drizzling most of the way into the back side of Salta.
Thatīs the report from the out back, pictures (I hope) latter.

Will add pictures below.

A1 hambuger.jpg
They do know how to make a hambuger
A2pink tree.jpg
In park in Salta
A3 Hot Springs.jpg
Where we stayed at the Hot Springs
A4 SaltaChurch.jpg
Church at night in Salta
A5 view on horse.jpg
View out side of San Padro
A6 ourGuideHorse.jpg
Our guide on horse ride in San Padro
View on the Alto Plano
A8 MT-wind.jpg
Stopped to take pictures and Martha stayed with bike because the wind was so strong we were afraid that it would blow over
View on the Alto Plano
A9Paso Jama.jpg
This is the east view down Jama
Martha on the balcony of our room, nice place we stopped on the way back over Paso Jama
Ruta 9 back to Salta, one lane. would have been great if it had not been trying to rain.

Posted by Robert Thode at September 29, 2009 02:21 PM GMT

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