Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Cafayate Valley

Day 1104
119 639 km since the beginning of the journey
The route : Salta - Cafayate ( 194 km ),

The below-described tour in the southern and western mountains took place almost two weeks ago , during the last days of February. And as it sometimes may occur- the material was left uploaded.

The morning of February 26.

The sky is just like in the picture above. Suspiciously cloudy, although the sun is shining from between the clouds. The dark clouds promise rain, but only perhaps some three drops of water fall on the windscreen. But it's not important at all and what really matters is the issue that the major heat wave is over and the temperature is no longer +35 or more.
The landscape is getting more mountainous, the mountains are of lower kind, up to 3 kilometers in height . I wrote that sentence down and then I started to think that 3 km high mountains and low? How can 3,000 m high mountains considered to be low? What kind of mountains could be named high ones then?

But yes, everything is relative, and they are, after all, the Andes, the longest mountain range in the world. The average height of 4,000 meters ( Link And the highest mountain range outside Asia. And there's more than 50 volcanoes that are more than 6,000 m high.

But the last three years have altered the way of comprehending . Very simple concepts such as "high", "low", "long distance" and "short distance", have got a completely different meaning during that time .

The road from Salta to Cafayate passes a nature reserve called - The Quebrada las Conchas ( Quebrada de Cafayate ).

The last part of the road before Cafayate is the most beautiful . The speed drops greatly. You make a stop, look around, try to capture nice views and then after another kilometer there is a next place that can`t be passed without stopping , and soon a next one.

And particularly the last 40 kilometers, starting from Garganta del Diablo (a redder line on the map). Recent landmarks are marked, all of them just next to the major road.

The first : 141 Km - Garganta del Diablo - the Devil's Throat.


Up- climbing is banned , but there are climbers here nevertheless.
Km 142 – El Anfiteatro


The Amphitheatre is higher than expected.The visitors come and go permanently.

153 km – Next to the road is El Sapo. It is a several- meter high frog-shape rock, which actually looks really like a frog, especially when to have a look at it from the right angle.

I go around the frog trying to find the right angle. Certainly the sun should also be from the right angle, but here is no one to ask advice. Meanwhile, a small bus with German tourists arrives.

The Tourists take a couple of pictures from the frog, and then begin to take photos from the map on side door of my Mazda.

Km 165 – El Obelisco

The Obelisk is surrounded by a fence for protection

Km 168 – Los Castillos


So just do not get any closer because of the river in between.

Tres Cruces.
And a view of the valley.


While having reached Cafayate the evening has come. It took almost six hours to cover 194 kilometers.

At the outskirts of the town an advertisement of a Wine Museum in the size of a wall of a house caught the eye. Tomorrow`s plan – to visit the place and more about it in the next post.

GPS tracking.


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