Leaving Santa Rosa we felt like our trip had finally started.
We went over out first hill for the trip(I kid you not) and the countryside opened out to rolling countryside with lots of bush and some salt lakes.
Soon we were into rugged country where the rainfall is quite low due to the Andean rain shadow over this area. Traffic was light and we were in the groove just rolling along.
We caught up on some wildlife,(most of which was roadkill), skunks, armadillos, snakes. Then we saw some amazing pink flamingos on a salt lake, the bright pink colour dazzled us.
The bush turned to incredibly prickly heath. A series of punctures soon followed and we had a very tentative bush camp trying to avoid all the prickles.
The road forged straight ahead rolling through gradual dips and rises.You could have imagined yourself in the Australian outback.
As a matter of fact the Australian Gum tree is one of the most common large trees we have seen since being in Argentina. There are large stands of mature Eucalypts scattered along the highways.
We camped in an arid national park and enjoyed the walking trails and information about the flora a fauna in the park. I developed a new respect for cactus as I had to spend some time extracting barbs from my leg and foot.
Next night we camped on the Rio Colarado(a river that divides provinces ´La Pampa´and ´Rio Negro´) and we camped on the river at the police check point at their invitation. The police are very friendly (and quite cute according to Gaye)
Next day we finished our ´outback´ leg and were back on a busy highway. We´ve been riding along the Rio Negro with high density irrigation farming growing fruit and hops. The number of trucks on the road is unbelievable. Very trying and we are hoping to be onto quieter roads soon.
We´ve almost crossed Argentina and getting close to Chile and the Andes.
Argentinians are a very friendly lot and apart from the language I think have a similar outlook to Australians. Basically BBQs and Beer are the main focus. Argentinians will generally cook half a cow at a BBQ (they put our bbqs to shame)
On our next stage we head for the hills and explore the Lakes District and the resort town of Bariloche.