It's a rough life... on to another wine country

Trip Start Mar 31, 2010
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17
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Trip End Jul 29, 2010


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Where I stayed
Rusti-K

Flag of Argentina  , Northern Argentina,
Monday, May 17, 2010

On Sheridan's recommendation, we found ourselves in beautiful Cafayate just a few short bike rides and hikes from incredible mountain views and vineyards of Torrontes grapes. The first day we spent walking around the village and checking out the places. Two highlights: Bodega Nanni, one of five certified organic wineries in Argentina and Cabras de Cafayate, a cheese factory where we got a private tour of the whole cheese-making process from feeding the goats to making the cheese. They even use the goat "caca" (as our tour guide put it) to fertilize their own vineyards. Very cool. And despite both our predictions, Jayson even liked goat cheese here!

The next day we spent riding bikes through beautiful green scenery and up the desert-like hills. The bike seats left something to be desired, but enough winery visits took care of that. We had a really nice tour at Etchart, one of the oldest wineries in the region. Our tour guide was so knowledgeable and answered a lot of the questions to which we'd been wanting answers. We also got an invitation to the grape harvest fiesta at Finca de las Nubes, so we may have to consider returning here in March. Our picnic that day of goat cheese and Torrontes on a huge rock in the sun at the base of a beautiful mountain won't soon be forgotten. Another thing is for sure: winery touring and wine tasting makes for some awesome picture taking.

To top off a wonderful time in Cafayate, we had a special surprise - our asador, Fede, from HI Patagonia hostel in Puerto Madryn was staying at the same hostel as us! He was riding a bicycle through northern Argentina on his vacation time from his job as hostel worker and (primarily) SCUBA dive instructor, and he had grown quite a beard since we had seen him. It was great spending time with him again and sharing travel stories. We learned a lot about Argentine culture from him, and we enjoyed practicing our Spanish with yet another patient and Argentine who only made fun of us a little.

A sidenote anecdote: we enjoyed hearing his overly-polite Skype conversation when he helped us out by calling the police station at the Paso de Jama border (previously closed due to bad weather) to check that it was open. We were elated to find that it was, and that we wouldn't have to fork out a ridiculous amount of money to fly to Chile, nor would we have to waste several days traveling back south by bus. Hopefully we can meet Fede again for yet another asada, maybe next time in California!

For now, we're off to Chile for some salt flats!

P.S. Torrontes ice cream. And sauvignon ice cream. Seriously.
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Comments

Dr.Dive on

Ugh

Dr.Dive on

P.S. the squash thingies hanging from the vine are gourds. I grew some once. They come in various shapes, one of which is that bottle shape. After they've grown you let them dry out and remove the seeds, and you're left with a thin shelled wooden "bottle". Usually they are painted and used as decorations, or made into maracas, or whatever. If you were really stuck you could even use them to store liquids, but I wouldn't recommend it. You can't eat them.

will mora on

I am glad you are having a great trip so far.
Keep taking lots of pics!
Love, Will and Stacy in Nevada City

cannonballs
cannonballs on

Thanks Will! We are having a good time! Great to see you on here...if you have any suggestions let us know.

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