Peaks of Pleasure
In our previous blog post, we highlighted a few of the gems we’ll be experiencing on Vuelta Sudamericana – the epic 6,000 km bicycle tour through South America. This time we take a look at some of the wildlife we’ll most likely come across while travelling through Argentina and Chile.
We’re not saying it’s going to be a pedal in the park, but let’s face it, riding a bike through the Andes Mountain range will be worth every revolution of those bicycle wheels.
Andes Mountains, Chile by Alex e. Proimos
The Vuelta Sudamericana Cycle Tour crosses from Argentina into Chile through this magnificent mountain range, that extends its languid 7,000km (4,400 miles) length through 7 countries. Stretching almost the entire length of the country, the Chilean Andes includes the highest segment of the mountain chain, consisting of lofty, often snow-capped peaks, deeply incised valley and steep slopes.
Considering that the range is home to an incredibly rich variety of flora and fauna, its extremely likely that you will see some of the most beautiful and unique creatures imaginable – beside your fellow cyclists that is!
Andean Condor by Eric Kilby
Keep your eyes open for the Andean Condor which will either be seen perched near its nest on the steep rocky crags or soaring effortlessly on the heat thermals on which it glides, seeking prey. Some sources say they can travel for miles on these air currents without a single flap of their wings.
Armadillo by Racatumba
Closer to the ground, much closer in fact, is the delightful little Armadillo, whose name in Spanish means “little armoured one.” These fascinating creatures have developed some wonderful abilities to help them survive the world at large – some species are able to curl into a little ball, so as to be able to roll away from danger, while others are able to hold their breath for six minutes under water!
And when there are predators, such as the magnificent Puma, prowling the slopes, highly developed defense mechanisms are essential. Pumas, also known as cougars are some of the largest wild cats in the world. These powerful predators have been known to leap over 20ft to bring down their prey. But fear not, extensive research has shown that they prefer deer and other smaller animals to the metal and rubber of a bicycle!
Vuelta Sudamericana 2011 departs Buenos Aires on 25th September and finishes in Lima on 13 December. Full tour and sectional spaces are available.
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