2007 Roadtrip From Jujuy to Susques and Paso de Jama, Argentina

Jujuy was our last city in Northwest Argentina but we decided to break up our trip to Chile with an overnight stay in the tiny mountain village of Susques at 3443m/11,292f in the Andes. The road trip to Susques was quite beautiful and the road was very good, with very little traffic.

The Paseo de los Coloradas was breathtaking.
The colors of the Paseo de los Coloradas made the drive really enjoyable.
The road that climbed into the Andes, Questa de Lipan, was serpent-like.
Questa de Lipan

We crossed the Salina Grandes at 4170m/13,681 f

Salina Grandes, a very unusual site.
In Susques, we stayed at El Unquillar, a very basic place at 3446m/11,292f (El Unquillar, Ruta Nac 51, km 219, fono: (0387)490-201, e-mail: elunquillar@elunquillar.com.ar) for AP$100. It was quite simple but okay for one night.
With as much energy as we could muster at that altitude, toured around.
The church in Susques, with it's characteristic thatched roof

We didn’t stay many hours in Susques but there was a lot to photograph.
A local Quechua child at the Church festival in Susques
One of the tourist attractions of the Andes is seeing condors. There are many of them but when we were living in the Andes to ski last winter in El Colorado, Chile, the condors flew so close you could almost touch them. On our travels we didn’t need to go to the condor viewing spots.
We do like local-people viewing spots and Susques was great for that.
A local Quechua woman walking, with her baby on her back
At dinner at the hotel that night we met a couple from Idaho who were riding a motorcycle all the way from the States to Ushuaia at the tip of Southern Argentina. We had a great time with them at dinner and drank a bottle of wine. At that altitude, the wine had a severely debilitating effect on us.
Bonnie Jo Simpson and Mark Partham with us at dinner at the El Unquillar in Susques
Dimitri was fascinated with the comparison of the gear they were carrying on their motorcycle for several months and our 11 suitcases in our station wagon. Dimitri wishes that I didn’t need so much stuff on our travels and is always trying to get me to lighten our load.

The next day we climbed to 4,400m/14,435 f through the Paso de Jama and into Chile. We saw guanacos (a more graceful relative of the llama) or vicuñas and a rhea. It’s a bird that kind of looks like a big ostrich (and one we saw in New Zealand too). The road was good, it was paved and there was almost no traffic.

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