Jen, Clark, and I woke up early on December 27 and met Leo and Walter from Rutas Andinas for a mountain bike ride through the Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon). We had stopped at on overlook on the drive into San Pedro the previous day, so we had an idea what to expect.
The landscapes were even more surreal and gorgeous inside the valley.
Many tourists flock to this valley around sunset to watch rocks glow, so Leo wisely took us in the morning to avoid the dust clouds generated by cavalcades of tour buses. We were alone for most of the ride.
The riding was not technical, as Clark demonstrated by repeatedly riding with no hands. Those are the Andes in the background.
The altitude (we started at about 8000ft above sea level), some soft sand, and a few hills made it a solid workout. You can see the ride details on Strava. We paused for plenty of photo stops to catch our breath.
Since we were mountain biking in style, Walter drove the support van ahead and setup an awesome snack picnic for us at the turnaround point. We devoured some local apples, bananas, and headed back to our hotel for lunch and a brief rest before our afternoon adventure.
*All photos are copyright Peter Roady and may not be reproduced or reused without written permission*