The Provincial Route 43 connects the towns of Puerta de Corral Quemado, near Belén, and Antofagasta de la Sierra, a small and remote town in the middle of the catamarca’s puna. I already told you about this route in this other post you can read clicking here, but today I want to focus on one of the most impressive legs of the trip.
Halfway you can find the Randolfo’s Slope, a section of the road where landscapes are amazing. One after another, the dunes cover the slopes of the montains.
The old road was characterized by constant and pronounced curves, one after another. It was really dangerous. There were frequent landslides, and that’s the reason why the locals looked for cross country shortcuts.
The new road does not cross the slope itself, and their slopes are softer, but the landscape is still magnificent.
It is a desolate area where the wind blows strongly and moves the sand from one side to the other. So the dunes are constantly moving and are never in the same place, nor do they show the same shape. Sometimes, even the route disappears under the sand.
The highest point, at 3200 meters above the sea level, is highlighted by a small and precarious chapel dedicated to the Difunta Correa, a local pagan figure of Argentine folk religion. As per the legend, she died of thirst when she was looking for her husband, who had gone to civil war. She was with her baby, who survived by breastfeeding from her until he was found and rescued. That’s why you will always see lots of water bottles in chapels dedicated to the «Deceased Correa»
The views are wonderful. In places like this, words are superfluous. That’s why here below you can find a few photograhps, so you can better imagine how it looks like.
Whereever you look the landscape is just unbelievable. But if you pay attention, you will notice that even in those remote places, people protest against mining companies. «Mining companies out!», you can read on the signal.
At this point you should make a stop to enjoy the views. Of course, you will need sunglasses. If you want, you can climb the dune and then slide down on the sand, but you will need to do it slowly, because of the height. Just remember that you are in the puna, at 3200 meters over the sea level!
And once you enjoyed the dunes, you can now continue the journey through Catamarca!