We´re now at 3000m, high in the Andes. The air is thinning out and the nights are getting colder. Even at this height, the surrounding mountains tower above us. So far we haven´t had any major effects of the altitude other than a couple of tight necks and a slight shortness of breath on the steeper uphill sections.
On our first day out of Salta we were treated to an adrenaline filled downhill. The road snaked along the mountainside, high above the thick green jungle below. The tight hairpins and fast flowing corners were worlds away from the straight, flat roads of the Chaco.
Over the last few days the road has wound gradually upwards, alongside dry riverbeds, past giant cactii and through beautiful rocky valleys. The towns are becoming dustier, indeed in one town we had to get off and push our heavy bikes up a steep rocky road. In order to accimatise properly, we´ve been doing short 50km days, each with around 500m ascent.
We´ve arrived at carnival time and have been treated to two successive Andean folk festivals which give a good insight into the local music (keep an eye out for some clips of this on the next video update). We´re told that during carnival (which runs for the whole of February), we can expect to be the recipients of many water ballon attacks by the locals, I guess I´d better get my waterproofs on!