Cycling Ruta 40 – Argentina 🇦🇷

Mendoza, Argentina into Chile.

After we had some resting days in Mendoza we continued further south via the Ruta 40. It took nearly a day of cycling before we got rid of the city and cycled into the country side again.

On our open street maps a large part of the Ruta 40, a bit after Mendoza seemed to be pampas (gravel) but it was actually pretty good brand new asphalt. Much more south our map promised asphalt but we ended up on an 250 km bad ass pampas road. Every day gives surprises, even in Argentina.

In the end, the road was not the problem but the strong head winds. At some days so strong we had to walk and push our bicycles. We did camp underneath bridges and slept in water wash-outs underneath the road.

Our goal of this all was the touristic town of San Martin de los Andes and the stunning Seven Lake Road into Chile.

Have fun reading 😉

Packing up again after a few nights in Mendoza.

Leaving this nice place again 🙁

Cycling out of Mendoza, a lot of fascinating graffiti.

Picking up Ruta 40 again. Narrow bridge over a dry river.

It's a long way out of Mendoza before we're in the country side again. By the end of the day we find a camp spot close to the road. A former picknick spot.

Watch out for the dog. R.I.P.

Some green in the dry yellow landscape.

New friends (again).

Hi doggie.

Trying to hide from the strong wind.

Long long roads.

The first mountains coming up again.

Volcano coming up.

Coming closer.

Checking out the top of the volcano.

Impressive clouds in the west, hope they stay there.

3066 km to the end of the world.

Leaving the volcano behind us.

The sky gets darker and darker.

But.... no rain for us 😀

Watching the moon and the stars in the cold night.

Wild horses along the Ruta 40.

Like a rolling stone.

Campsite with place for many tents. We where out of season and just one tent more

White mountains in the distance.

The lonely cyclist.

Climbing to another mountain pass.

Up!

Camping in a dry river bed.

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Video from some heavy winds along the way. (Filmed with a wind and waterproof case around the GoPro)

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The nice asphalt stops here. Gravel starts from here, also a lot of wind.

Pushing hard

The road is hard but the landscapes are wort it.

"Say cheese..."

What is more worse than a gravel road? A gravel washboard road!

Crossing Rio Grande.

Rio Grande.

Condor in the sky is watching us.

More washboard road.

Desert sand.

Hiding from the strong winds again. Camping under the bridge.

In the morning we found ice and some snow on our tent.

Welcome in Patagonia!!! The wind capital of the world.

Patagonia is the area below Rio Colorado and covers the south of Argentina and Chile. This part of the world is popular by outdoor enthusiasts because it's rough and beautiful nature and landscapes.

Cycling around this big snow peak did cost us three days.

Two flat tires at the same moment.

E-reading by a nice sunset.

Not to bad hey.. View from out of our tent.

Cold in the morning. Breakfast.

The town of Chos Malal is halfway Ruta 40.

The goats keep an eye on us.

The horses also.

And a bird.

An 20 meter antenna disc is looking in outer space.

More birds along the road but they are not bothered with us at all.

Mate tea

Mate, Wurst und Käse.

Pssssssssst......

Doesn't look yummy but it is yummy.

Open road.

Because there is so much wind we try to camp under the road in a water was out. Lucky us it's not raining 😉

Stampot!

Sleeping under Ruta 40.

Before sunrise we get up in hope to avoid some heavy winds.

As soon the sun rises the wind starts blowing. We walk and push our bikes.

A shelter to hide from the wind and eat lunch.

By the end of the day we're looking for another out of the wind spot to camp or sleep. We find this old gas station but it's to dirty to sleep in.

People use the place as a toilet 🙁

The sign says the place is for sale. So if you want to start your own smelly gas station call the number on the sign 😉

We push further up the road in hope to find a spot out of the wind.

Check... another under the road night is coming.

Not the best place to camp.

Horses on and along the road.

Making pictures.

Making pictures of making pictures.

Like Scandinavia.

It seems a car crashed here.

Ready to dive into this canyon. At the horizon we can see how high we have to go again after we past the bottom of the deep canyon.

At a lookout point.

Map of Patagonia. Also on the Chilean side it's also called Patagonia

Birdy, Birdy, Hola, Hola!

Approaching San Martin de los Andes.

Welcome in San Martin de los Andes.

Enjoying San Martin, the sun and a blond beer.

Leaving San Martin de Los Andes. One of our favoriete towns in Argentina for so far.

Bye bye lovely people from the Alhue hostel.

From San Martin we follow the famous and beautiful "Seven Lakes Route" to the Chile border. By the way, this Seven Lake Route is still part of Ruta 40.

Lake #1 is a good start.

Through the mountains up to the next lake.

At a valley we find a sign with all lakes called in one line.

At the next lake we meet some cyclists coming from the south.

Big waterfalls along the road.

Making waterfall pictures.

The road down to the next lake.

At this point the river splits in two. One side goes into the Pacific Ocean, the other side into the Atlantic Ocean. This means we are at a continental divide. 🙂

From the divide we cycle further towards the west, towards the Atlantic Ocean.

Long shadows means end of the day, we need to find a spot to camp.

Not to bad for camping.

View out of our front door.

Huh!?!

Magic skies when the sun is down.

The next morning. Ice.

Cold but sunny sunrise.

As soon the sun is there the temperature starts to rise fast.

Breakfast view.

Some sheep come along to say "Bla, Bla."

A bit further from out tent these birds walk around.

"Mirror mirror in the lake, whos is the....?"

A last view on the lake before we take of again.

Leaving camp.

"Run Forrest, Run!"

Snowtops and lakes means waterfalls in between. We like it!

At some mountain passes we still find snow. We've heard from other travellers this Seven Lake Route is just open since a week. Before that it was closed because of the winter.

Our next lake to camp on.

Chilling

Wild camping is not allowed along the Seven Lake Route because it's all National Park. Instead of that, there are designated areas close to ranger stations where you can camp. At these spots campfires are allowed as well.

Kim builds one. Nice and warm in the cold night.

Because we like this camp spot very much, it's nice weather and we have enough food we decide to stay a second night along this lake. Time for swimming.

The water is just 13 'C. We don't swim for a long time hahaha.....

Nice hat bro 😀

Cooking dinner above the campfire.

At night another beautiful sunset.

After two night in paradise we continue our way to Chile.

But first more lakes to visit.

The customs near the Chilean border. From here to the real border is another 30km. This because the real border is at a mountain pass which is often covered in snow. The custom officers don't like snow we guess.

It's illegal to bring fresh fruits, vegetables and meat into Chile. Our bags were checked. We did eat our bananas and salami. They didn't discover the rest of the cheese, meat and fresh carrots. Luckily we can cook dinner tonight 😀

At customs we also met Mel and Juli from Melbourne, Australia. They did nearly the same route as we did, starting in Alaska and riding to Ushuaia but by BMW.

Chile here we come.

We climb higher and higher into the mountains. More snow is still here.

1,5m of snow along the road.

Check the halo around the sun, amazing to see.

Halo.

The real border. The altitude is just 1321 meter but loads of snow.

Bye bye Argentina, see you soon again. Hello Chile 🙂

Thanks for reading again 🙂

Our next blog will be about the Carretera Austral in Chile, together with Alaska one of the most beautiful parts in the world we ever cycled for so far.

Cheers,
Kim & Arjan

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1 Comment

  1. Ilona

    Great pics! I cycled in 2001/2002 in that area – still very good memories…….Enjoy!!!!!!!

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