A landslide to the north of the city had cut off our onward route to San Pedro de Atacama so we stayed three extra nights in Salta. This was in the hope that the road would clear or that an alternative route would open up. In the meantime we visited some more areas of the city at a relaxed pace and generally got ourselves back together.
We reserved tickets to take the alternative route to La Quiaca, a border town directly North of San Pedro as a means to avoid Chile and see the national parks from the Bolivian side via Tupiza. However the night before we arrived there was a second storm that can only be described as a deluge. So with a sense of the inevitable we went to the bus terminal to discover that the alternative route had also been damaged in the storms and was closed.
The only alternative we found was a bus northeast to Pocitos, a border town that avoids the stormy Jujuy region completely. From here we crossed the border to the town of Yacuiba where after a night in a hotel by the terminal, we boarded a bus to Tarija. We picked Tarija as a stopping point on the way up to Tupiza, completely ignorant as to the kind of journey we were signing up for.
10km in the road turned steeply upward and tarmac gave way to dirt.
The valley road was stunning with the bus wheels passing inches from the sheer drop to the river below.
We were stopped for one hour waiting for workmen to finish on one section of the road. While much of the infrastructure is basic, there was a huge amount of activity going on in certain areas, with new bridges, cliff support and embankments underway.
Some areas were completed and felt tame in comparison to the earlier stretches of road.
Emerging from the hills we had a steady descent into Tarija. The roads relaxed and the hour before sunset provided the perfect chance to take some snaps.
Trucks and buses were the main users of the road, which made life interesting in head to head meetings!
Good to be out of Salta eventually and great to be out on the road.