We left the town of Belen and traveled for 3 days through a remote volcanic field in the Catamarca province of Argentina on the Altiplano of the Andes Mountains packing enough food, gas and water for the journey expecting little services or other people. It felt otherworldly. The first night camping was a sleepless one of sand filling our tent from the wind so strong it almost blew us away and freezing temperatures at over 10,000 ft. The next day we rode through the small village of Antofagasta de la Sierra and filled up with gas. As the sun was beginning to set we were in search of a decent spot to camp with better shelter, but there wasn't much around. We came to Salar de Hombre Muerto and found what we later learned to be an abandoned Incan gold mine hidden in the hills overlooking the salar at over 12,000 ft. Another sleepless night followed with high elevation heart rates, freezing temps and dreams of ghosts warning us to leave their ancient ruins. Feeling beat, we left the high elevation and dipped down into the beautiful desert river valley of Cachi where we would spend two days eating amazing steaks covered in local spices and thawing our bones in the warm desert sun.
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